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Greatest Pitching Season Ever

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  • pheasant
    replied
    Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
    He wasn't a freak physically. He was actually very fragile, and the scouts, pitching coaches, and managers knew this from the time he was in the minors. He was almost always treated with kid gloves as a result. This is a guy who was VERY small for a pitcher and had to throw all out (max pressure on the shoulder and elbow) throughout his career. He finished in the top 5 in IP ONCE in 18 seasons.

    As far as Maddux, his run was at least as great as Pedro's 1999-2000. Maddux had already accomplished himself as the premier workhorse in baseball by the time the strike rolled around, leading the league in IP three years running (263, 268, 267). He won the Cy Young two of those years. He finished in the top 5 in IP every single season from 1988-1996.

    Maddux had about 8 or 9 workhorse seasons, Pedro had one (1997).

    And you bring up 94'-95'....you have the two years' running Cy Young winner lose 10-12 starts in 94', when they played only 114 games. Ironically, because the season was truncated, he put up Pedro like (truncated) numbers, 271 ERA+, 16-6 (poor run support), but unlike Pedro in his best seasons, he led the league in CG AND shutouts. He almost doubled the CG's of the #2 pitcher (Drabek). He did all this in 25 starts.

    The next year he goes 19-2 with a 261 ERA+ and loses 7-8 starts. Again, leads the league with the same # of shutouts, CG's, and nearly the same number of innings. Braves only play 144 games.

    What would those two years look like had they played 162 games, and had Maddux been given his 35-37 starts and 260+ IP? His two years stand up to Pedro's 1999-2000. Easily.
    Stats-wise, I agree. But I believe that the huge layoff affected several of the games' best players in 1995, which allowed some players to really separate from the pack. I also believe that the AL was much stronger than the NL, particularly when your arch-rivals were an All Star team that was the greatest team assembled in MLB history. Look at how R Johnson carved up the NL during his mid to late 30s. Throw Maddux in Fenway against the DH and the Yankees and his stats and IP go down. Maddux over his career allowed AL teams to put up a .280 Avg against him. RJ's stint in the NL allowed him to accumulate more pitching WAR than Maddux, despite fewer IP. I put Maddux down as the the 2nd best pitcher all time behind RJ and 2nd best peak all time behind Pedro.
    Last edited by pheasant; 06-29-2014, 03:39 PM.

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    Originally posted by pheasant View Post
    This guy was a freak. He is one guy that made great hitters look absolutely stupid. Take any pitcher in history and he won't rack up much more than 200 innings under those impossible conditions. And this was not accomplished during the strike seasons of 1994 and 1995, seasons in which several players put up career highs.
    He wasn't a freak physically. He was actually very fragile, and the scouts, pitching coaches, and managers knew this from the time he was in the minors. He was almost always treated with kid gloves as a result. This is a guy who was VERY small for a pitcher and had to throw all out (max pressure on the shoulder and elbow) throughout his career. He finished in the top 5 in IP ONCE in 18 seasons.

    As far as Maddux, his run was at least as great as Pedro's 1999-2000. Maddux had already accomplished himself as the premier workhorse in baseball by the time the strike rolled around, leading the league in IP three years running (263, 268, 267). He won the Cy Young two of those years. He finished in the top 5 in IP every single season from 1988-1996.

    Maddux had about 8 or 9 workhorse seasons, Pedro had one (1997).

    And you bring up 94'-95'....you have the two years' running Cy Young winner lose 10-12 starts in 94', when they played only 114 games. Ironically, because the season was truncated, he put up Pedro like (truncated) numbers, 271 ERA+, 16-6 (poor run support), but unlike Pedro in his best seasons, he led the league in CG AND shutouts. He almost doubled the CG's of the #2 pitcher (Drabek). He did all this in 25 starts.

    The next year he goes 19-2 with a 261 ERA+ and loses 7-8 starts. Again, leads the league with the same # of shutouts, CG's, and nearly the same number of innings. Braves only play 144 games.

    What would those two years look like had they played 162 games, and had Maddux been given his 35-37 starts and 260+ IP? His two years stand up to Pedro's 1999-2000. Easily.
    Last edited by csh19792001; 06-29-2014, 12:59 PM.

