History has its Eyes on Ranger Suarez and the Phillies

Roger Clemens. Juan Marichal. Robin Roberts. Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Goalkeeper Suarez?

It’s incredible to think that the Phillies’ No. 3 shortstop is on pace with some of the all-time greats, but that’s how impressive Suarez has been through his first 10 starts of the season.

In fact, the Phillies are chasing all sorts of history right now, and we’ll get to all of that, but after a 5-2 win over the defending champion Texas Rangers on Tuesday, how can you not talk about Suarez having this kind of once-in-a-generation start to the season he had? ?

Let’s start by comparing her with Roger Clemens:

Andy Hawkins won each of his first ten starts in 1985 for the San Diego Padres. Mostly eating innings during his 10-year Big League career (4.22 ERA, 1.403 WHIP, averaging 200 innings per 162 games during his career), Hawkins and the Padres were coming off a magical run to the World Series in 1984. Solid numbers in those 10 starts (69 2/3 IP, 2.71 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 28 K, 10 BB, 8HR) but quickly regressed toward base after that. He made his 11th start as a no-decision against the Phillies, and was more average the rest of the way. Over his last 22 starts, he is 8-8 with a 3.34 ERA, 1.359 WHIP, 45 strikeouts, 55 walks, and 10 homers allowed in 159 innings pitched.

Jake Arrieta was coming off his Cy Young campaign in 2015 and hit the ground running in 2016 for a Cubs team that would eventually break the 108-year curse and win the World Series. In those first 10 starts, Arrieta’s numbers were closer to Suarez’s. He was 9-0 in 68 innings, with a 1.72 ERA, .897 WHIP, 67 K, 21 BB, and 3 HR. He also came back down to earth after that, starting 9-8 over his last 21 games with a 3.83 ERA, 1.183 WHIP, 123K, 55BB, and 13 HR in 129 1/3 innings.

Clemens was a completely different animal, getting off to crazy good starts like this two different times — and at two different stages of his career. The first was as a 23-year-old in Boston in 1986. In those first 10 starts, he pitched an eye-catching 81 2/3 innings. It’s a complete game almost every start. He was 9-0 with a 2.64 ERA, 0.967 WHIP, 90 K, 22 BB, and 10 homers. But unlike Hawkins and Arrieta, Clemens hasn’t slowed down.

He would win his next five starts (14-0) and did not lose a match until July 2nd. Clemens would finish 24-4 overall, going 15-4 in his last 23 starts with numbers that got even better (172 1.3IP, 2.40 ERA, 0.969 WHIP, 148 K, 45 BB, and 0nly 10 more homers allowed). This would net him the first of seven Cy Young Awards.

The second time he did this was as a 34-year-old veteran in Toronto in 1997.

He would go 9-0 with a 1.81 ERA, 0.938 WHIP, 76 K, 21BB, 4HR in 74/3 innings. He would win two more times before suffering his first loss in mid-June. Once again, he would maintain his dominance on the mound for the rest of the season, albeit with a slight decline this time, but he still finished 21-7 with a 2.05 ERA and a 1.030 WHIP, en route to his fourth Cy Young Award. .

In both seasons, Clemens led the league in wins, ERA, ERA+, FIP, and WHIP.

I’m sharing all these stats with you because the question when it comes to Suarez is can he continue like Clemens, or will he fade a little like Arrieta, or a lot like Hawkins?

Early indications are that it has some sustainability.

“He’s kind of old school,” Phillies manager Rob Thompson said. “He won’t light up the radar, but he’ll dominate the baseball, he’ll run fast, he’ll change speeds when he’s behind in the count… It’s really fun for me to watch.”

In short, Suarez is shooting, not just getting up there and throwing gas. Among his career-high 10 hits on Tuesday, Suarez struck out hitters on five different pitches.

As for other historical tidbits, here’s Ranger’s connection to Maréchal:

His relationship with Roberts? Suarez is the first Phillies player to win nine straight games since Roberts did it in 1952.

And Grover Cleveland Alexander?

It’s unbelievable. We’ve run out of superlatives for men. His historic career is not lost on his teammates.

“As a team, we think about that, right,” said Bryce Harper, who had a double and a homer — the latter of which was the eventual game-winning RBI for the Phillies on Tuesday. “We want him to get to 10-0, 11-0, etc.”

Suarez did not need much help from the offense he received from the top of the Velez lineup.

Kyle Schwarber, JT Realmuto, Harper and Alec Bohm each had two hits — the only hits in the Phillies game — but it was enough for five runs — a number they have reached 18 times in the last 24 games.

Baum had two more RBIs, first with a single in the fourth inning, scoring Harper, and then a double in the eighth inning, scoring Schwarber:

Bohm leads the majors in doubles with 19 and is tied for the major league lead in RBIs with 44. And while there’s still a long way to go, he’s also on the path to something historic.

1894??? This is unfathomable.

Finally, as for the Phillies’ continued success (Shout out to Sarge Matthews), Their collective assault on the record books remains mind-boggling. At 35-14, it is tied for the fastest start through 49 games in franchise history (1976). If they win on Wednesday, it will be the club’s best ever record through 50 games.

We will continue to highlight where this beginning falls historically in the history of the sport as long as it is relevant.

They are currently on pace to win 116 games. This would tie the major league record held by the 1908 Cubs and 2001 Mariners.

The number of teams that are off to better starts than the Phillies continues to dwindle all the time.

They are the 32nd team ever to start at least 35-14. Only 16 teams have been better, and only three in the last 40 years:

  • 1984 Tigers (38-11)
  • 1998 Yankees (37-12)
  • 2001 Mariners (37-12)

Of the previous 31 teams, 24 reached the World Series and 12 won.

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