So far, the Major League Baseball lockout has lasted 3 weeks. It’s been rough, folks. I’m not gonna lie. No one is even talking about coming to an agreement and no one knows what baseball will look like once one is reached.
One major talking point has been about the designated hitter coming to the National League. In 2020, we say its implementation and, honestly, it wasn’t bad. The only downside was we didn’t get any “pitchers who rake” moments.
After the lockout, we may never have those moments again. So, to celebrate the pitchers who helped themselves let’s look back at some of the greatest Phillies pitchers who raked.
Let’s start off with the best pitcher in Phillies’ history.
Steve Carlton may have won 4 Cy Young awards, but he also wasn’t bad at the plate. While his career .201 batting average might not be impressive, his 1977 and 78 seasons were.
In those 2 years, Carlton hit .278 with 3 home runs and 28 RBI. All 3 home runs came in 1977. He hit .291 in 1978. Only Larry Bowa had a higher batting average on the 1978 Phillies (.294).
That same season. Carlton did this against the Dodgers in the NLCS.
While we’re on the topic of HoF Phillies pitchers, Robin Roberts had a couple got seasons at the plate as well. In his rookie year of 1948, Roberts hit a modest .250. He hit his first home run against future All-Star Gerry Staley on August 7th.
In 1955, Roberts had his best year as a hitter. He slashed .252/.360/.467 with an OPS+ of 120. Only 3 Phillies hitters had better seasons: Del Ennis, Richie Ashburn, and Stan Lopata. Roberts had 11 extra-base hits and 13 RBI.
Rick Wise may be known for one game as it comes to batting. His famous no-hitter with 2 home runs is still talked about to this day. His batting prowess does go further than that.
In 1968, he posted an OPS+ of 116 and had 7 extra-base hits. In 1969, he hit .270. In 1971 (the year of his no-hitter), he amounted 6 home runs and posted an OPS+ of 102. He also drove in 15 RBI that year. He had 11 home runs as a Phillies hitter.
The last truly good season for a Phillies pitcher as a hitter came in 2004 with “Wolf Pack” subject Randy Wolf.
That year, Wolf hit .267 with a .511 slugging %. He belted 3 home runs. Two of those homers came in one day against the Colorado Rockies. Surprisingly, that game took place in Philadelphia.
We jump from one Randy to another. Randy Lerch may not be a household name, but he did have a couple of good seasons as a batter.
In 1978, Lerch slashed .250/.303/.450 with 3 homers and an OPS+ of 108.
Like Wolf, 2/3 of Lerch’s homers came in one day. On September 30th, Lerch took Pirates’ starter, Don Robinson, deep twice in 4 innings.
In 1980, Lerch did a little better, hitting .267. The power was lacking as he only ad 2 doubles and no homers.
George Brett’s brother Ken only played in one season as a Phillie, but he showed off a relatively hot bat as a pitcher.
Brett slashed .250/.282/.463 with 5 doubles and 4 homers. He also drove in 16 RBI. From June 9-23 in 1973, Brett hit a home run in 4 straight starts. On the pitching side, he won all 4 of those starts with 3 complete games.
The names are going to keep getting more obscure as we move along. Oscar Judd played with the Phillies from 1945-1948. Judd is the first player on the list who was a great hitter his entire career. He hit .262 in 356 plate appearances.
His inclusion on this list is because of his 1946 season. That year, he slashed .316/.349/.405 with an OPS+ of 117. He had the highest batting average on the team and only Del Ennis had a higher OPS+.
Another quality career hitter, Schoolboy Rowe hit .263 in 1023 career PA. He played with the Phillies from 1943-1949. In that time he hit .252. While he was excellent in 1947 (hitting .278), he was a freak of nature in 1943.
His OPS+ of 146 is the highest for any pitcher in Phillies’ history. His average was the highest of any hitter on the team. His OBP was higher than any other hitter. His slugging % even led the team! He slashed .300/.382/.458. Most impressively, Schoolboy was used as a pinch hitter in 48 PA. He hit .317 with a .953 OPS and drove in 12 runs in those at bats.
The other “Lefty,” pitched for the Phillies from 1919-1924. He happens to have the highest batting average of any Phillies pitcher in the Live Ball Era. In 1923, Weinert hit .322. Only Catcher Butch Henline had a higher batting average on that squad.
Al Orth may have been the Phillies’ best hitting pitcher of all time. Who is Al Orth? Orth played with the Phillies from 1895-1901. He was such a good hitter that he even played 15 games in the outfield as a Phillie. He played even more games as a position player for the Washington Senators.
In his Phillies career, Orth slashed .292/.311/.405. His 97 OPS+ as a Phillies puts him as an average hitter of his time. Orth hit .356 in his rookie season. He also hit .329 in 1897. He had 212 hits as a Phillie.
Photo Credit: Jeff Conner/Icon Sportswire