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  #1  
Old 06-09-2018, 05:19 PM
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Default Best Season ever by a ML pitcher?

I saw a couple of Greg Maddux beauties with Atlanta, and I'm a tad bias because of T206s, but my vote goes to Jack Chesbro in 1904. He was 41-12 with a 1.74 ERA. He pitched an incredible 455 Innings with 48 complete games. He also only allowed 4 HR's for the entire season.....

Last edited by CMIZ5290; 06-09-2018 at 05:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2018, 05:51 PM
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Walter Johnson in 1913. 36-7 1.14 ERA 11 shutouts ERA+ 259 WHIP .78.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
Walter Johnson in 1913. 36-7 1.14 ERA 11 shutouts ERA+ 259 WHIP .78.
How does that mind-boggling season compare with Gibson's 1.12 or the season Pedro was something like 2 runs better than the next guy in ERA?
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:01 PM
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How does that mind-boggling season compare with Gibson's 1.12 or the season Pedro was something like 2 runs better than the next guy in ERA?
Gibson was 22-9 with 13 shutouts and .853 WHIP. Pedro only started 29 games and pitched less than 220 innings. Johnson pitched 346 innings and won 7 more games than Pedro pitched. Pedro isn't in the discussion with guys that pitched 50%+ more innings.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:41 PM
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The average starting pitcher in 68 had a sub 3.00 ERA, and the mound was lowered the next year and pitchers hit. I think I would take Pedro.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:01 PM
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The assertion that half the hitters of the deadball era hit .300 is not correct. For example, during the great Ed Walsh season of 1908, there were only three .300 hitters in the American League - Cobb, Crawford and Gessler. People see the great batting averages of players like Cobb and Wagner, and assume there were lots of players in their day who had high averages. Not true. It is a testament to their greatness that they outhit the league average by a wide margin season after season. Some of the lowest league averages in baseball history occurred during the deadball era. Hard as this may be to believe, we tend to underestimate the greatness of Cobb and Wagner, and Speaker and Lajoie as well.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
Gibson was 22-9 with 13 shutouts and .853 WHIP. Pedro only started 29 games and pitched less than 220 innings. Johnson pitched 346 innings and won 7 more games than Pedro pitched. Pedro isn't in the discussion with guys that pitched 50%+ more innings.
I believe Gibson had a stretch in 1968 whete he gave up only 2 earned runs in 98 innings. That’s absolutely unfathomable!!!!

Last edited by Vintageclout; 06-09-2018 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:06 PM
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I believe Gibson had a stretch in 1968 whete he gave up only 2 earned runs in 98 innings. That’s absolutely unfathomable!!!!
And knowing how Gibson was, he was probably pissed off that he allowed those.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:18 PM
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I believe Gibson had a stretch in 1968 whete he gave up only 2 earned runs in 98 innings. That’s absolutely unfathomable!!!!
Those 2 runs were scored on a wild pitch that was catchable and a bloop double. In addition to 13 shutouts, Gibson pitched 11 games where he allowed only 1 run including 2 where the run was unearned.

For the live ball era, I would take Koufax's 1965 season when you factor in his World Series MVP performance.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:09 PM
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Default Great Pitcher Stats

Piggybacking off of my last post, Pedro Martinez pitched 18 years and averaged only 157+ innings pitched per season. During his sensational 5-year stretch he had one 241 inning season (his most ever), one 230 inning year and 3 seasons with less than 220 innings. Minimal workload for sure for a team’s ace in the A.L. where there is no pinch hitting for a pitcher. Once again, Pedro was a truly spectacular pitcher but I’ll take the “other” spectacular pitcher who either gets me thru 8 innings or completes what he starts. A MAJOR difference between the two.

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  #11  
Old 06-09-2018, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
Walter Johnson in 1913. 36-7 1.14 ERA 11 shutouts ERA+ 259 WHIP .78.
+1. Best season ever. My second choice would be Maddux in 1995 or Gooden in 1985.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:07 PM
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Ron Guidry 1978 in the discussion
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2018, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMIZ5290 View Post
I saw a couple of Greg Maddux beauties with Atlanta, and I'm a tad bias because of T206s, but my vote goes to Jack Chesbro in 1904. He was 41-12 with a 1.74 ERA. He pitched an incredible 455 Innings with 48 complete games. He also only allowed 4 HR's for the entire season.....
Definitely hard to top that.
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2018, 06:19 PM
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Pedro Martinez in 1999 and 2000, during the height of the steroid era.

When guys like Richard Hildago and Brett Boone were putting up Mike Trout like offensive stats, 150 lb Pedro dominated them all.

