Phillies: Best individual pitching seasons by age
Age 34: Roy Halladay (2011)
Roy Halladay had early career struggles with the Blue Jays, particularly in 2000 posting an ERA of 10.68 in 67 2/3 innings. He put it all together in a big way with 19 wins in 2002 and a league-leading 22 wins in 2003, earning his first Cy Young Award.
Limited to 21 starts in 2004, Halladay won 12 in 2005 and went on a streak of four straight seasons in Toronto with at least 16 wins, solidifying himself as one of top starters in the league. The Phillies acquired Halladay via trade with Toronto for Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis d’Arnaud on December 16, 2009.
Halladay won the Cy Young Award in his first season with the Phillies, leading the league in wins (21), complete games (9), shutouts (4) and innings pitched (250 2/3). He makes this list for his 2011 efforts mainly because no other candidate fits better in this spot.
Halladay’s 2011 effort was nearly just as impressive. In 32 starts, Halladay completed a league-high eight games, logged 233 1/3 innings, won 19 games, struck out 220 and had an ERA of 2.35. He earned his eighth and final All-Star appearance and finished 2nd in the NL Cy Young Award vote.
Injuries began to mount for Halladay limiting his effectiveness the following year and to an ERA of 6.82 in 13 games in 2013 before retiring with 203 wins and a 3.38 ERA. Halladay was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.
Age 35: Tug McGraw (1980)
McGraw spent his first nine seasons with the Mets, earning a World Series ring in 1969 and an All-Star appearance in 1972 when he posted a 1.70 ERA over 106 innings and 27 saves. The Phillies traded Del Unser, John Stearns, and Mac Scarce to the Mets in exchange for McGraw, Don Hahn, and Dave Schneck on December 3, 1974.
The trade proved to be a good one for the Phillies, as McGraw went on to earn an All-Star appearance in 1975 and pitched to an ERA under three in each of his first three seasons. After a sub-par 5.16 ERA in 59 games in 1979, McGraw bounced back for his finest season in 1980.
During the World Series title run, McGraw proved to be lights out, particularly down the stretch. The 35-year old finished the season with a slim 1.48 ERA, allowing only 62 hits and nine walks in 92 1/3 innings, while striking out 75. He won one and save two in the World Series, allowing only a run in 7 2/3 innings.
McGraw retired in 1984 with 96 wins and 180 saves and will be best remembered in Philadelphia for striking out Willie Wilson to end the 1980 World Series.