Dryfax and Kousdale

December 20, 2016

Maybe I’m stuck in the 1960s like my brother says, but sometimes even stuff I’ve thought about so repetitively I feel like an idiot savant, minus most of the savant part, can feel new to me. We all have this idea about Koufax that he "won all the close games" (that’s a quote from the first Historical Abstract, p.  413) and our idea about Drysdale is that somehow his W-L record always mysteriously lagged behind his strong ERA performances, but then it occurred to me that it didn’t HAVE to be that way. Further, their own performances could have been exactly what they were, only with different run support that worked out, collectively, to be identical to the Dodgers’ team performance in each season.

Let me illustrate: Koufax’s first Cy Young Award came in 1963, when he went 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA and 11 shutouts.  That means he went 14-5 in the games he didn’t pitch a shutout, right? That’s pretty good—in the non-shutout games, he went 14-5 with a 2.65 ERA, which means that when he wasn’t pretty damned spectacular, he was pretty damned lucky. The NL in 1963 had a league ERA of 3.29, and obviously the league finished with a .500 record, so 14-5 is about as good as it gets with a 2.65 ERA. Suppose Koufax went only 10-9 in those games, pitching exactly the same as he did, every single pitch, but the Dodgers didn’t give him the runs he needed to win 4 of those games, so instead of being a little bit lucky, he was a little bit unlucky. That 10-9 record in non-shutout games would reduce his overall record to 21-9, and all his other records would remain the same. A very good year, but not a "Koufax" year. A good, strong Camilo Pascual, Luis Tiant sort of year.

Now that 2.65 ERA in non-shutout games happens to be about what Drysdale’s ERA in 1963 was for the season (2.63) but Drysdale’s actual W-L record was 19-17,  which is right in line with my imagined 10-9 record for Koufax with a 2.65 ERA.  If we take those crucial runs that I’m imagining the Dodgers didn’t score for Koufax and give them to Drysdale, he maybe picks up four more wins and gets saddled with four fewer losses, so now his record is 23-13.

Does Drysdale now win the 1963 Cy Young Award? Probably not—he still has a worser W-L record than Koufax and a much higher ERA, but you know what? I don’t think Koufax wins it now, either.  1963 becomes Juan Marichal’s long-lost missing Cy Young year (25-8, 2.41.). If not his, then Jim Maloney’s (23-7, 2.77) or Spahn’s (also 23-7, 2.60.) Or Ellsworth’s (22-10, 2.11 --in Wrigley!) Or an American Leaguer like Whitey Ford (24-7, 2.74).  (There was only one CY Award back then, kiddies.) The big point is that if you have Koufax and Drysdale pitch exactly as they did, only switching a few hits and outs from Dodger bats in four games for each pitcher-- a Tommy Davis double here, a Wally Moon or Frank Howard homer there-- suddenly Koufax becomes another pitcher entirely, no longer the Magic Man, and Drysdale becomes nearly his equal, both excellent, neither a Cy Young winner. (Drysdale actually won the award the year before, so maybe he still has an edge over Koufax in our minds.)  Every stat in the Dodgers’ 1963 season remains identical—the team’s W-L record, the two pitchers’ stats apart from their W-L records, and the Dodgers’ batters’ stats (the missing Tommy Davis double shows up in Drysdale’s game instead of Koufax’s, of course, and on and on.)  The only different thing is that we don’t think of Koufax as a dominating force any more, nor Drysdale as a Sad Sack who barely pitched above .500 for a pennant-winning team.

 

Now repeat this exercise for 1965 and 1966, Koufax’s two other Cy Young years. Now his W-L is 22-12 in ’65, and 23-13 in ‘66, while Drysdale’s becomes 27-8 and 17-12.  That probably means no Cy Young Awards for Koufax, ever, while Drysdale picks up his second one with that Koufaxian 27-8 in 1965. (Marichal picks up his second in 1966 with his 25-6 record.) Now with only these 12 career games changed for each man, and not really changed all that much (remember, their pitching stats stay exactly the same, it’s only the Dodgers’ hitting that moves from one to the other), we’re wondering how the hell Koufax posted consistent ERAs under 2, while Drysdale won more games with a higher ERA.

And you know what? I’m pretty sure I have the answer to that baffling mystery, an answer that would have satisfied every one of us: Drysdale could help himself out with the bat, while Koufax was a notorious dead-stick. So of course Double D could win games with a higher ERA! He could drive in a couple of key runs (we would say) when Koufax would be flailing away, able to maybe try an inept bunt but nothing more. Drysdale was The Man!

That would have been the narrative, for sure, and it would have made perfect sense. Not only does Drysdale become the dominant pitcher of the 1960s (or at least tied with Marichal and Gibson, with Koufax in the discussion only on occasion) but the resulting change in their career W-L records also changes how we think of them. Now Koufax is 153-99 lifetime: is that a Hall of Fame record to you? Maybe, but I doubt he gets in on his first try, and I sorta doubt he gets in on his tenth. He’s just another Luis Tiant-type freaky guy who put up some very impressive numbers but not enough of them for long enough. Without those three Cy Youngs, we wouldn’t think nearly as much of him as we do.

