41 Starts

May 16, 2014

                This is just messing around with the data, having fun with it.

                When I was a kid, I used to think of 41 starts as a full season by a starting pitcher.  In the 1960s you could lead your league in Games Started with 41—or 40, or 39, but somewhere in that neighborhood.  The most games anyone started in the 1960s was 42, but that only happened five times.   41 was a full season.

                I started looking, then, for 41-start strings by pitchers.  I would like to stress that these are actual and legitimate records; these are things that actually happened. They’re not projections or simulations or anything like that; these are records of actual events, just as much as single-season totals are. We’re just looking at the records in a slightly different form than we usually look at them; that’s all.  Checking 41 consecutive starts for a pitcher is like checking 162 consecutive games played for a hitter. 

                OK, I’d better budget myself to 25 points here, or I’ll go on with this stuff forever:

                1)  Dwight Gooden, in 41 consecutive starts beginning August 11, 1984 was 29-5, 352 strikeouts, 74 walks, 1.49 ERA.   This is the fourth-greatest stretch of 41 starts in my data:

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Dwight

Gooden

41

326.2

29

5

.853

219

58

54

352

74

1.49

19

9

 

                2)  Sandy Koufax, in 41 consecutive starts beginning June 4, 1964, was 31-4 (the same record as Lefty Grove in 1931), with 368 strikeouts and a 1.70 ERA.   This is the third-greatest stretch of 41 starts in my data. 

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Sandy

Koufax

41

338.1

31

4

.886

232

80

64

368

68

1.70

28

9

 

                3)  Pedro Martinez, in a stretch of 41 starts beginning August 24, 1999 and running into 2001, struck out 434 batters and walked only 48!:

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Pedro

Martinez

41

307.0

26

6

.813

184

59

54

434

48

1.58

9

5

               

                The 434 strikeouts in a stretch of 41 starts is actually not a record.    But it’s pretty good. 

                4)  Bob Gibson, in a stretch of 41 consecutive starts beginning April 26, 1968 pitched 16 shutouts and posted a 1.19 ERA:

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Bob

Gibson

41

369.2

28

11

.718

240

57

49

335

80

1.19

36

16

 

                You can rate them however you want to rate them, but the formula I established ranks this as the greatest 41-start streak in my data.

                Gibson’s stretch of games is famous, but I think, in a sense, that people don’t quite process it because it happened in 1968, and a lot of other great pitching stuff happened in 1968—Drysdale’s scoreless inning streak, McLain winning 31 games, Luis Tiant’s phenomenal season, etc.  I think people kind of write 1968 off as a fluke season all around, and diminish what Gibson did as a part of that. 

                But even if you adjust Gibson’s 1968 campaign to a more normal context, it’s still a phenomenal season.    The National League ERA in 1968 was 2.98.  Gibson’s ERA was 1.12.   That’s 38% of the league.   A normal league ERA, over time, is 3.90, 4.00.  Adjusted to a normal league, Gibson’s ERA is still about 1.50.   How often do we see a pitcher with a 1.50 ERA?

                And the ERA is really only half the story.  The other half is, Gibson was pitching 9 innings a start.   Gibson, during this exact same stretch of games, was also pitching more innings per start than any other pitcher in the data.   He had the lowest ERAs ever and the highest innings per game ever, working at the same time.  That’s a potent combination. 

                5)  Surprisingly, Nolan Ryan does not hold the record for the most strikeouts in a 41-game stretch; we’re so used to Nolan Ryan holding any and every strikeout record you can find that it’s surprising to find him third on the list here.   The most strikeouts by a pitcher in a stretch of 41 starts is 436, by Randy Johnson, beginning either June 19, 1998 or May 15, 1999.    Pedro had 435 in a stretch, and Ryan is third on the list with 406, except that Randy actually has several non-overlapping stretches with more than 406:  May 20, 1994 to September 13, 1995 (407); April 28, 1998, to May 30, 1999 (408); June 4, 1999 to July 4, 2000 (431); and July 9, 2000 to August 8, 2001 (413).   Johnson actually has more than 150 stretches that total up to more than 400 strikeouts, although, of course, most of those are formed by overlapping periods.   There are four pitchers who struck out 400 batters in a stretch of 41 starts:  Randy, Pedro, Nolan and Curt Schilling.  