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  • Herr28
    replied
    Since the poll is closed, and probably has been for some time, I will post my vote for King Carl Hubbell in 1933. Hubbell was the NL MVP that year and led the Senior Circuit in:

    WAR - 8.9
    pWAR - 8.8
    ERA- 1.66
    Wins - 23
    WHIP - 0.982
    IP - 308.2
    SHO - 10
    K/BB - 3.319
    ERA+ - 193
    FIP - 2.53
    Adj. Pitch. Runs - 55
    Adj. Pitch. Wins - 6.3

    One of his shutouts that year was a 1-0, 18-inning whitewash of the Cardinals in the Polo Grounds, part of a bad-weather doubleheader (both ends 1-0 Giants' victories) with superb pitching all around, that Bill Terry called the greatest two games he had managed/played in his career.

    Here is Carl Hubbell's line for 1933:

    23-12 (.657), 1.66 ERA, 45 G, 33 GS, 22 CG, 11 GF, 10 SHO, 5 SV, 308.2 IP, 256 H, 57 ER, 6 HR, 47 BB, 156 K, 193 ERA+, 0.982 WHIP, 7.5 H/9, 0.2 HR/9, 1.4 BB/9, 6.3 WAA

    And here is a quote from Dizzy Dean on Carl Hubbell's pitching, when they were both seen as the NL's top pitcher in 1937 (from Diz, by Robert Gregory, page 94):

    "There will never be another pitcher like Carl Hubbell. He's a right to all the credit he can get. I don't wanna take nothin' away from the ol'-timers, but it gives me a big laugh when their records are talked about in the same breath with his. I'd like to see them fellas work with this here rabbit they call a ball." -- Dizzy Dean, 1937.

    King Carl ruled the extreme hitter-friendly late 20s through the 1930s (1928-1943). He put up this great season in the midst of that era, not in the Deadball years like so many on this list, nor did he do it with the offense-starved 1960s advantages.

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  • Herr28
    replied
    Originally posted by pheasant View Post
    Well put, Willshad. I agree with all of it. I have Pedro's 2000 season crushing every other season except one, which Pedro's 1999 season. That 1999 season is a close 2nd.
    I hope too tall Mike Smithson is on that list somewhere. He was a favorite of mine from "way back" in the day!

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  • pheasant
    replied
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    What cements the deal for Pedro, for me anyway, is the fact that his ERA in 2000 was nearly TWO RUNS better than the second place finisher. This might not be that impressive, if here weren't any other good pitchers in the league at that time..but the second and third place finishers happened to be two guys named Clemens and Mussina. He wasn't just head and shoulders above two HOFers, but he was head, shoulders, chest, and torso above them.
    Well put, Willshad. I agree with all of it. I have Pedro's 2000 season crushing every other season except one, which Pedro's 1999 season. That 1999 season is a close 2nd.

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  • Herr28
    replied
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    What cements the deal for Pedro, for me anyway, is the fact that his ERA in 2000 was nearly TWO RUNS better than the second place finisher. This might not be that impressive, if here weren't any other good pitchers in the league at that time..but the second and third place finishers happened to be two guys named Clemens and Mussina. He wasn't just head and shoulders above two HOFers, but he was head, shoulders, chest, and torso above them.
    This is a great point, and one that always boggled my mind. He was so damn good, above and beyond the competition, in his best years. I remember a guy over in Germany, some loudmouth Yankee fan (surprising, I know...), saying that Pedro wouldn't be anywhere near as good as his last season with the Expos when he had the sub-2.00 ERA and 300+ Ks. Whatever...
    Last edited by Herr28; 06-14-2014, 05:48 AM.

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  • willshad
    replied
    What cements the deal for Pedro, for me anyway, is the fact that his ERA in 2000 was nearly TWO RUNS better than the second place finisher. This might not be that impressive, if here weren't any other good pitchers in the league at that time..but the second and third place finishers happened to be two guys named Clemens and Mussina. He wasn't just head and shoulders above two HOFers, but he was head, shoulders, chest, and torso above them.

