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Pedro Martinez Vs Sandy Koufax

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  • Pedro Martinez Vs Sandy Koufax

    who do you take in this comparison. I usually pick Koufax but I'm starting to think Pedro deserves to rank ahead. i'd like to hear why the people who rank pedro ahead do so.
    58
    Pedro
    70.69%
    41
    Koufax
    29.31%
    17

  • #2
    I'm still torn between them, but in Martinez's favor is he did what he did in a hitter-friendly park for most of his career, did it in better offensive conditions in general than what Koufax had to deal with, and had to deal with the DH while at his best.
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    • #3
      I'll take Pedro and I truly feel there are no biases involved, even though I'll admit that Pedro is my favorite baseball player of all-time. Nomar, Mo Vaughn, and Pedro played a huge part in getting me into the Red Sox, but I think I am very objective when it comes to looking at a player. People who saw Koufax or Pedro usually say the two are the best pitchers they've ever seen in their entire life, but Koufax had a lot going in his favor. Koufax was a pretty mediocre pitcher until the Dodgers moved into Dodger Stadium. His splits tell a pretty convincing story.
      Code:
      Home
      Year	Park		G	IP	W	L	PCT.	SO	BB	H	R	ER	ShO	ERA
      1955	Ebbetts Field	7	24	2	0	1.000	22	10	16	6	6	2	2.25
      1956			8	18	0	2	.000	8	11	28	19	15	0	7.50
      1957			18	57	3	1	.750	68	23	48	26	24	0	3.79
      1958	L.A. Coliseum	17	62.2	2	6	.333	53	49	55	45	39	0	5.60
      1959			16	80.1	5	2	.714	98	41	64	29	28	1	3.14
      1960			19	70	1	7	.125	71	49	63	45	41	0	5.27
      1961			21	132.1	9	8	.529	145	51	119	69	62	0	4.22
      1962	Dodger Stadium	13	102.2	7	4	.636	118	25	68	26	20	*2	1.75
      1963			17	143.2	11	1	.917	144	23	83	22	22	*6	1.38
      1964			15	127.2	12	2	.857	124	18	82	16	12	6	0.85
      1965			20	170	14	3	.824	208	31	89	32	26	*6	1.38
      1966			21	171.1	13	5	.722	160	45	124	36	29	3	1.52
      
      (55-57)	Ebbetts Field	33	99	5	3	.625	98	44	92	51	45	2	4.09
      (58-61)	L.A. Coliseum	73	345.1	17	23	.425	367	190	301	188	170	1	4.43
      (62-66)	Dodger Stadium	86	715.1	57	15	.792	754	142	446	132	109	23	1.37
       			___________________________________________________________________
      
      TOTAL HOME		192	1159.2	79	41	.658	1219	376	839	371	324	26	2.51
      
      							Road
      Year	Park		G	IP	W	L	PCT.	SO	BB	H	R	ER	ShO	ERA
      1955			5	17.2	0	2	.000	8	18	17	9	8	0	4.08
      1956			8	40.2	2	2	.500	22	18	38	18	17	0	3.76
      1957			16	47.1	2	3	.400	54	28	35	23	21	0	3.99
      1958			23	96	9	5	.643	78	56	77	44	40	0	3.75
      1959			19	73	3	4	.429	75	51	72	45	41	0	5.05
      1960			18	105	7	6	.538	126	51	70	38	35	2	3.00
      1961			21	123.1	9	5	.643	124	45	93	48	38	2	2.77
      1962			15	81.2	7	3	.700	98	32	66	35	32	0	3.53
      1963			23	167.1	14	4	.778	162	35	131	46	43	5	2.31
      1964			14	95.1	7	3	.700	99	35	72	33	31	*1	2.93
      1965			23	165.2	12	5	.706	174	40	127	58	50	2	2.72
      1966			20	151.2	14	4	.778	157	32	117	38	33	2	1.96
      
      1955-57			29	105.2	4	7	.364	84	64	90	50	46	0	3.92
      1958-61			81	397.1	28	20	.583	403	203	312	175	154	4	3.49
      1962-66			95	661.2	54	19	.740	690	174	513	210	189	10	2.57
       			___________________________________________________________________
      
      TOTAL ROAD		205	1164.2	86	46	.652	1177	441	915	435	389	14	3.01
      His famed peak of 1963-1966

      Year: Total/Home/Road
      1963: 1.88/1.38/2.31
      1964: 1.74/0.85/2.93
      1965: 2.04/1.38/2.72
      1966: 1.73/1.52/1.96

      Pedro was always a better pitcher on the road from 1997-2003
      Year: Total/Home/Road
      1997: 1.90/1.99/1.78
      1998: 2.89/2.99/2.80
      1999: 2.07/2.22/1.88
      2000: 1.74/1.84/1.66
      2001: 2.39/2.63/2.18
      2002: 2.26/2.71/1.89
      2003: 2.22/3.13/1.57

      If you put Pedro in Dodger Stadium from 1997-2003, let alone 1963-1966, his ERA would be astronomically lower.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would take Pedro Martinez easily. He was significantly better at their respective peaks and he had a longer prime. It's no question that Martinez wins career value...but even peak, Koufax's claim to fame, goes to Martinez.

