Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 5/10/12

The Philly Phace Off is Philly Sports World’s new weekly Thursday feature. Every Thursday, Rob and Wayne will debate a topic. Your job is to be the jury. You read both sides and then decide who wins by voting in the Phace Off Poll. In honor of Cole Hamels and the Bryce Harper fiasco, PSW’s Rob Iacuzio and Wayne Cella debate who the most intimidating Phillies’ pitcher of all time is/was.

Wayne’s Side

Steve Carlton is a Hall of Famer who won over 300 games and struck out over 4,000 batters in his 23 year career. Is he the most intimidating Phillies Pitcher of All Time?

For me, there is no debate as to who the most intimidating Phillies pitcher ever was. It’s the same person who was the greatest pitcher this organization has ever seen: Steve Carlton.

Steve Carlton was 241-161 with a 3.09 ERA and 3,031 strikeouts, 185 complete games and 39 shutouts. And that was just in his 15 year career with the Phillies. He pitched 23 seasons total. While with the Phillies, Steve Carlton also won 4 Cy Young Awards and was selected an All Star 7 times. He led the Phillies to 5 division titles, 2 World Series appearances and the first World Championship in Phillies history.

Carlton had a mid to upper ’90s fastball and a nasty slider. He was as dominant a pitcher as there was in all of baseball during his generation, and according to Carlton himself on a recent radio appearance on 94 WIP, can still throw 95 MPH routinely at the age of 67.

My favorite story about Carlton was told by fellow Hall of Famer, Mike Schmidt. In 1972, the Phillies were brutally bad. In fact, the team wound up winning a measly 59 games all season. Carlton had 27 of those wins (46% of their total wins) and would routinely walk through the clubhouse on days he started telling everybody it was “win day.” It was obviously an egotistical thing to say, but no one questioned it because Carlton was that good. “What did that make the rest of the days?” Schmidt recalled. “Lose days?”

Carlton was a first ballot Hall of Famer with nearly 96% of the vote. He finished his career with a 329-244 record, a 3.22 ERA and 4,136 strikeouts. They broke the mold when they made Steve Carlton and intimidation will never mean the same thing as it meant to a batter that had to step into the box against Lefty.

Rob’s Side

While I’ve heard stories of Steve Carlton’s dominance, I am way too young to agree. I’ve watched plenty of film on Lefty, and I agree that the mere thought of his presence was bothersome for a hitter. However, there is one

Mitch Williams was infamously wild and could take off an opposing batter's head at any moment. Was he the most intimidating Phillies' pitcher of all time?

Philadelphia Phillie that completely takes the cake in this category.

Wild Thing, you make my heart sing. Let’s be honest people, when a fictional character based on your personality is played out on the silver screen by Charlie Sheen, you’re a pretty crazy dude. Mitch Williams, accompanied by his amazing early 90s mullet, is the most intimidating pitcher to ever take the mound. His mentality, his personality and his erratic behavior made him the ultimate closer for a dominant 1993 Phillies team. While he may not have the kind of stat line that Carlton had and he buckled when it really counted (See: Joe Carter), every batter he faced stepped into the box with complete fear in his eyes.

The difference is they weren’t afraid of striking out. They were afraid of blacking out. Mitch never had a knack for control of the strike zone. He was widely known for almost beheading players with 100 mph fastballs or throwing a rocket 6 feet over the catcher’s head. If fearing for your health and well-being isn’t intimidating, I don’t know what it is.

Sure, Lefty really knew how to send batters back to the dugout, but Mitch Williams knew how to send batters to the hospital. I find that to be way more intimidating. 27 wins? Wild Thing could cause that many concussions in a weekend. If you’re reading this Mitch, I love you and always have. Please, don’t bean me.

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