But Drysdale! If you give him another Cy Young, plus 12 more wins and 12 fewer losses, his lifetime record become 221-154, a .589 percentage, considerably better than the record of, say, Jim Bunning (224-184, .549) and he’s a mortal lock for the HoF, maybe a first-ballot guy, while Sandy’s on the outside  with his nose pressed to the glass.

I thought when I had this idea (last night at 3 AM in bed, reading the Historical Abstract) that I’d need to provide specific game accounts that turned on a single hit, but then I realized that, no, I didn’t, the principle is obvious enough: every close game I ever saw there was a crucial hit (or out) that just needed to go three feet higher or lower, or right or left, to make a difference in the game’s outcome. But it might be fun to try that, nonetheless, someday. In the low-scoring 1960s, there were so many games that turned on a run or two, and these two guys pitched in many, many one-run games—it seems fun to track them down, but it’s superfluous. All we really need to do, though, is just imagine that the lucky one becomes the unlucky one, and vice versa, and we can then see how our total perceptions change almost completely, and the minutiae gets lost in the overall perception.

We might perceive Koufax as the unluckiest guy wut ever lived, if the numbers shook out like this, and rightly so, but would that change how we regard him as a pitcher? The arguments that some of you are probably composing in your heads right now against this arrant speculation ("Yeah, but Koufax DIDN’T lose the close games, dummy—he won them!") would be the same, only with the names reversed.

Another thing occurs to me would change if we moved some Dodgers’ hits from Koufax’s games to Drysdale’s: not only would their W-L records change but so would opposing pitchers’.  This is a mere blip, in that opposing pitchers varied so much that no one pitcher would be affected much, except for this quotation, also from p. 413 of the first Historical Abstract: "[Drysdale] pitched well when the other guy—usually Juan Marichal, who used to pitch against Drysdale a lot—was pitching a shutout." In other words, if Bill was right about the frequency of Drysdale-Marichal matchups, then Marichal’s W-L record would also be affected, and for the worse, giving Drysdale another slight edge in the Cy Young contests in my alternate 1963, 1965, and 1966 seasons.

Somewhere there’s a butterfly deciding to land on this flower or that one, right this second, someplace on the other side of the world, that will make a huge difference in your grandchildren’s lives. And if it lands on this flower, you’ll never know what would have happened to your grandkids if it landed on that one.

                               

 

 
 

COMMENTS (28 Comments, most recent shown first)

KaiserD2
Thanks to Steve for showing me how to do it. It might come in handy down the road.
7:52 AM Jan 1st
 
JohnPontoon
This is not precisely pertinent to the present discussion, so I encourage reasonable persons to skip this comment if they so choose.

I've just conducted a study that regards the post-career luck of Messrs. Koufax and Drysdale. Said study posits the possible outcomes if it had been Sandy Koufax rather than Don Drysdale who had broadcast Chicago White Sox games alongside Ken Harrelson from 1982-85 - with Sandy also witness to the horrors of the 1986 reign of "the Hawk" as GM of the team. The results of the study are shocking, to put it mildly.

In the given scenario, the likeliest outcome by a disturbingly overwhelming margin is the premature passing of Koufax and Drysdale, somehow. Furthermore, my numbers suggest that the American Midwest and both coasts (but - silver lining! - none of the "Mountain" time zone) would have overwhelmingly succumbed to near-Lovecraftian madness, with statistically significant increases in incidences of cannibalism.

A few caveats: my study mostly was conducted with Greek letters and occasional Egyptian pictographs, most of which represented variables in ways that I did not entirely understand. Also, said study was conducted mostly in my head. In my defense, I am pretty good at math.

My conclusions did not significantly affect any Hall of Fame votes.
7:05 AM Dec 29th
 
steve161
Just for the fun of it, let's see if I can fool it:

.................1963..1964..1965..1966
Drysdale.......1.7.....4.4....0.7....-0.6
Koufax..........7.0.....4.5....4.9....6.0

Whether it works or not, it's probably more trouble than it's worth, especially if we're talking about more than two players.
7:03 AM Dec 28th
 
KaiserD2
Sorry, it didn't work. The software wrecks the formatting every time.
8:44 AM Dec 27th
 
KaiserD2
Sorry, let me try to make that 1963-6 WAA table more legible:

1963 1964 1965 1966
Drysdale 1.7 4.4 0.7 -0.6
Koufax 7.0 4.5 4.9 6.0


8:42 AM Dec 27th
 
KaiserD2
This kind of comparison comes up frequently in my new book which has been copyedited (although we don't yet have a final title) and will appear sometime this spring.

I think the real point of this article, from where I sit, is how misleading W-L records can be, and how insane it is for them to play a big role in evaluating pitchers. To evaluate pitchers you need a metric that is independent of the era, of run support, of the ballpark, and even of the defense bethind the pitcher. Baseball-reference showed the way on this and I have modified their method by using better defensive stats from Mike Humphreys's DRA. What is important to know for this comparison is that the Dodger defense in this period was very good, thanks largely to the very underrated Willie Davis who was a tremendous center fielder.

