You may not have known that with the win last night by beating the Marlins, the Phillies in 2011 have put themselves in the record books in Phillies history as the first team to be 42 games over .500 on the season.
Records are dropping this season in ‘record numbers’ so to speak. Is there nothing that this team won’t accomplish this year? For that answer, we’re going to go back into history and look at the team that held the most games over .500 record since 1976. The record was 41 games over.
1976 and 1977 teams had great pitching too
The 1976 Phillies have a lot of similarities to this team in 2011. At the end of the season in ‘76, the Phillies had a 20 game winner in Steve Carlton who went 20-7 on the year. Carlton in this season also had an incredible 13 CG’s on the year. Just behind him was Jim Lonborg with an 18-10 season. Larry Christenson and Jim Kaat each had 13 and 12 wins each respectively. So the Phillies of ‘76 had a great winning pitching staff as do this year’s Phillies team.
The 1976 team for the Phillies went 8-2 in their last ten games to win their 100th or more game, I don’t think this year’s team has to do that to reach the magical win mark of 100 games. I think this Phillies team will also break the most season wins which is 101 in both 1976 and 1977 by a Phillies team rather easily. Yet another record will fall.
Greatness in regular season doesn’t always mean World Series wins
My concern with all of this greatness is the way the 1976 and 1977 teams ended their season by not going to the World Series. A team can play amazingly during the season and then find a rough spot during the playoffs. The ‘76 team got swept by the Reds in 3 games straight in the NLCS, and the 1977 lost in the NLCS to the LA Dodgers by a 3-1 series. The 1978 Phillies also went to the NLCS and got beat by the LA Dodgers again by a score of 3-1 also. So even a team that does so well during the regular season doesn’t always do that well in the postseason.
Time will tell what happens with the 2011 Phillies and if they will make it deep into the playoffs. We’re enjoying the ride for now with all of this greatness that is going on. What is the next record to fall this season? We’ll talk about that in the coming weeks for sure.