        Looking at their great seasons (ERA+ > 140):

        Sandy Koufax: 190, 187, 160, 159, 141
        Pedro Martinez: 291, 243, 219, 210, 202, 189, 166, 163, 145

        Martinez has as many seasons above 200 ERA+ as Koufax has terrific seasons, total. Martinez's best season is a full 100 points of ERA+ higher than Koufax's best season. Martinez's sixth best season was as high quality as Koufax's best season.

        Now, innings does close the peak gap. Koufax did throw more innings, even when era-adjusted. WARP3 (wins above replacement level) is a measure that combines quality and innings pitched (and unlike with position players, no messy fielding to really affect things):

        WARP3 seasons above 7.0:

        Koufax: 11.9, 10.7, 10.1, 8.2, 7.5
        Martinez: 14.3, 13.1, 11.0, 10.6, 9.8, 9.3, 8.1, 7.5

        Innings makes it significantly closer, but Martinez is still way ahead, both in peak and in longer, better prime.
        "In the end it all comes down to talent. You can talk all you want about intangibles, I just don't know what that means. Talent makes winners, not intangibles. Can nice guys win? Sure, nice guys can win - if they're nice guys with a lot of talent. Nice guys with a little talent finish fourth and nice guys with no talent finish last." --Sandy Koufax

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm glad BoSox and Minstrel did my usual work for me. Good work fellas. Pedro, easily, IMO.
          Originally posted by Domenic
          The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
            I'm still torn between them, but in Martinez's favor is he did what he did in a hitter-friendly park for most of his career, did it in better offensive conditions in general than what Koufax had to deal with, and had to deal with the DH while at his best.
            True, but most of those factors are already figured into adjusted metrics like ERA+.

            Pedro also had state of the art modern surgery which allowed him to continue pitching into his 30's. His career would have been over by now had he pitched in Sandy's day. In fact, his arm would have gone dead long ago with the kind of workload 60's pitchers endured.

            His career has hung by a thread a few times now in spite of that fact that he's only 36 and he's been a 210 IP with 3 CG's a year pitcher....

            What isn't figured into adjusted metrics is the incredible disparity in workload and cumulative wear and tear between the two.

            Koufax pitched more complete games in his final two seasons than Pedro has in his 17 year career. And during those two years, he did so with an elbow that often swelled up to the size of a grapefruit between starts. He went 55-15 those two years.

            In the 65' World Series, he had 0.38 ERA in 24 innings- with 2 CG's- against by far the best offensive team in the American League. To cap it all off, he shutout the Twins in a decisive game 7, throwing a 3 hitter and striking out the final two batters.

            Comment


            • #7
              While I favor Pedro slightly, (better ERA+ and more career IP) I have come to recognize, and be persuaded by some stat analyses that ERA+ for guys pitching 300+ innings can not be straightforwardly compared to that for a guy with 200 innings primarily because the guy pitching 300 has to face the same batters 3 and 4 times a game far more often, and hitters hit MUCH better the third and fourth time they face the same pitcher.

              If you reduce Koufax '63, '65 and '66 to about 220 innings and use the linear adjustment for innings reduction used in some BBPro articles, you find that at least in those 3 years, Koufax' ERA+ would have been about 215, 186 and 184. Better, but still not as good as Pedro.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by brett View Post
                Koufax' ERA+ would have been about 215, 186 and 184. Better, but still not as good as Pedro.
                While this is all well and good, again, it doesn't take into consideration that Pedro Martinez would have been out of baseball had he been forced to endure the 1960's workloads, without today's medical advancements, which have allowed him to continue his career despite two major injuries- either or which would have probably ended his career many decades ago.

                Bottom line is- and I've researched and debated this for years- Koufax could have been about as good, pitching with Pedro's workload.

                Pedro, conversely, has proven quite fragile even in the era of the 210 IP, 3 CG per year starter. He couldn't possibly have won 97 games in his last 4 years pitching from 63' to 66'- even in an era where pitchers have never been babied more, Pedro has been anything but a workhorse.

                He could not have done what Koufax did.

                Comment


                • #9
                  And Koufax didn't do what Martinez did. It goes both ways. Sandy threw even less innings than Pedro in the beginning of their careers, and even towards the end, Koufax had 3 seasons when he threw an obscene amount of innings compared to Pedro. His 162 gm avg. is what, 3 innings more than Pedro's?

                  Age 21-26, the first 6 years they threw over 100 innings...