Last edited by A2000; 06-09-2018 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:23 PM
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Steve Carlton's 1972 season is also always in the running when this topic comes up -- 27 wins on a team that won only 59 games.
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  #16  
Old 06-10-2018, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
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Pedro Martinez in 1999 and 2000, during the height of the steroid era.

When guys like Richard Hildago and Brett Boone were putting up Mike Trout like offensive stats, 150 lb Pedro dominated them all.
I was going to say Pedro as well. Lights out and even in the toughest division during the era
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  #17  
Old 06-10-2018, 02:14 PM
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Pedro in 2000 would be my pick as well. His impressive stats have already been mentioned, but the one that sticks out the most to me is that Clemens finished second in ERA that year, with an average more than twice as high as Pedro's.
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  #18  
Old 06-10-2018, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2000 View Post
Pedro Martinez in 1999 and 2000, during the height of the steroid era.

When guys like Richard Hildago and Brett Boone were putting up Mike Trout like offensive stats, 150 lb Pedro dominated them all.
Without a doubt, I remember I HAD to watch when he was pitching..
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  #19  
Old 06-10-2018, 07:43 PM
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Another vote for Guidry in 78 but Gooden in 85 was very close if not better. WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHO YOU THINK HAD THE BETTER SEASON OF THE TWO.

Guidry

25-3
1.74 era
9 shutouts
16 complete games
248 strikeouts
Began the season with a streak of 13 games won in a row.
On 4 occasions he pitched 3 complete games in a row.
On 4 occasions he had 2 shutouts in a row.
In all but 1 start he pitched 6 innings or more.

1-0 in alcs 1 earned run in 8 innings
1-0 in w.s. 1 earned run in 9 innings.



Gooden

24-4
1.53 era
8 shutouts
16 complete games
268 strikeouts
A streak of 14 games won in a row.
In all but 1 start he pitched 6 innings or more.


Both pretty impressive.

Last edited by iwantitiwinit; 06-11-2018 at 05:59 AM.
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  #20  
Old 06-11-2018, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwantitiwinit View Post
Another vote for Guidry in 78 but Gooden in 85 was very close if not better. WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHO YOU THINK HAD THE BETTER SEASON OF THE TWO.

Guidry

25-3
1.74 era
9 shutouts
16 complete games
248 strikeouts
Began the season with a streak of 13 games won in a row.
On 4 occasions he pitched 3 complete games in a row.
On 4 occasions he had 2 shutouts in a row.
In all but 1 start he pitched 6 innings or more.

1-0 in alcs 1 earned run in 8 innings
1-0 in w.s. 1 earned run in 9 innings.



Gooden

24-4
1.53 era
8 shutouts
16 complete games
268 strikeouts
A streak of 14 games won in a row.
In all but 1 start he pitched 6 innings or more.


Both pretty impressive.
Gooden was amazing but John Tudor went 21-8 (went 20-2 I think after a poor start), threw 10 shutouts, led the league in WHIP, had an ERA of 1.93, and didn't get a single 1st place vote. Tough time to have your career year when Gooden throws an all time top 10 season.
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  #21  
Old 06-09-2018, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMIZ5290 View Post
I saw a couple of Greg Maddux beauties with Atlanta, and I'm a tad bias because of T206s, but my vote goes to Jack Chesbro in 1904. He was 41-12 with a 1.74 ERA. He pitched an incredible 455 Innings with 48 complete games. He also only allowed 4 HR's for the entire season.....
I would vote for the 1908 season for Ed Walsh:

40-15 with a 1.42 ERA. 464 innings pitched with 42 complete games and 6 saves. 269 K's against only 56 walks. 11 shutouts and a WHIP of 0.86. Only gave up 2 gopher balls for the season too...
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  #22  
Old 06-09-2018, 06:32 PM
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Tough to beat Ed Walsh or Chesbro... Koufax had a few amazing years (obviously).

How about his 1965 stats:

26-8 with 27 Complete games, 335 IPs, 2.04 ERA, 8 shut outs, 382 Strikeouts, plus he threw a perfect game that year.
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  #23  
Old 06-09-2018, 06:34 PM
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Any Tobacco-era pitcher with good seasons is more impressive, to me, than pitchers today. Half the league was batting above .300 back then, with several guys putting up .400+ for BA.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:49 PM
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Any Tobacco-era pitcher with good seasons is more impressive, to me, than pitchers today. Half the league was batting above .300 back then, with several guys putting up .400+ for BA.
Yes but they weren't hitting home runs.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:52 PM
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Yes but they weren't hitting home runs.
Very true, but what's the trade off between consistently moving the line along, and hitting HRs but striking out 200+ times a year?
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  #26  
Old 06-09-2018, 08:12 PM
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Would it be better to break this up into eras?
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  #27  
Old 06-09-2018, 08:16 PM
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In regards to Koufax's 1965 season. He was also the winning pitcher in the All-Star game. In the World Series, he won games 5 and 7 with complete game shutouts. He was truly Mr. October!
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  #28  
Old 06-09-2018, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
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Would it be better to break this up into eras?
Agreed. It’s way too difficult to compare players from the different eras. In a lot of respects it’s almost like two different games altogether.
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  #29  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom S. View Post
I would vote for the 1908 season for Ed Walsh:

