The short answer is yes. The Phillies pitching rotation was already being billed the best rotation ever in baseball before they ever even threw a pitch. Thats alot of pressure, but have they lived up to it? Lets compare the numbers through the first 80 games of the 2011 Phillies to1993 Braves and 1971 Orioles, the two other rotatiosn mentioned when speaking of the greatest ever. I have dropped the fourth starter in each group given Oswalt's injuries and just looked at the top three pitchers from each year. Through the first 80 games the three aces of the '71 Orioles were 35-9 with a 2.88 ERA. The 1993 Braves aces were 24-14 with a 2.94 ERA. And the 2011 Phillies big three are 28-12 with a 2.52 ERA.
So although the '71 Orioles clearly had the best record their ERA was .36 higher. The Orioles averaged 4.89 runs per game through their first 80 games in 1971, while the 2011 Phillies are averaging 4 runs per game, almost a full run lower, which would account for the increased wins depsite a higher overall ERA. The Braves also averaged exactly 4 runs per game.
After the first 80 games the Orioles were 50 and 30, the Braves were 45-35 and the Phillies are 50 and 30. The Orioles that year finished 101 and 57 and lost game 7 of the World Series to the Pirates. Although the Braves had a better regular season record in 1993 at 104-58, they didn't make it to the World Series, they lost to the Phils in the NLCS in 6 games. So what will the fate of the 2011 Phillies, I say World Series Champs, what do you think? Vote below and we'll see who was right in October.