                  Age 21:

                  Pedro - 107 IP, 119 K, 57 BB, 147 ERA+, 1.243 WHIP
                  Koufax - 104 IP, 122 K, 51 BB, 107 ERA+, 1.284 WHIP

                  At age 22:

                  Pedro - 144 IP, 142 K, 45 BB, 125 ERA+, 1.106 WHIP
                  Koufax - 158 IP, 131 K, 105 BB, 92 ERA+, 1.494 WHIP

                  Age 23:

                  Pedro - 194 IP, 174 K, 66 BB, 123 ERA+, 1.151 WHIP
                  Koufax - 153 IP, 173 K, 92 BB, 104 ERA+, 1.487 WHIP

                  Age 24:

                  Pedro - 216 IP, 222 K, 70 BB, 117 ERA+, 1.195 WHIP
                  Koufax - 175 IP, 197 K, 100 BB, 101 ERA+, 1.331 WHIP

                  Age 25:

                  Pedro - 241 IP, 305 K, 67 BB, 219 ERA+, 0.932 WHIP
                  Koufax - 255 IP, 269 K, 96 BB, 123 ERA+, 1.205 WHIP

                  Age 26:

                  Pedro - 233 IP, 251 K, 61 BB, 163 ERA+, 1.091 WHIP
                  Koufax - 184 IP, 216 K, 57 BB, 141 ERA+, 1.036
                  Last edited by Westlake; 04-11-2008, 11:00 AM.
                  Originally posted by Domenic
                  The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    pedro easily

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'll take Dandy Sandy over (Insert Rhyme Here) Pedro any day.
                      “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

                      "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is ground we've gone over several times, but a discussion I also have strong feelings about. In some ways it's like comparing apples and oranges - two great pitchers working in very different circumstances. Pedro benefited from the 5-man rotation, modern bullpen usage, and modern conditioning and medicine, while Koufax benefited from the raised mound and Dodger Stadium.

                        If I had to pick one though, I'd probably take Koufax just because he would contribute more to my team. Even taking era into consideration, Pedro was never much of a workhorse, and thus left a lot of innings and potential wins out there in the hands of lesser pitchers. I've said many times before when you're getting into very high ERA+, the difference is really in aesthetics rather than in effecting game outcomes. If you have a 190 ERA+ or a 250 ERA+, either way, the guy is dominating to an extreme level, giving the opposition very little, and giving his team a great chance to win. So of the two, if one can is a workhorse and one isn't, I'll take the workhorse, because if one can give substantially more innings than the other, he has more value in contributing more.

                        Pedro also suffers from the fact, as csh points out, that I have my doubts how well he would have pitched if he and Koufax were switched. Pedro no doubt would have been amazing with the raised mound, but given that his arm has barely held up with the much lighter workloads of the recent times, and with better conditioning and medicine, I don't think he would have held up even as long as Koufax did. On the flipside, dump Koufax into the 90s with a much lighter workload and modern conditioning and medicine to help his arm, I believe he would have been dominant and had a longer career (as Pedro's been able to have), while also still being more of a workhorse than Pedro (who again, was not much of a workhorse in his own era).

                        This all being said, I do have Pedro about 5 spots ahead of Koufax in my pitcher rankings. This is because he has had the longer career, the previous paragraph is all just a hypothetical, and aesthetics do count for something in the rankings. That being said again, I believe Koufax to have been more valuable at peak because he was a workhorse in the context of his era, contributing more to winning, whereas Pedro was not much of a workhorse in the context of his era, and that is a pretty significant slight when talking about all time aces, IMO.
                        Last edited by DoubleX; 04-11-2008, 04:26 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
                          and had to deal with the DH while at his best.
                          Double meaning, of course - Sandy had to swing the bat and Pedro didn't through his banner years. When considering the fact that Sandy wasn't much of a hitter, the decision to throw in a pinch hitter was on the mind of Walt Alston. Of course, for Pedro, it wouldn't have mattered either way since he rarely completed games during his peak years in Boston (Koufax was a better hitter than Pedro .097 to .094)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Iron Jaw View Post
                            Double meaning, of course - Sandy had to swing the bat and Pedro didn't through his banner years. When considering the fact that Sandy wasn't much of a hitter, the decision to throw in a pinch hitter was on the mind of Walt Alston. Of course, for Pedro, it wouldn't have mattered either way since he rarely completed games during his peak years in Boston (Koufax was a better hitter than Pedro .097 to .094)
                            Having to bat might be a relevant point to this discussion. Pedro often relied on intimidation, particularly when his stuff wasn't great. Would he have been more careful if he knew he might face direct retaliation?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DoubleX View Post
                              Having to bat might be a relevant point to this discussion. Pedro often relied on intimidation, particularly when his stuff wasn't great. Would he have been more careful if he knew he might face direct retaliation?
                              He averaged something like 2 HBP more per year in the AL than in the NL. A difference of two HBP over the course of a season? Nah -- splitting hairs.
                              Originally posted by Domenic
                              The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

                              Comment

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