                6)  Ten pitchers in the data won 30 starts out of a string of 41.   I’ll give you the years in which the stretch started and ended:  Pedro Martinez, 1998 to 2000, (32-6); Denny McLain, 1968 to 1969, (32-6); Sandy Koufax, 1964 to 1965 (31-4); Tom Seaver, 1969 to 1970, (31-7); Ron Guidry, 1977 to 1978 (30-3); Roger Clemens, 1989 to 1991 (30-7); Camilo Pascual, 1963 to 1964, (30-9); Barry Zito, 2001 to 2002, (30-5); Robin Roberts, 1952 to 1953, (30-9); and Bob Welch, 1989 to 1991, (30-7).  

                7)  Bob Gibson holds the 41-start records for Innings Pitched (369.2), ERA (1.11), fewest Earned Runs Allowed (45), Complete Games (38) and Shutouts (16), and that’s all basically one stretch, just shifting the boundaries back and forth a few starts.

                8)  Highest Winning Percentages:   1. Randy Johnson, 1995-1997, (27-2, .931).   2.  Dave McNally, 1968-1969, (26-2, .929).   3.  Ron Guidry, 1978-1979, (30-3, .909).  4.  Matt Latos, 2012-2013, (19-2, .905).    5.  Max Scherzer, 2012-2013, (27-3, .900).   6.  Whitey Ford, 1961-1962, (26-3, .897).  

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Randy

Johnson

41

287.0

27

2

.931

192

88

82

382

101

2.57

6

3

Dave

McNally

41

291.2

26

2

.929

213

85

79

187

68

2.44

19

7

Ron

Guidry

41

331.0

30

3

.909

234

77

67

288

89

1.82

19

11

Mat

Latos

41

265.2

19

2

.905

225

101

91

236

76

3.08

2

0

Max

Scherzer

41

269.2

27

3

.900

199

84

82

302

66

2.74

0

0

Whitey

Ford

41

295.2

26

3

.897

256

113

106

222

97

3.23

11

3

 

                Mat Latos is the surprise there; somehow I didn’t realize that that was happening. 

                9.  Worst Winning Percentages:  1. Jose DeLeon, 1984-1985, (3-28, .094).   2.  Matt Keough, 1978-1979 (3-27, .100).   3.  Jerry Koosman, 1977-1978 (3-25, .107).  

 

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Jose

DeLeon

41

251.1

3

28

.097

214

147

138

217

137

4.94

3

0

Matt

Keough

41

250.0

3

27

.100

296

164

139

131

116

5.00

9

0

Jerry

Koosman

41

284.2

3

24

.111

281

141

125

198

94

3.95

5

0

 

 

                10.  Most Hits Allowed:  Rick Langford, 1980 to 1982, 359, and Bill Lee, 1974-1975, also 359.

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Rick

Langford

41

331.1

19

18

.514

359

158

137

140

86

3.72

28

3

Bill

Lee

41

314.0

19

17

.528

359

143

132

104

79

3.78

20

1

 

 

                11.   Most Runs Allowed and Earned Runs Allowed:  Mike Hampton, 2001-2002, 209 and 191.  

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Mike

Hampton

41

240.2

10

24

.294

324

209

190

128

122

7.11

2

0

Mike

Hampton

41

241.1

10

24

.294

328

208

191

128

123

7.12

2

0

 

                12.  Fewest Strikeouts:  Sandy Consuegra, 1952 to 1956, 48 strikeouts.

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Sandy

Consuegra

41

262.0

17

11

.607

250

98

91

48

61

3.13

10

2

 

 

                13.   Fewest Walks, Carlos Silva, 2004 to 2006; most Walks, Bob Turley, 1954 to 1955:

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Carlos

Silva

41

271.1

13

16

.448

332

150

135

101

17

4.48

2

0

Bob

Turley

41

297.0

20

16

.556

201

126

116

233

240

3.52

4

0

 

                14.   The only pitcher in the data to lose 30 out of 41 starts was Roger Craig, 1962-1963:

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Roger

Craig

41

292.1

6

30

.167

305

152

131

150

80

4.03

19

0

 

                Kip Wells lost 29, 2005 to 2007.

 

                15.  Worst ERA, Russ Ortiz, 2005-2009:

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Russ

Ortiz

41

187.1

5

22

.185

248

173

164

107

110

7.88

1

0

 

                16.   Highest Run Support:  Jamie Moyer, 1996 to 1997, 307 runs.   7.49 per start.    Lowest Run Support:  Hal (Skinny) Brown, 1962 to 1964, 82 runs.   2.00 per start.   Moyer went 25-7 in his run; Brown went 7-25 in his.

