Cole Hamels' early exit provided an anticlimactic conclusion to the month, but it hardly overshadowed a historic performance in June by the Phillies' star-studded rotation.
Hamels wrapped up the month on a sour note, but in six June starts he compiled a 1.31 ERA. And that wasn't even the best mark among the Phillies' starters.
Cliff Lee was 5-0 in his June starts, posting a minuscule ERA of 0.21.
Roy Halladay's ERA for the month was 2.00, utterly pedestrian in comparison. But the Phillies won all five of his June starts, too.
Even rookie Vance Worley posted a 1.00 ERA in three starts in June -- all Phillies wins.
Add it all up, and the Phillies became the first starting rotation since 1992 to finish a month with an ERA below 2.00, according to STATS, Inc.
"I think our starting staff has been pretty good all year long," second baseman Chase Utley said. "They're the backbone of our team, and we wouldn't be in the position we're in right now without them."
That might be an understatement.
The Phillies managed 16 wins last month, their most prolific June since 2003. It might have been even better if the offense had done more to support the pitching staff.
In the Phillies' 10 defeats in June, they scored a combined 18 runs. For the season, they've scored three runs or fewer in 45 of their 82 games.
And yet, no team in the majors has a better record, thanks to that stellar starting rotation.
"It's pretty evident that without them, we'd be in a world of hurt," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "They've done extremely well and obviously kept us in all these games."
Phils' starters super in June
Courier-Post | Jul 1