One of my most vivid memories of a truly dominant playoff team features the 2009 Phillies. Featuring a rotation anchored by Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, the Phillies steamrolled through the NLDS and NLCS on their way to a pennant. Though they were ultimately outmatched by the Yankees in the World Series, those Phillies and their rotation were the platonic ideal of what I thought an excellent playoff team should be.
An opposite example, of course, would be this year’s Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays were a team with strengths in just about every area except the rotation.
What any future Mariner playoff team will look like would seem to be heavily dependent on how this year’s offseason goes. The Mariners currently project to have Logan Gilbert, Marco Gonzales, or Chris Flexen as their top starters next season. Solid, sure, but not exactly the rotation anchors that dominant postseason series.
This quiz harkens back to the dominant pitchers the Mariners have had. In his heyday, you might recall, Félix Hernández was so adept at pitching “quality starts” that we adopted a new metric: “Félix quality starts”, “high quality starts”, or “super quality starts”. Whatever the specific language, the criteria for such a start is as follows: at least 7.0 innings pitched, and no more than 2 earned runs given up.
Here are the Mariners that have thrown the most such games.