                17.   Longest time span required to make 41 starts:  Lindy McDaniel, August 16, 1957 to June 23, 1974.    McDaniel made 9 starts in the closing weeks of 1957, then made 17 starts in 1958, 7 in 1959, 2 in 1960, 2 in 1962, 3 in 1967, and 3 in 1973.   That totals up to 43, but the stretch reached 41 with the first start in 1973.   Lindy was 10-19 with a 5.34 ERA in his 17-year "season". 

                18.  Shortest time span:  Wilbur Wood, May 5 to September 20, 1972.    138 days.

                19.  Best stretch of 41 games with a losing record:  Nolan Ryan, 1972-1973.    Ryan in a stretch of 41 starts struck out 402 batters, pitched 7 shutouts, and posted a 2.26 ERA—but lost 20 games:

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Nolan

Ryan

41

338.0

19

20

.487

217

97

85

402

174

2.26

26

7

 

                Part of what makes that stretch absolutely phenomenal is that Ryan did this in less than one calendar year:   July 27, 1972 to July 19, 1973.    Here are some other really good stretches of games in which a pitcher was stuck with a losing log:

 

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Sam

McDowell

41

293.2

16

17

.485

200

91

64

305

130

1.96

12

4

Gaylord

Perry

41

348.1

19

20

.487

290

110

99

246

98

2.56

30

4

Bert

Blyleven

41

348.1

16

20

.444

296

109

97

252

85

2.51

25

9

Fernando

Valenzuela

41

325.1

17

19

.472

249

118

91

293

125

2.52

18

4

Andy

Messersmith

41

313.2

17

18

.486

225

96

85

210

102

2.44

17

8

 

                20.   I figured "trend lines" for each pitcher, measuring how fast his 41-game performance line was improving or declining.    The fastest "uptrend" in the data was by Frank Tanana in late August/early September, 1975.    In a stretch of 9 games starting July 19, Tanana went 7-1 with a 1.10 ERA, striking out 83 batters in 82 innings.    This changed Tanana’s running 41-game record as below:

 

41 Games

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Before

41

288.1

15

18

.455

280

116

106

263

85

3.31

14

5

After

41

318.1

22

12

.647

268

85

76

312

84

2.15

21

9

 

                21,  The fastest DOWNTURN that any pitcher ever took was Gaylord Perry in 1975. Pitching tremendously well in 1974 and early 1975, Perry had a 16-game stretch beginning May 4, 1975, in which he went 3-12 with a 5.07 ERA.  

41 Games

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Before

41

358.1

24

14

.632

262

107

100

252

104

2.51

33

5

After

41

328.1

15

24

.385

313

152

141

218

95

3.86

26

3

               

                Perry actually pitched some good games in that 16-game stretch; what was peculiar about him was that his managers would let him keep pitching even after he got knocked around pretty good, so he also had several games in there where he gave up 7 or 8 runs.  

                22.   Roger Clemens had 417 "strings" of 41 games in which he won 20 games or more.  Clemens had 709 career starts, which means that there are 669 41-game strings for him.  He had 20 or more wins in 417 of those strings, the most of any pitcher.   He had 25 wins in 104 of those strings, and had 200 or more strikeouts in 663 of the 669 strings.  

                Warren Spahn had 20 wins in 91% of the 41-game strings in the data we have for him, which is only a little over half of his career.   Adam Wainwright is at 88%, Roy Halladay 81%.   Chien-Ming Wang was 77%, Bob Gibson 76%, Verlander 75%.    These are the highest percentages for pitchers for whom we have reasonably complete data.

                Nolan Ryan had 200 strikeouts in every 41-start string of his career, Randy Johnson (the Walnut Creek Horror) in 562 out of 563.  

