Ranking the Top 5 greatest relief pitchers in Phillies franchise history

Coming into a game when the pressure is highest is a tough job, but the Phillies have had some incredible relievers over the years. Who makes the cut for the top five greatest relievers in Phillies history?

World Series: Tampa Bay Rays v Philadelphia Phillies, Game 5
World Series: Tampa Bay Rays v Philadelphia Phillies, Game 5 / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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No. 1: Tug McGraw

Maybe the most famous picture in Phillies history is an ecstatic Tug McGraw with his entire body stretched out, hands high in the air after striking out Willie Wilson to close out the 1980 World Series for the Phillies against the Kansas City Royals. That was the fourth game that McGraw appeared in during that World Series, notching his second save, getting a win in another and suffering the loss in the fourth. He was an integral piece of that memorable Phillies era.

The left-handed McGraw started his Phillies tenure in 1975 and finished in 1984 when he retired from baseball after 19 years. In his time with the franchise, he pitched in 463 games, ranking him fourth on the Phillies all-time games played list. He secured 94 saves, putting him sixth on the Phillies all-time list, and finished with a 3.10 ERA over 10 years in Philadelphia.

Over his 19-year career, McGraw appeared in two All-Star games, received Cy Young Award votes in one season and MVP votes in an astonishing four seasons. In 1980, the World Series year, McGraw ended the regular season with a 1.46 ERA, 2.36 FIP, and 0.921 WHIP while locking down 20 saves.

He was one of the missing pieces that finally put the Phillies over the edge and secured the first championship in franchise history. In his 10 years, the Phillies made the playoffs six times, appearing in two World Series, and winning the one in 1980. In the decade he was on the team, they went a dominating 872-693, which is a .557 winning percentage.

Tug McGraw was a Phillie for 10 years, had the attitude of a native Philadelphian, and will always be the guy who secured the first World Series in franchise history. As his picture has gone down in Phillies lore, Tug McGraw will go down as the greatest relief pitcher in Phillies history.

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