Ranger Suárez matches Phillies legends and some elite company with Friday’s win

Ranger Suárez's start to the season has been one of the best in Phillies history.
Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies are off to a 27-12 start to the 2024 campaign. A key reason for the hot start has been the starting rotation. Heading into the season, the expectations for the Phillies' starting staff were lofty. So far, the rotation has exceeded expectations.

Ranger Suárez, in particular, has surpassed everyone's expectations. The left-hander is off to a torrid start. Through eight starts, his ERA of 1.50 ranks second in all of Major League Baseball behind Shota Imanaga of the Chicago Cubs.

Suárez has done a remarkable job of keeping the base paths clear. His 0.72 WHIP tops all qualified starters and opposing hitters are batting just .168. He's also pitching deeper into games than in the past. This season, the 28-year-old ranks second in innings pitched behind Los Angeles Dodgers starter Tyler Glasnow.

Ranger Suárez matches Phillies legends and some elite company with Friday’s win

With Friday's dominant 8-2 win over the Miami Marlins, Suárez has also put himself in some unique company in both franchise and league history with his dominant start to the season. He joins Phillies legend Steve Carlton as the only two pitchers in franchise history to win seven of their first eight starts to a season.

Suárez has won seven of his eight starts, with the lowest ERA since Grover Cleveland Alexander in 1916. His start to the season has been one of the best in franchise history. Joining the ranks of players like Carlton and Alexander puts Suárez up with some of the organization's greats.

Spending time amid elite company doesn't stop there for the Phillies starter. He has also joined the likes of Pedro Martínez, Randy Johnson, Dontrelle Willis, Zack Greinke, Ubaldo Jiménez, former Phillie Jake Arrieta, and Yu Darvish as the ninth pitcher in the Wild Card Era to win seven of his eight opening starts while posting an ERA of 1.50 or below.

The start that Suárez has had to start the season has been nothing short of incredible. He has positioned himself to potentially make his first All-Star appearance and has put his name into the Cy Young Award debate on some sportsbooks.

All of these accomplishments are great. However, the most important thing is that every fifth day, he goes out and gives the Phillies a chance to win. His pitch mix has kept hitters off balance and has led to weak contact.

As long as Suárez continues to induce weak contact and stays healthy, there is no reason to think he will experience major regression. Some regression toward the mean is likely inevitable, but coming into the season healthy has made a huge difference, and it's paying dividends early for the pitcher and the club.