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5 Best left-handed pitchers of all time?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Pghfan987
    That being said, this opinion of yours is wrong. Out of top five I might be able to buy (I have him at #2), but out of Top 20? No way.

    Mark
    Mark,
    Grove's an alltime great, but #2 is just way too high. No way in hell does he belong ahead of Cy Young. He probably doesn't belong ahead of Clemens, and obviously not Walter Johnson either. Taken into consideration what I just posted, I don't think he belongs ahead of Pete Alexander, either.

    Comment


    • #47
      Lefty Grove
      Steve Carlton
      Randy Johnson
      Warren Spahn
      Sandy Koufax (with Whitey Ford very close to Koufax)

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by csh19792001
        Mark,
        Grove's an alltime great, but #2 is just way too high. No way in hell does he belong ahead of Cy Young. He probably doesn't belong ahead of Clemens, and obviously not Walter Johnson either. Taken into consideration what I just posted, I don't think he belongs ahead of Pete Alexander, either.
        But as an all-time lefty?
        Last Player to hit for the Cycle: Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres (August 14, 2015)

        Last Pitcher to throw a Regular Season No-Hitter: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals 2-0 (October 3, 2015)

        Last Pitcher to throw a Postseason No-Hitter: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 (October 6, 2010)

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Dodgerfan66
          easy

          1. he has a relatively high career era for a "all time great" at 3.06
          You do relize the 20s and 30s were insane offensive eras, right? About as bad today, with less homeruns and more contact.

          ]2. he was never dominant only topping 200k's once.
          He lead the league in strikeouts for 7 straight years. The reason why his k totals seem "low" is because noone struck out back then.

          3. his WHIP isnt any thing to marvel at..actually pretty mediocre
          4. similar to reason 3 he gave up alot of hits.
          Fair enough.

          5. never led his league in IP and never threw 300 innings.
          So what if he never threw 300 innings. By the time he came around, 300 innings no longer became the normal.

          6. he won so many era titles due to a lack of competition.
          7. he was sat down against the best teams of his era and teams he had problems facing therfore making his '28 to '31 run more impressive than it was.
          Also fair.

          8. hung on too long to get 300 wins and then immediately retired
          Grove was a pretty good pitcher well into his 30s. He only crapped out in his final year. Yeah, he wasn't that healthy but then again neither was Koufax.

          9. he pitched in a weak era
          This can be said about ANY pre-war player.

          10. he was a a-hole
          So what? This isn't a personality contest, its who the best pitcher is.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Naliamegod

            So what? This isn't a personality contest, its who the best pitcher is.
            Please read posts 44 and 45 on this thread.

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            • #51
              Lefty Grove
              Rhandy Johnson
              Warren Sphan
              Whitey Ford
              Sandy Koufax
              Ball game over. World Series over! Yankees win thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Yankees win!

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              • #52
                Originally posted by csh19792001
                Mark,
                Grove's an alltime great, but #2 is just way too high. No way in hell does he belong ahead of Cy Young. He probably doesn't belong ahead of Clemens, and obviously not Walter Johnson either. Taken into consideration what I just posted, I don't think he belongs ahead of Pete Alexander, either.

                So who's your all-time #1 lefty? I agree that Grove is overrated - though I disagree with you that he is more overrated than Koufax - but is it enough to dislodge him from #1 in the lefty spot? Grove's case isn't built entirely on his peak value (which admittedly was helped by his usage patterns), and the second half of his career was almost as good as the first half - and he got his revenge on the Yankees in his second half.

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                • #53
                  1. Spahn
                  2. Carlton
                  3. Grove
                  4. Koufax
                  5. Johnson

                  Honorable Mention:
                  Plank
                  Glavine
                  Waddell
                  Ford
                  Hubbell
                  "There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.
                  ~~Al Gallagher


                  God Bless America!

                  Click here to see my baseball tribute site!

                  Click here to see the best pitcher NOT in the HOF!

                  sigpic

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Metal Ed
                    So who's your all-time #1 lefty?
                    Possibly Randy Johnson. Spahn and Carlton have a case, too. People were talking about guys being overrated (particularly lefties), so the facts about Grove's peak need to be brought to the forefront of the discussion.

