Are Halladay and Lee the Phillies best one-two punch ever?

Local fan report

Roy Halladay(notes) and Cliff Lee(notes) have the potential to take their place among the best tandems in Philadelphia Phillies history. With good health, the righty-lefty combination could each win 20 games going away this season.

Roy Oswalt(notes) is a strong pitcher, but Halladay has greater credentials. The pairing of Halladay and Lee will be used for comparison purposes with other great Phillies duos.

The 2008 World Series team included left-hander Cole Hamels(notes). Underrated, left-hander, Jamie Moyer(notes) actually led the team with 16 victories that season. Brett Myers(notes) never rose to the level that other historical Phillies right-handers did and so he can't be used for comparative purposes.

Curt Schilling and Terry Mulholland

Schilling was a solid right-hander for the Phillies in the 1990s, but many of his best seasons came after he left the team. However, during the 1993 World Series year he went 16-7. Schilling never won twenty games for the team, but did win over 14 games in three other seasons.

The left-handed throwing Mulholland went 12-9 in 1993. During four other seasons and parts of two others, he won 16 games one season and 13 games in another.

Steve Carlton and John Denny

Carlton is considered one of the great left-handers of all-time and is clearly is one of the Phillies best starters ever. In Carlton's heyday, he had decent rotational support in the form of pitchers like Dick Ruthven.

However, in 1983, he also had John Denny in the rotation with him. Denny had a great year, leading the Phillies to a World Series appearance against the Orioles. He went on to win0 a well deserved Cy Young award that offseason.

Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons

In 1950, Roberts went 20-11 for a 'Whiz Kids' team that faced the New York Yankees in that year's World Series. The Hall of Fame right-hander had started a string of six consecutive twenty-win seasons.

The left-handed throwing Simmons was a fine complement to Roberts. In 1950, he went 17-8. While he never won twenty games, he posted double victory totals five more times over the next six seasons.

Grover Cleveland Alexander and Eppa Rixey

We are going way back in the day with this comparison…

Between 1911 and 1917, the right-handed throwing Alexander won over twenty games three times. He also won over thirty games three times. In 1916, the future Hall of Famer was an astounding 33-12 and had a 1.55 ERA.

Rixey was Alexander's left-handed rotation accomplice. His best season with the Phillies was also in 1916, when he went 22-10 with a 1.85 ERA. While he never won twenty games at any other point in his Phillies carer, he did post more than 10 wins on three other occasions.

In the groove

Halladay and Lee mutually appear to be in the best groove of the careers. Phillies fans have not seen anything like this paring in decades. Are they going to become the best righty-lefty combination in franchise history? The answer to that question is what makes baseball so great.

Growing up in the Philadelphia region during the late 1970s and early 1980s naturally enabled everyone to become Phillies fans. My friends and I learned the game on little league fields, through trading cards, and by playing APBA. That era became an important part of our young lives. This new golden era has sparked a resurgence of baseball passion in everyone who never forgot the feeling of those old school days.

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Updated Friday, Apr 15, 2011