1997: The Phillies didn't win much, but they were sure fun to watch every fifth day. Pitching for a last-place team, Curt Schilling continued his rise to elite status. He took the mound with two goals: Pitch as many innings as manager Terry Francona would let him and strike out everything in sight. He finished with 2531/3 innings and led the majors with 319 strikeouts while going 17-11 with a 2.97 ERA.
2008: The Phillies won often and Cole Hamels blossomed as the staff ace. A lefthander with a dazzling change-up and an underrated fastball, Hamels made it through the season without a trip to the disabled list and racked up 2271/3 innings, second-most in the NL, while striking out 196. Like Schilling in 1993, Hamels was MVP of the NLCS.