                    Even if he isn't moved any slots, it doesn't change the facts of the matter. Also, I didn't say one was more overrated than the other.
                    Last edited by csh19792001; 04-17-2006, 09:36 AM.

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                    • #55
                      I have also entertained the idea of Randy Johnson as the #1 lefty, as he was my number #2 guy after Grove, and I might have to remove Grove from #1.

                      Problem with Randy is that his career IP is a little low compared to Spahn and Carlton, and it's not because Randy wasn't a workhorse. He just took a really long time to get good, and was in and out of a job as a major league starter for several years.

                      The other thing with Randy is that his career would have ended prematurely had he not had the benefit of modern medicine to fix up his balky back. If we take away the years that science has given him, he looks a lot like Koufax - a few years of frustrated mediocrity, a few years of brilliance, a chronic injury, and an early exit. I'd still give the comparison to Johnson, because the extra inches of mound are built into his freakin' legs (can you imagine a 6'10", 100-mph guy with the mounds/strike zones of 60's??), but #1 lefty of all-time? Difficult to say.

                      Then there's Spahn, who was like clockwork but never dominating. Carlton, who had the best single season of any lefty AND had the longevity, but was also a bit consistent....

                      Hmmm. Maybe it's Carlton in the end?

                      Edit: Scratch that - Carlton's career was just too up and down, and he had too many seasons where he walked too many guys. Ranking lefties is hard.
                      Last edited by Metal Ed; 04-17-2006, 12:02 PM.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Metal Ed
                        Hmmm. Maybe it's Carlton in the end?
                        I think that's a very good pick. Played in what was probably the strongest era in baseball history, was a true workhorse (i.e., not in the deadball pitcher sense of the word), had arguably the best season by any pitcher in history, and if his agent hadn't royally screwed him over, he wouldn't have had to pitch after 1984, and his rate stats would have been even better.

                        The average guy Carlton was facing was almost certainly bigger, faster, stronger, and better trained than the average guy Grove was facing (perhaps significantly more so).

                        Then you have Spahn, who I think you're selling short. Despite missing over 3 years to WWII- and as a result not winning a ML game until he was 25 years old- he still managed to win 363 games. He won 20 games thirteen times, and went 23-7 at the age of 42. He was also a workhorse more than most of the deadball pitchers (who on paper look tougher).

                        Spahn was also playing the better of the two leagues in his time- the NL was far faster to integrate than the AL- and Spahn proved that (even into his 40's and against a deep, diverse talent pool), he was still outstanding.

                        Considerations/Records:
                        --Spahn led in complete games NINE times, the next closest are Alexander and Walter Johnson, deadballers, with six.

                        --Spahn led in wins eight times- Alexander, Feller, and Johnson are second with six times leading the league.

                        PS: Spahn was awarded a Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his valiant service in WWII. He saw action at the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded in combat at the Ludendorff Bridge (the famous bridge at Remagen) as a combat engineer. For his valor he was awarded a battlefield commission. He was the only major league player who earned a commission of this sort.

                        He would have quite easily reached 400 wins- and could have even possibly challenged Walter Johnson's career win total if not for WWII.

                        And Ed, you said you admire pitchers who are able to reinvent themselves- when Spahn was one of the most crafty, cerebral pitchers in modern times. When his fastball began to lose its zip in the mid 50's, he developed a nasty slider and a screwball (the hardest pitch on the elbow, incidentally). That gave him a sort of "second career". He was never overpowering, but got guys out with guile and pitching erudition.

                        "After what I went through overseas, I never thought of anything I was told to do in baseball as hard work. You get over feeling like that when you spend days on end sleeping in frozen tank tracks in enemy threatened territory. The Army taught me something about challenges and about what's important and what isn't. Everything I tackle in baseball and in life I take as a challenge rather than work." -Warren Spahn

                        Here's a nice article on Spahn, also:

                        http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/004071.php

                        Spahn led the NL in victories eight times. His 63 career shutouts are the most by a left-hander. He threw an NL-record 5,246 innings, pitching every fourth day in a four-man rotation. His first no-hitter came at the age of 39, a 4-0 victory over Philadelphia on Sept. 16, 1960. The following April, five starts later, Spahn no-hit San Francisco, 1-0.