40-15 with a 1.42 ERA. 464 innings pitched with 42 complete games and 6 saves. 269 K's against only 56 walks. 11 shutouts and a WHIP of 0.86. Only gave up 2 gopher balls for the season too...
Can tell that you're biased based on your avatar lol. I agree with you though. Incredible season for sure. The craziest thing to me on these dead ball era pitchers is the number of innings pitched. Basically pitching 50 complete games in a season. Absolutely insane no matter what era they were in.
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:10 AM
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For live ball I like to consider the postseason too, and Orel Hershiser's 1988 was unwordly. 3 wins and a save in the postseason, the scoreless inning streak, untouchable that year.

Jake Arrieta's 2015 was amazing, and I second the 1978 season for Ron Guidry as being up there.

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  #31  
Old 06-10-2018, 01:53 AM
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Best ERA+ is a season ever (shown below). Not a perfect indicator, but helps normalize the data across eras (by comparing ERA to others in the same season).

Keefe's 1880 season he only pitched 105 innings, but BP includes pitchers that pitched more innings than the team played games, and the Troy Trojans only played 83 games that season which is why he is on the list.

Pedro's 2000 season tops the list by a decent margin. Leonard's 1914 he went 19-5 with a .96 ERA.

No one in recent memory will have the counting stats that the players in the late 1800's/early 1900's had, as it is a different game today so there's definitely arguments either way. For me, it's Pedro's 2000 season.


Rank Player (age that year) Adjusted ERA+ Year Throws
1. Tim Keefe+ (23) 293 1880 R
2. Pedro Martinez+ (28) 291 2000 R
3. Dutch Leonard (22) 279 1914 L
4. Greg Maddux+ (28) 271 1994 R
5. Greg Maddux+ (29) 260 1995 R
6. Walter Johnson+ (25) 259 1913 R
7. Bob Gibson+ (32) 258 1968 R
8. Mordecai Brown+ (29) 253 1906 R
9. Walter Johnson+ (24) 243 1912 R
Pedro Martinez+ (27) 243 199
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topnotchsy View Post
Best ERA+ is a season ever (shown below). Not a perfect indicator, but helps normalize the data across eras (by comparing ERA to others in the same season).

Keefe's 1880 season he only pitched 105 innings, but BP includes pitchers that pitched more innings than the team played games, and the Troy Trojans only played 83 games that season which is why he is on the list.

Pedro's 2000 season tops the list by a decent margin. Leonard's 1914 he went 19-5 with a .96 ERA.

No one in recent memory will have the counting stats that the players in the late 1800's/early 1900's had, as it is a different game today so there's definitely arguments either way. For me, it's Pedro's 2000 season.


Rank Player (age that year) Adjusted ERA+ Year Throws
1. Tim Keefe+ (23) 293 1880 R
2. Pedro Martinez+ (28) 291 2000 R
3. Dutch Leonard (22) 279 1914 L
4. Greg Maddux+ (28) 271 1994 R
5. Greg Maddux+ (29) 260 1995 R
6. Walter Johnson+ (25) 259 1913 R
7. Bob Gibson+ (32) 258 1968 R
8. Mordecai Brown+ (29) 253 1906 R
9. Walter Johnson+ (24) 243 1912 R
Pedro Martinez+ (27) 243 199
ERA+ is a bad measure to use. It assumes that the level of pitching is equal. The pitching in the AL in 2000 was pretty bad. Looking at the top 10, there are no other Hofers anywhere to be found with only Clemens as a decent starting pitcher. In 1968, there were 10 more Hof pitchers in the NL along with Gibson. The league ERA was lower not only because of the higher mound, but because of the high quality of pitchers in the league. Same with Koufax in 1965, 10 other Hof pitchers in the NL.
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  #33  
Old 06-10-2018, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
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ERA+ is a bad measure to use. It assumes that the level of pitching is equal. The pitching in the AL in 2000 was pretty bad. Looking at the top 10, there are no other Hofers anywhere to be found with only Clemens as a decent starting pitcher. In 1968, there were 10 more Hof pitchers in the NL along with Gibson. The league ERA was lower not only because of the higher mound, but because of the high quality of pitchers in the league. Same with Koufax in 1965, 10 other Hof pitchers in the NL.
That's definitely an interesting thought. I'm curious (genuinely... not being sarcastic) how you are separate external factors from the quality of the players.

