Roberts, Carlton head list of most games with Phils

Roberts, Carlton head list of most games with Phils

This is the second in a series of most career games by position in Phillies history; in this installment, the top five pitchers.

1. Robin Roberts (529 games)
Roberts went to Michigan State University on a basketball scholarship but blossomed into a pitcher with the Spartans and tossed a no-hitter against rival Michigan. He signed for a $25,000 bonus with the Phillies following graduation in 1948. He went from college to the Interstate League Wilmington Blue Rocks and was called up by the Phillies after just 11 pro games (9-1 record). His Major League debut came on June 18, 1948, at age 21. He also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs, finishing with 286 career wins. A workhorse who didn't miss a start in the 1950s, Roberts wound up making 609 starts and completed 305 of them. He's the only pitcher to beat the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. He holds the Phillies record for career complete games (272) and innings (3,739 1/3) while compiling a 234-199 record.

2. Steve (Lefty) Carlton (499 games)
Carlton came to the Phillies from the St. Louis Cardinals in a controversial trade for Rick Wise during Spring Training 1972. His 499 games with the Phillies were all as a starter, a Major League record for consecutive starts with no relief appearances. Lefty pitched one game in relief in 1971 with St. Louis and didn't come in from the bullpen again until 1987 in Cleveland. Out of 741 career games, Carlton relieved 32 times. At one point in his career, Carlton, who wore No. 32, had the most strikeouts in baseball history. He holds Phillies career records for wins (241), starts and strikeouts (3,031). He pitched for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins following a brilliant Phillies career. In his 24-year career, he went 329-244 with a 3.22 ERA and 4,136 strikeouts.

3. Ryan Madson (491 games)
Madson was originally signed out of high school after being a ninth-round selection in 1998. Five years later, he made his Major League debut. He wound up pitching nine seasons in Philadelphia, going 47-30 with a 3.59 ERA and 52 saves. He also made 18 starts, 17 coming in 2006, before serving as a reliever ever since. He was used as a late-inning setup specialist during the Phillies' five-year run of reaching the playoffs from 2007-11. Thirty-two of his saves came in 2011, his final season with the Phillies. He signed with Cincinnati as a free agent in 2012 but wound up needing Tommy John surgery on his right arm. He underwent a second such surgery and came back to pitch for the World Series champion Kansas City Royals in 2015 after sitting out three seasons.

4. Tug McGraw (463 games)
McGraw came to the Phillies in 1974 in a trade with the Mets, for whom he had pitched for nine seasons. Six years later, he stood on the mound in Game 6 of the World Series, needing three more outs. In dramatic fashion, he struck out Kansas City's Willie Wilson to give the Phillies their first World Series championship. He mimed that last pitch in the 2003 closing ceremonies of The Vet despite being weakened from a battle with a brain tumor. He died five months later at age 59. A two-time All-Star, Tug was 49-37 with a 3.10 ERA and 94 saves with the Phillies.

5. Chris Short (459 games)
Short, a left-hander, is the greatest pitcher to come out of Delaware. He made his Major League debut when he was 21, two years after he signed. He was a dominant pitcher with the Phillies from 1964-67, averaging 250-plus innings, 190-plus strikeouts and 17 wins. A National League All-Star in 1964 and '67, Short finished with a 132-127 record in 14 seasons with the Phillies. He shares the NL record for most Opening Day shutouts (three). He finished his career with Milwaukee in 1973, as back problems cut his career short. He suffered a rupture aneurysm in 1988, lapsed into a coma, never regained consciousness and died three years later at age 53.

Larry Shenk is the Phillies team historian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.