                        But his most remarkable start may have come in 1963, when Spahn, 43, dueled the Giants' Juan Marichal for 15 scoreless innings. In the 16th, on his 201st pitch that night, Spahn hung a screwball to Willie Mays, whose homer won it 1-0.

                        "It became rhythmic that one out followed another," Spahn recalled. "I thought I had to get ahead of Mays and I hung that screwball. Afterward, I was beat. Oh, man. Gangrene set in after I got in the clubhouse. Marichal was 25, and said the only reason he stayed in was he didn't want an old guy to beat him.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          It should also be pointed out that Grove pitched in the International League for the Orioles from 1920 to 1924 where he had a record of 109-36 and led the league in strikeouts every year. His overall professional pitching record is 409-177.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by bigtrain
                            It should also be pointed out that Grove pitched in the International League for the Orioles from 1920 to 1924 where he had a record of 109-36 and led the league in strikeouts every year. His overall professional pitching record is 409-177.
                            I don't see that as germane to comparing alltime greats, though, unless we're going to add in minor league/other professional baseball experience for all of them.

                            Should we be counting Tony Lazzeri's 60 HR, 220 RBI season for Salt Lake of the PCL in 1925? Dimaggio dominated that league, putting up monster seasons from 33'-35' there for the Seals (.398, 34 homers, 154RBI) in 1935. The PCL typically played 200 games a year.

                            So if we're going to include non Major League stats for Grove, we'd have to do it for everyone else, too.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by bigtrain
                              It should also be pointed out that Grove pitched in the International League for the Orioles from 1920 to 1924 where he had a record of 109-36 and led the league in strikeouts every year. His overall professional pitching record is 409-177.

                              I once reviewed Grove's record - game by game - at Baltimore. For the most part he was never the team's ace and sometimes he wasn't even the second best pitcher. His control was horrible and several times walked double digit batters in a game. He piled up his wins against the lower ranked International League teams and was basically a .500 pitcher against the teams that were above .500 in the International League standings. He had trouble completing games and one had to be removed from a no-hitter in which he walked nine batters in 5 innings. He was really only the undisputed ace of the staff in 1924. None of the other big winners for Baltimore are/were household names.

                              Baltimore pitching staff:

                              1920 (Grove only partial season). Baltimore 110-43

                              John Ogden 27-9 (led lg in wins)
                              Harry Frank 25-12
                              Jack Bentley 16-3
                              Grove 12-2
                              Rudolph Kneisch 11-4

                              1921 team 119-47

                              John Ogden 31-8 (led lg in wins)
                              Grove 25-10 (.714 winning percentage for team that was .717)
                              Al Thomas 24-10

                              1922 team (115-52)

                              Ogden 24-10 (leg leg in wins)
                              Harry Frank 22-9
                              Grove 18-8 (.692 winning percentage for team that was .689) Led league with 179 walks in 303 innings
                              Al Thomas 18-9
                              Jim Parnham 16-10

                              I do believe that the rest of the staff each had at least 20 CGs while Grove had about 11. His ERA was best on the team by a wide margin but he walked 152 batters in 209 innings. Led lg in walks.

                              1923 (team 115-53 for .677 winning percentage)

                              Jim Parnham 33-7 (led league in wins)
                              Grove 27-10 (led league with 330 K's and 186 walks in 303 innings
                              Ogden 17-12
                              Al Thomas 15-12

                              1924 (Team 117-48)

                              Grove 26-6 (led league in wins and K's (231). Walked 108 in 236 innings.
                              Ogden 19-6
                              Cliff Jackson 16-8
                              Al Thomas 16-11
                              Ed Tomlin 11-2

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by WJackman
                                I once reviewed Grove's record - game by game - at Baltimore.
                                As always, you've failed to do your research and have resorted to the typical vacuous stat mongering we see here, WJackman.

                                Comment

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