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Only time will tell if this is baseball’s greatest rotation

Whenever the next round of odds in Vegas comes out, the Phillies figure to be heavy World Series favorites. Last year, when the team acquired Roy Oswalt, the rotation was called H2O, and now — with Cliff Lee’s acquisition — some are dubbing it R2C2.

Whenever the next round of odds in Vegas comes out, the Phillies figure to be heavy World Series favorites. Last year, when the team acquired Roy Oswalt, the rotation was called H2O, and now — with Cliff Lee’s acquisition — some are dubbing it R2C2.

All have won at least 15 games in their career at some point and pitched well in the playoffs, potentially making it baseball’s all-time greatest staff.

Here are some other stacked rotations:

1954 Indians
This 111-win team kept the N.Y. Yankees from a sixth straight championship. Future Yankee manager Bob Lemon won 23, Hall of Famer Bob Feller won 13. The only downside was this rotation was an average of 32 years old, and the Giants swept them in the World Series.

1993 Braves
Like Lee, Maddux spurned the riches of the Yankees and signed with the Braves. Maddux wasn’t an NL All-Star, but won 20 games and the Cy Young. Tom Glavine won 22; Steve Avery, 18; John Smoltz, 15. The staff led the league in ERA and combined to pitch nearly 1,000 innings.

1986 Mets
There were no 20-game winners on this staff but Ron Darling, Dwight Gooden, Sid Fernandez, Bob Ojeda and Rick Aguilera combined for 76 wins, while the top four pitched at least 200 innings and won a World Series.

1971 Orioles
Having four 20-game winners is a rare feat and the rotation of Mike Cueller, Pat Dobson, Jim Palmer and Dave McNally is likely the last one to accomplish it. On a 101-win team, this foursome combined on 81 wins, 586 strikeouts and nearly 1,100 innings.




 
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