The reason I say this is because looking at the late 90's and early 00's, I feel like many of the best pitchers in that era are getting the short end of the stick because we compare their ERA and other stats to eras without steroids and other factors.

Just looking at the 2000 Cy Young Award race, you had Tim Hudson, Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina. Only Mussina will likely make the Hall (and of course there's Pedro), but IMO when taking era into account, all 3 had a reasonable (albeit not overwhelming) case. In the NL that season players getting Cy Young votes include Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Kevin Brown. The first 3 are already enshrined, and IMO Brown deserved much more serious consideration.

We have the steroid era and we have an era where the mound was higher among other factors, and our basic metrics to compare players (wins, ERA etc) don't consider any difference in eras. Given this, it is not a surprise to me that the 60's had way more HOF pitchers.

I'm just not sure how much of that is tied to the players and how much is tied to the circumstances.
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  #34  
Old 06-10-2018, 10:10 AM
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Am I right that the only HOF starting pitchers with a rookie card from 1969 through 1983 are Jack Morris, himself a dubious selection, and Bert Blyleven? If so that's kind of strange, for a 15 year period, no?
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  #35  
Old 06-10-2018, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
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That's definitely an interesting thought. I'm curious (genuinely... not being sarcastic) how you are separate external factors from the quality of the players.

The reason I say this is because looking at the late 90's and early 00's, I feel like many of the best pitchers in that era are getting the short end of the stick because we compare their ERA and other stats to eras without steroids and other factors.

Just looking at the 2000 Cy Young Award race, you had Tim Hudson, Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina. Only Mussina will likely make the Hall (and of course there's Pedro), but IMO when taking era into account, all 3 had a reasonable (albeit not overwhelming) case. In the NL that season players getting Cy Young votes include Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Kevin Brown. The first 3 are already enshrined, and IMO Brown deserved much more serious consideration.

We have the steroid era and we have an era where the mound was higher among other factors, and our basic metrics to compare players (wins, ERA etc) don't consider any difference in eras. Given this, it is not a surprise to me that the 60's had way more HOF pitchers.

I'm just not sure how much of that is tied to the players and how much is tied to the circumstances.
Well those pitchers had to pitch to Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Willie Mccovey, Orlando Cepeda, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Lou Brock, Willie Stargell, Richie Allen, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Eddie Mathews (1965), Frank Robinson (1965) and Johnny Bench (1968). Even on steroids, there wasn't more talent in the 90s or 2000s.
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  #36  
Old 06-11-2018, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
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For live ball I like to consider the postseason too, and Orel Hershiser's 1988 was unwordly. 3 wins and a save in the postseason, the scoreless inning streak, untouchable that year.

Jake Arrieta's 2015 was amazing, and I second the 1978 season for Ron Guidry as being up there.

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Arrieta wasn't even the best pitcher in the league in 2015. Zack Greinke had a better season. Greinke led the league in ERA+ and WHIP while finishing with an ERA of 1.66. The highest ERA Greinke had after a start at ANY POINT in 2015 was 1.97. Arrieta gets credit for being unhittable in August and September but... his ERA sat at 3.40 on June 17.

Bottom line: Greinke was great all year. Arrieta was great 1/2 - 2/3 of the year.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:11 AM
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If I had to pick one season, I'd probably go with Bob Gibson's 1968. He went the entire year without being knocked out of a game. Think about that. Lifted for a PH, sure, but never knocked out of a game.

If not Gibson, I'd go with one of Pedro's seasons. When *8* guys put up an OPS of 1.000 or higher, you know the league is bombing the ball. And Pedro still gave up just 1.74 runs a game.

On a side note, way too much emphasis on wins in this conversation. Surely we recognize by now just how overrated that stat is?

Last edited by Tabe; 06-11-2018 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:34 PM
btcarfagno btcarfagno is offline
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Pedro's 2000 was pretty easily the best of the past 120 years when just looking at the season he had in relation to the rest of the league that year.

Arguments can and should be made regarding number of innings pitched, games completed, teams in the league, increase of player pool, introduction of the "home run at any time" (thus pitcher can't take pitches or batters "off"), etc.

But in terms of ERA+. it's not that close.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:36 PM
btcarfagno btcarfagno is offline
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Surprised I haven't seen Dutch Leonard's 1914 season. #2 all time ERA+ for the past 120 years. Freakish season he had.
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