But conversely, in the modern game, few teams have four good starters, let alone three very good starters or two great ones, and the ones that do are invariably going to be the big-market, big-money teams who can not only sign the best guys, but pay more injury replacements and take on their salaries at the trade deadline.
Luckily, the Phillies can be one of those teams, but nothing about baseball is really set up to be a true or fair test of greatness now anyway.
And while fairness isn't really an issue this season in any number of ways, to set up this schedule now, after teams built their roster at four different points (off-season, two different spring trainings and trade deadline) assuming there'd be a normal schedule (and, indeed, home and road games with some, if not the same amount, of travel), probably catches a few teams unprepared.
Ironically it will also end up making bullpens, rather than great starting pitching, more important, because there's not that much of the former, and teams won't be able to use their starters as relievers, which has played a huge role in most championships over the past few years.
I think the Phillies would have had to trade for another pitcher if they expected to be in the NLCS and World Series, not just because they need a better one but because Howard might have not been able to give them innings. Moot now.