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  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by brett View Post
    We are talking about 125 home runs per team versus 190 per team, and you can push that to 110 and 220 with their parks. It wasn't that there weren't sluggers in the 3-4 spots, but that there was very little in the 5-8 spots. I'd like to see what #5 hitters did during Koufax' career throughout the NL. We think of #5s as being maybe 1 step down from a cleanup guy, but Koufax got hit ultra minimally from the 5 spot down. Oh and #1 and #2 guys hit like crap too during that period. It was a put the ball in play and run philosophy. If you got past #3 and #4 with most teams, you were pretty safe all the way through #2 again.
    That's spot on and one effect has another effect. It's a tidal wave. We see all these arm injuries because 100% of the time, pitchers are throwing with 100% max effort.

    For years I've been saying this and perhaps one day it will sink in with..well....nobody but that's ok.

    Expand the fields. Raise the strike zone. Create an environment that does not reward a single approach by all. Make it so the true boppers can thrive but others NEED TO FULFILL THEIR RIGHTFUL ROLES.

    People don't realize what lengthening the fields would do. Speed would matter more. Setting the table would become important. Taking more risks on the bases would pay off more. Pitchers wouldn't need to go all out against #2 or #8 hitters. In a pinch, sure, but in general, not so much.

    Hasn't the off-balance, opposite field dinger gotten old to anyone but myself? It's garbage. Baseball needs to become BASEball once again.

    Ok done rambling. Gonna go search for a well executed hit and run or a drag bunt on YouTube. Doubt I'll find one.
    Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 06-13-2014, 08:45 PM.

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  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by Herr28 View Post
    I had an old History of Basebll VHS tape that said the "class of the '60s" accounted for more home runs than any other decade. The tape was made right after the 1986 World Series, so the 80s were just over half finished, and obviously the ridiculous nonsense of the 1990s had yet to be imagined. I always thought it was strange that all those sluggers and home runs being hit in the 1960s were also sometimes referred to by the nickname of the "second deadball era."

    That is adding the totals homers hit by both the big bashers in the NL like you mentioned, along with all the slugging being done in the Junior Circuit by guys like Mantle, Maris, Killebrew, Robinson, Conigliaro, Yastrzemski, Powell, etc etc etc.
    We are talking about 125 home runs per team versus 190 per team, and you can push that to 110 and 220 with their parks. It wasn't that there weren't sluggers in the 3-4 spots, but that there was very little in the 5-8 spots. I'd like to see what #5 hitters did during Koufax' career throughout the NL. We think of #5s as being maybe 1 step down from a cleanup guy, but Koufax got hit ultra minimally from the 5 spot down. Oh and #1 and #2 guys hit like crap too during that period. It was a put the ball in play and run philosophy. If you got past #3 and #4 with most teams, you were pretty safe all the way through #2 again.

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  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by BigRon View Post
    I dunno, Brett. Yes, there's no doubt that offenses were depressed then, though they got even worse AFTER Koufax retired. But, there were a lot of elite hitters with power playing in the NL at that time. Off the top of my head: Mays, Aaron, FRobinson, McCovey, Cepeda, BWilliams, SAnto, Stargell, KBoyer, Allen ,Callison, Stargell, JRHart, Clemente..... None of these guys was playing small ball.
    When the entire league is averaging under 4 runs a game, and even lower given your home park, you end up facing fewer batters and throwing fewer pitches. Koufax league for the last 4 years, and in his park was putting up about 3.6 runs per game. Pedro's opposition is estimated to have been worth 5.7 runs a game given his park. That is about 2 more pitches per inning all else being equal. Also, I just think that there were lineups where you might get to the 6-9 spots and not really have to bear down because there wasn't much to hurt you with one swing down there. When Pedro played, adjusted for his park the average lineup spot was putting up 21 home runs given his park half time.


    Koufax also got a couple of expansion teams too. He also benefitted from the fact that the league was getting thrown out at 40%+ on steals on the whole. Teams literally ran to negative run creation.