                23.   The 25 best pitchers in the data in their FIRST 41-start stretches:

First

Last

GS

IP

W

L

Pct

H

R

ER

SO

BB

ERA

CG

ShO

Vida

Blue

41

321.0

25

6

.806

214

82

70

298

97

1.96

23

9

Ron

Guidry

41

322.0

27

8

.771

253

93

86

277

98

2.40

16

7

Dwight

Gooden

41

294.1

23

12

.657

214

89

79

351

92

2.42

10

5

Al

Downing

41

299.0

19

7

.731

205

97

93

273

139

2.80

17

5

Jim

Hardin

41

294.2

24

11

.686

216

86

76

182

76

2.32

18

3

Fernando

Valenzuela

41

317.2

22

13

.629

253

97

92

258

94

2.61

19

9

Juan

Guzman

41

266.1

21

5

.808

183

84

76

245

110

2.57

2

0

Mel

Stottlemyre

41

327.0

25

10

.714

278

100

89

174

94

2.45

19

6

Gary

Peters

41

291.0

25

8

.758

237

96

82

215

97

2.54

14

4

Hideo

Nomo

41

277.2

20

11

.645

202

100

89

328

109

2.88

6

4

Ferguson

Jenkins

41

311.2

20

12

.625

249

107

92

246

80

2.66

18

4

Mark

Fidrych

41

339.1

26

13

.667

301

107

93

143

67

2.47

32

5

David

Cone

41

292.2

22

8

.733

235

98

83

243

106

2.55

9

4

Andy

Messersmith

41

294.2

20

14

.588

203

101

88

250

117

2.69

13

4

Orel

Hershiser

41

286.2

19

9

.679

221

95

74

205

73

2.32

15

8

Chris

Sale

41

276.1

22

13

.629

225

91

88

277

69

2.87

3

1

Jim

Nash

41

289.2

22

11

.667

229

97

90

239

112

2.80

12

2

Gary

Nolan

41

282.2

17

10

.630

231

88

78

241

82

2.48

11

7

Bill

Singer

41

292.2

16

13

.552

242

88

78

244

84

2.40

12

5

Yu

Darvish

41

272.2

23

11

.676

208

114

108

332

113

3.56

0

0

Herb

Score

41

289.1

21

14

.600

201

110

97

310

194

3.02

15

2

Stephen

Strasburg

41

231.1

20

9

.690

186

79

71

289

61

2.76

1

0

Phil

Niekro

41

311.2

19

13

.594

266

102

85

179

66

2.45

16

3

Mike

Mussina

41

302.2

20

10

.667

264

95

90

171

64

2.68

9

4

Mark

Prior

41

269.1

17

11

.607

228

100

88

317

74

2.94

4

1

 

                Of the 25 best pitchers in the data, in their first 41 starts, only two are now in the Hall of Fame, Ferguson Jenkins and Phil Niekro.    About ten others had truly outstanding careers, however, while only six of the 25 faded or burned out quickly (Hardin, Guzman, Fidrych, Nash, Score and Prior.)

                24.  The best pitcher in the LAST 41 starts of his career was, of course, Koufax, and his record in his last 41 games is simply his last-season record, since Koufax made exactly 41 starts in 1966.     J. R. Richard in his last 41 starts was 22-13, 338 strikeouts, 2.20 ERA.  (The 338 strikeouts for Richard is the record.)     Hoyt Wilhelm, in his last 41 starts (1959-1963), was 18-14, 2.69 ERA.     Don Drysdale—paired with Koufax for almost all of his career—was the fourth-best pitcher in his last 41 games, posting a 2.48 ERA, followed by Roger Nelson (??), 17-12, 2.86, Dave Giusti (15-15, 2.78), and Brandon Webb (26-8, 3.53 ERA).  

                Richard, Nelson and Webb, of course, were finished by sudden injuries while pitching well.   Giusti is interesting because he was moved to the bullpen, by a team that needed starting pitching, at a time when he was pitching well.   He had almost ten good years in the bullpen.  

25.  The actual reason I started this research bit. .. .I was curious about this question.    If pitchers now still worked on a four-man rotation, would we have as many 20-game winners per team now as we did in the 1970s?   In other words, is all of the change in the number of 20-game winners now as opposed to 1965 explained by the change from a four-man to a five-man rotation, or is some of it due to the bullpens, etc.?

I realized that I could get the answer to that question by figuring pitcher records in 41-game strings, and. ..well, I like doing that kind of stuff.  In my data I have 8,974 41-start strings which end in the 1950s.  Of those 8,974 strings, 2,423 include 20 or more wins by the starting pitcher.   This is 27%, and the chart below gives the data for each decade:

Decade

Strings

20 Win Strings

Percentage

1950s

8974

2423

27.0%

1960s

22293

4694

21.1%

1970s

28509

6743

23.7%

1980s

29276

5013

17.1%

1990s

29500

5301

18.0%

2000s

33347

5734

17.2%

2010s

13938

2054

14.7%

 

                So clearly, the decline in the number of 20-game winners does NOT result entirely from the switch from a 4-man to a 5-man rotation.   Some of it is attributable to increasing use of the bullpens, or to other causes.

