Career w/Phillies: 231.1 IP / 20-20 / 3.11 ERA / 218 K
When Williams arrived in Philadelphia, he was already one of baseball’s better closers, saving 36 games in 1989 for the Cubs. In his first two seasons in Philadelphia, “Wild Thing” posted ERAs of 2.34 and 3.78, not bad work (of course, his WHIPs of 1.336 and 1.642 are almost unbelievable for a successful pitcher). That set him up for the 1993 campaign, where he anchored a bullpen that was among baseball’s best. His 3.34 ERA (despite a 1.613 WHIP) established him as an elite closer for one of the game’s best teams. Of course, most of us will remember Williams not for the first 206 games of his Phillie career, but his final one. The home run he surrendered to Joe Carter to win the 1993 World Series etched him in history, and really, ended his baseball career. Today, of course, he’s highly respected as a baseball analyst. And Philly fans? They love him.
Comment: Whether he’s “Wild Thing” or “Mitchy-Poo,” Williams will always hold a soft spot in our hearts. In my opinion, no Phillie closer had better success in more dramatic situations. Sure, Brad Lidge is perfect and Jose Mesa has the save count, but nobody did it with more gusto than Mitch.