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  • Herr28
    replied
    Originally posted by BigRon View Post
    I dunno, Brett. Yes, there's no doubt that offenses were depressed then, though they got even worse AFTER Koufax retired. But, there were a lot of elite hitters with power playing in the NL at that time. Off the top of my head: Mays, Aaron, FRobinson, McCovey, Cepeda, BWilliams, SAnto, Stargell, KBoyer, Allen ,Callison, Stargell, JRHart, Clemente..... None of these guys was playing small ball.
    I had an old History of Basebll VHS tape that said the "class of the '60s" accounted for more home runs than any other decade. The tape was made right after the 1986 World Series, so the 80s were just over half finished, and obviously the ridiculous nonsense of the 1990s had yet to be imagined. I always thought it was strange that all those sluggers and home runs being hit in the 1960s were also sometimes referred to by the nickname of the "second deadball era."

    That is adding the totals homers hit by both the big bashers in the NL like you mentioned, along with all the slugging being done in the Junior Circuit by guys like Mantle, Maris, Killebrew, Robinson, Conigliaro, Yastrzemski, Powell, etc etc etc.

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  • BigRon
    replied
    Originally posted by brett View Post
    Koufax '66 is elite, though there was a small ball approach that let pitchers rack up more innings back then.
    I dunno, Brett. Yes, there's no doubt that offenses were depressed then, though they got even worse AFTER Koufax retired. But, there were a lot of elite hitters with power playing in the NL at that time. Off the top of my head: Mays, Aaron, FRobinson, McCovey, Cepeda, BWilliams, SAnto, Stargell, KBoyer, Allen ,Callison, Stargell, JRHart, Clemente..... None of these guys was playing small ball.

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  • Herr28
    replied
    Originally posted by brett View Post
    See that's another LQ sign. The league had just not filled up with guys who were the best for pitching in the live ball game, and so they were willing to overload a guy who could handle them. At the same time though his ERA is going up against a large remnant of deadball pitchers trying to last with the live ball, or guys who came grew up with the dead ball.
    What do you think about comparing the best pitching seasons from the pitcher's era(s) to those put up in times where offense dominated? Sure, there would be the old timers still adjusting in the 1920s to the new slugging game, but by the 1930s many of those guys would have grown up in a game where guys where trying to hit home runs and/or slug the ball each time up. There were also a ton of guys still only swinging for contact, too, keeping strikeouts real low it seems. I find it hard to believe that the best pitchers of that time couldn't stand up against the best pitchers in eras that favored pitching. Perhaps there are too many different factors that it is too difficult to get a by-the-numbers guesstimate in able to compare the best of the 20s and 30s to the guys who were able to dominate before then or in the 60s, 70s, or 80s (just for example)?

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  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by Herr28 View Post
    I hear you, just needed to get a little grief in there when I saw the open door.

    Still, my gripes about the fine pitchers of the high offense 20s and 30s still stands. And really, the only reason Dean was hitting 300 innings back then was his overuse as the Gas House Gang's ace reliever as well as star pitcher. However, I guess it can be argued that he had to pitch both as a starter and reliever due to that ridiculous offense raging back then, a

    See that's another LQ sign. The league had just not filled up with guys who were the best for pitching in the live ball game, and so they were willing to overload a guy who could handle them. At the same time though his ERA is going up against a large remnant of deadball pitchers trying to last with the live ball, or guys who came grew up with the dead ball.

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  • Herr28
    replied
    Originally posted by brett View Post
    My point is that innings did not just gradually come down over the years from 350+ league leaders to low 200s today. They are more dependent on the offensive levels. With the live ball, typical league leaders dropped from the 340-380 range down to the 280-325 range. They stayed low or even got lower in the 50s and 60s up until about 1962.
    I hear you, just needed to get a little grief in there when I saw the open door.

    Still, my gripes about the fine pitchers of the high offense 20s and 30s still stands. And really, the only reason Dean was hitting 300 innings back then was his overuse as the Gas House Gang's ace reliever as well as star pitcher. However, I guess it can be argued that he had to pitch both as a starter and reliever due to that ridiculous offense raging back then, and the ineffectiveness of tossing in washed up veterans (Pop Haines and Dazzy Vance) or never-has-beens (former starters who couldn't hack it) called for a manager to overuse the guys he had to pitch effectively in that era.

    Not trying to dispute what you are saying, just using it as an excuse to make a pitch for my old timey hurlers.

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