 
 

COMMENTS (25 Comments, most recent shown first)

phil68
Herb Score didn't burn out. His face was caved in by a Gil McDougal line drive and he was never the same again.
5:10 PM Jun 21st
 
tangotiger
Koufax threw 110-115 pitches per start, which is on par for his generation, and a bit low for the next generation.
1:56 PM May 21st
 
garywmaloney
Wow -- good info. What a super specimen he was . . . and those 1961 outings were before the changes in the strike zone, favoring the pitcher. It should be noted that Koufax had a will on him -- would tell Alston to use him to the fullest, according to the Leeves biography.

The concern I was trying to express was -- a manager has a bad day, or is pissed off at a hurler, or has a hangover, or is plain stupid . . . whatever . . . and the result is that you have a tragedy (like a Busby or Tanana) or a career detour (like Perry).

Can't help but wondering -- Who could have stopped that manager? Who WOULD have? An umpire can throw people out of a game for beanballs, fighting, etc. But that pitcher's health and career are pretty much in the hands of that manager. Certainly were, back in the 60s and 70s.
10:53 PM May 19th
 
tangotiger
I didn't say it was a good thing. Just that it wasn't unusual.

In 1961, Koufax faced 50 batters (205 pitches), in 1960 he faced 49 (193) and 47 (175). And THEN he because KOUFAX. So, I wouldn't look for causality.

Also in 1963, he had two 47 batter games (165 and 164 pitches).​
4:41 PM May 18th
 
garywmaloney
Tanana and Busby faced 50 -- and witness the results. (Bill wrote about the Busby tragedy years ago.) Watching Frank manage in DC in 2005-06, I can tell you -- several times then he did things (or failed to do things) drenched in emotion - the Matt LeCroy incident being the most obvious.
3:46 PM May 18th
 
tangotiger
I agree that having the information regarding personal animus, the 51-batter outing, etc, all that is good.

I just don't want to get into conclusions until we get more evidence. Perry faced 34 batters per start with the Indians (including that 51 batter outing) and with the Rangers it was... 34 batters per start.

Jim Kaat faced 52 batters in 1975. Tanana and Busby faced 50. So, it's not an outlandish outing. Jim Barr faced 47 batters while giving up 7 runs.
11:36 AM May 18th
 
bjames
Sansho. ....I appreciate your post. Anything that helps us understand why things happen. . ..it's all good.
7:37 PM May 17th
 
sansho1
In reading my original post, it comes across with more certitude than I intended, I should say.
11:52 AM May 17th
 
sansho1
tangotiger, take a look at the start where Robinson left Perry in until he lost the game in the 12th inning, and his performance in his several successive starts (some of which were after the trade). I realize there was no attention paid to pitch counts then, but if anyone has a copy of Robinson's book I'd love to know for sure whether personal animus contributed to Robinson's handling of Perry, particularly in his June 7 start. The book is in diary form with dated entries, so it would be easy to find. I'm a big fan of sabermetric fact-checking of old narratives, which is why I haven't asserted with any particular certitude that this was the case.
11:48 AM May 17th
 
CWright
For "MattGoodrich" and "3for3," as part of a story in my recent book "Pages from Baseball's Past," I brought out that three expansion era players have been .400 hitters in cross-season streaks covering over 700 PA. Boggs had the longest span with 759 PA, then Rod Carew in 734 PA, and Tony Gwynn in 723 PA.

For "MattGoodrich" don't let "mauimike"'s comment get you down. There is a commonality in the obsessive/compulsive fun you derive from playing with your softball stats and what Bill has done in this article, which is largely just for fun rather than having practical value. Your benign comment was made in the context of what the article was about, and I see no sense in trying to belittle you for it.

10:46 AM May 17th
 
tangotiger
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=perryga01&year=1975&t=p

ERA by innings:
1-3: 2.11 (111 IP)
4-6: 5.21 (107 IP)
7-9: 2.08 (82 IP)

Unless you are arguing that Perry should be pulled in the 4th or 5th inning, it's just Perry fitting the narrative.​
8:47 AM May 17th
 
mauimike
Matt, Mr. James, is getting paid and he's talking hardball.
3:06 AM May 17th
 
MattGoodrich
I seem to recall Wade Boggs once hitting over .400 over a 162 game stretch (which crossed two seasons).

I do this kind of thing with my softball team's stats, tracking a batter's consecutive plate appearances over various time periods. We've had stretches where a hitter went 31 for 32 and 26 for 27. Another guy went 0 for 15 but spread over 4 years.

