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Philadelphia Phillies’ All-Time Strikeout Leaders
The Philadelphia Phillies are one of baseball’s oldest franchises, beginning as the Quakers in 1883 and also for two years in the ‘40’s being known as the Blue Jays. Amazingly, after all that time, the only two championships in the Phillies’ history were 1980 and 2008. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been mostly competitive, however, and led by lefty Steve Carlton, the team has fielded some great pitchers over the years. Here is a list of the Phil’s all-time leaders in strikeouts to date:
Steve Carlton (3031)—Hall of Famer Steve Carlton is one of the game’s all-time greats, and not only does he lead the Phillies all-time with 3031 strikeouts, but Carlton’s 4136 K’s ranks fourth in the majors all-time behind Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens. Carlton pitched for the Phillies from 1972 to 1986, and he won four NL Cy Young Awards while with the team. Of all his great seasons, the best was probably 1972. That year, Carlton had career best numbers in wins (27-10), ERA (1.97) and strikeouts (310).
Robin Roberts (1871)—Robin Roberts is also a Hall of Famer and was with Philadelphia from 1948 to 1961. He ranks second in franchise history with 1871 strikeouts, and Roberts’ best overall season was arguably 1953. That year, Roberts went 23-16 with a 2.75 earned run average and career high 198 K’s.
Chris Short (1585)—Chris Short pitched for the Phillies most of his career, from 1959 to 1972, and he ranks third in the team’s history with 1585 strikeouts. Short won 20 games in 1966, but perhaps his best overall season was 1965, when he went 18-11 with a 2.82 ERA and career high 237 strikeouts.
Curt Schilling (1554)—Curt Schilling can be considered a bit of a journeyman, but he first began to flourish with the Phillies, who he pitched for from 1992 to 2000. Schilling may have had his best seasons while with Arizona and in the playoffs with Boston after that, but he does rank fourth in Phillies’ history with 1554 strikeouts and won 101 games for them. Schlling’s best season in a Phil’s uniform was 1997, when he went 17-11 with a 2.97 ERA and career high 319 K’s in just 254 innings of work.
Pete Alexander (1409)—Hall of Famer Pete Alexander was also known as “Grover Cleveland” Alexander, and he pitched for the Phillies from 1911 to 1917. Over that short time, Alexander racked up 1409 strikeouts, ranking him fifth all-time for the organization. Alexander’s best season was 1915, when he went 31-10 with career best numbers in earned run average (1.22) and strikeouts (241).
Jim Bunning (1197)—Jim Bunning pitched for Detroit longer than he did for Philly, but he had a perfect game while with the Phillies in 1964 against the Mets. Bunning pitched for the team from 1964 to 1967 and again in 1970 and 1971. He ranks sixth in franchise history with 1197 strikeouts, and Bunning’s best overall season might have been with Philly in 1965. That year, he went 19-9 with a 2.60 ERA and career high 268 strikeouts.
Curt Simmons (1052)—Curt Simmons pitched for the Phillies from 1947 to 1960, and he ranks seventh in the team’s history with 1052 strikeouts. Simmons had his best overall season in 1950 when he went 17-8 with a 3.40 earned run average and career high146 K’s.
Brett Myers (982)—Brett Myers has pitched for the Phillies his entire career so far (as I write this in 2009), coming up with the team in 2002. Myers has had some off the field problems but for the most part has been a pretty good pitcher, at times showing flashes of brilliance. He ranks second in Phillies’ history with 982 strikeouts, and had his best season so far in 2005, when he went 13-8 with career best numbers in ERA (3.72) and strikeouts (208).
Randy Wolf (971)—Randy Wolf pitched for the Phillies from 1999 to 2006, and ranks ninth all-time for the franchise with 971 K’s. Wolf had his best overall season in 2003, when he went 16-10 (career high in wins) with a 4.23 earned run average and career best 177 K’s.
Larry Christenson (781)—Larry Christenson pitched for the Phillies his entire career, from 1973 to 1983 and ranks tenth all-time for the team with 781 strikeouts. Christenson had a career high 145 K’s in 1982, but his best overall season was 1977, when he went 19-6 (career best in wins) with a 4.06 ERA and 118 strikeouts.