Suddenly I don't feel quite so crazily obsessive/compulsive about all the softball stats I keep.
2:40 AM May 17th
 
Hal10000
schwarze, I was asking that question myself about Consuegra. His entire career was like that. He did keep the ball in the ballpark and didn't walk too many. But those strikeouts ... yeeesh.
8:59 PM May 16th
 
DEK1966
Jim Hardin?
3:23 PM May 16th
 
schwarze
Is anyone else shocked by Sandy Consuegra's all-time low of 48 strikeouts in 41 games (1.6 per 9 innings)? And yet, he somehow had a 3.13 ERA during that time. Can you imagine if that happened today?
11:36 AM May 16th
 
sansho1
Much of the explanation for Gaylord Perry's brutal stretch may be found in Frank: The First Year, the book-length diary Frank Robinson wrote about managing the '75 Indians. Robinson, as we know, was a hard-ass, just as Perry, as we know, was very much not. The temperamental (and I want to say cultural, but it's been a long time since I read the book, so I can't go there for sure) difference between them was poisonous, and Robinson came to believe Perry was undermining his authority -- which, in his first season as the first black manager in MLB history, Robinson was keen to preserve. Having Gaylord's brother Jim on the team was one too many small-"c" confederates to bear. So Robinson left Gaylord in games to absorb beatings until Perry was traded mid-season. I want to say Robinson admitted as much in the book, but again it's been a long time.
11:20 AM May 16th
 
bjames
Maddux' best 41-game stretch began July 2, 1994 and ended April 22, 1996, thus contains all of the 1995 season and a little bit of the other two. He was 28-5, 1.54 ERA in 316.1 innings, 260 strikeouts and 33 walks. It's the 8th greatest stretch in the data, behind Gibson, Pedro, Koufax, Gooden, Denny McLain, Ron Guidry and Luis Tiant. Best ERAs in the data: Gibson, 1.11 in 364 innings; Gooden, 1.45 in 328.2 innings; Maddux, 1.54 in 322.1 innings; Pedro, 1.57 in 304 innings; Koufax, 1.60 in 325.2 innings; John Tudor, 1.67 in 334.1 innings; Guidry, 1.70 in 328.2 innings; Wilbur Wood, 1.71 in 331 innings; Gaylord Perry, 1.72; Dean Chance, 1.72; Roger Clemens, 1.73; Luis Tiant, 1.73; Tom Seaver, 1.73; Vida Blue, 1.75; Clayton Kershaw, 1.75.
11:20 AM May 16th
 
tigerlily
Fun stuff! Thanks Bill. Following up on Bob's comment, I'd like to see Maddux's best 41-game stretch.​
10:00 AM May 16th
 
rgregory1956


I would have guessed that Greg Maddux would have had a really good stretch of 41 games some time in the 1994-1995 seasons. He had a 65 game stretch from August of '93 to the end of '95, where he had 65 starts, going 43-10 with a 1.57 ERA. So there are 25 41-game choices. During those years, only three times did he have monthly ERAs above 2.00, one at 2.44, one at 2.59, and his worst month was 2.63. From 7-2-94 to 4-20-96 (41 starts), Maddux went 28-5 in 316.1 innings and a 1.45 ERA. I'm guessing that Bill emphasizes strikeouts in determining who was the best. Maddux only had 235 in these 41 games.

9:36 AM May 16th
 
DanaKing
Thanks for this. I, too, first became aware of stats in general in the 60s, when 41 starts was a full season, and a stud batting line was what I later called the Eddie Murray Trifecta: .300/30/100. What you've done here is provide a quick and easy way to compare pitchers on an apples-to-apples basis, without the natural statistical bias that the five-man rotation introduces. Great fun, and very enlightening.​
9:22 AM May 16th
 
r44fletch
Wilbur Wood started 41 games in 136 days!!!! one start every 3.3 days. that is phenomenal. I know he threw the knuckler and junk and I seem to remember they threw him out there on 2 days rest a couple of times. And didn't he start both games of a doubleheader once?
8:38 AM May 16th
 
3for3
Love this stuff. How about 700 PA's?
8:10 AM May 16th
 
bbbilbo
Please keep having fun! Great stuff.
6:55 AM May 16th
 
chill
Jerry Koosman, 3-24 with a 3.95 ERA, wow. That record and that ERA seem like such a mismatch. Recently here someone linked a Koosman biography, which I read with interest. And a tracer about how he was used. I guess I see why a tracer was necessary - when you have that ugly a record with a pretty inoffensive ERA, somebody is going to construct narratives to explain the discrepancy.
4:04 AM May 16th
 
 
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