So let's look at WAA (Wins Above Average) for Sandy and Don in these years, calculated as described above. (The methodology is detailed in the book.)
1963 1964 1965 1966
Drysdale 1.7 4.4 0.7 -0.6
Koufax 7.0 4.5 4.9 6.0

There was nothing unlucky about Drysdale's records in 1965-6. He was essentially an average National League pitcher over those two seasons--albeit one who could throw an awful lot of innings. Let me hasten to add that Drysdale was a better pitcher than these years make him look. The irony of his career was that he did his best pitching in years when the team did not do well. He had 4.5 WAA in 1957, 4.9 in 1960. He was also better in 1967-8 than in 1965-6 (although still not at his best.)With three seasons over 4 WAA he is hardly an absurd Hall of Fame selection--although Luis Tiant had four such seasons.

Marichal and Koufax each had 4 seasons of 4 WAA or more. Marichal in 1965 was significantly better than Koufax despite his late-season slump (7.8 WAA). But by far the most dominant pitcher of their generation was Gibson, with 8 seasons of 4 WAA or more.

Stay tuned!

David Kaiser
8:23 PM Dec 26th
 
SwampDog
Nice article. Interesting. I once studied the Koufax-Drysdale '63-'66 thing. Why was the W/L record of Koufax so much better than Drysdale's? Koufax was a greater pitcher, of course, but we have 97-27 (1.86 ERA) vs 73-61 (2.73 ERA). Seems disproportionate.

Over the 4 years in question, Koufax enjoyed slightly better run support per start, 4.1 to 3.9, but Drysdale had better support while each was in the game, 3.8 runs per 9 innings to 3.7 for Koufax. That doesnt seem to matter much.

I think it was Bill that coined the "Cheap Wins" and "Tough Losses" categories a few years ago, with a Cheap Win happening when a starting pitcher gets a win in a start that was not a "Quality Start", and a Tough Loss coming in a start that did qualify as a Quality Start.

From 1963 through 1966 Koufax recorded only 2 Cheap Wins, and suffered 17 tough losses. He is credited with 126 Quality Starts, and he lost 17 (13%) of those games. This is not a surprise, given the very low run environment at that time. However, Drysdale, over the same 4 years had 112 Quality Starts, and was charged with a loss a catastrophic 32 (!) times. He was the losing pitcher in 29% of his Quality Starts. He did have 8 Cheap wins to somewhat offset those Tough Losses.

For comparison, Gibson and Marichal both lost 16% of their Quality Starts (14 of 90 for Gibby and Juan lost 17 of 108). They had 9 and 10 Cheap Wins, respectively.

It seems that Drysdale was unusually unlucky. The raw run support numbers arent that bad, but a closer look reveals at least part of the problem. Again, 1963-1966, Koufax started 150 games, Drysdale 164. Oddly, each pitcher had 6 or more runs scored for them exactly 36 times. At least as odd, both pitchers got 5 runs of support 19 times each. Koufax was supported by 3 or 4 runs 46 times (23 each); Drysdale 52 (3 runs twenty-seven times, 4 runs twenty-five).
Working with 2 runs: Koufax 26 times, Drysdale 23 times.
One run: Koufax 17, Drysdale 20.
Zero runs: Koufax 6, Drysdale 14.

Drysdale was unlucky, no doubt. Koufax , when supported by 0-2 runs, was an astonishing 21-20 from '63-'66. Drysdale was 11-40.
I would expect Koufax to be better, but THAT much better?

One last thing I did was to swap run support on a game by game basis, every start for 4 years. In other words, how would Koufax have done with the runs the team scored for Drysdale, and vice versa. Was Drysdale's problem just simply poor "matching"? (Avoiding the "pitching to the score" discussion.)

My results show that, had Koufax gotten Drysdale's support his record would have been 93-27 (instead of the actual 97-27). The difference in decisions is a result of a "tie" in a score after 9 innings. Say Drysdale loses a game 2-1. The next day Koufax wins his start 5-2. Swapping run support gives Drysdale a 5-2 win, but Koufax ends up tied 2-2 after 9. I gave either pitcher a No Decision in this event. In actuality both pitchers would probably have pitched extra innings much of the time. Anyway...

When I moved the Koufax run support to Drysdale, Big D improves his record from 73-61 to 80-53 (.545 to .602). A huge difference.
It's clear to me that Drysdale was unlucky in more ways than one.
For anyone interested the yearly records of both pitchers, trading run support on a game by game basis:

Koufax Drysdale
Actual/Adjusted Actual/ Adjusted
1963 25-5 25-6 19-17 23-11
1964 19-5 19-4 18-16 20-13
1965 26-8 25-6 23-12 18-15
1966 27-9 24-11 13-16 19-14

I welcome a review of my study. I did it some time ago, and these results are accurate to the best of my knowledge.
9:33 AM Dec 26th
 
wovenstrap
Apropos of nothing, in September I happened to be present at Dodger Stadium for the evening dedicated to honoring Vin Scully. It was my first game at Dodger Stadium ever (I'm from the East Coast) and the fact that I was at that game of the homestand was a fluke. The mayor and a few other people gave speeches, including Kevin Costner, and John Williams conducted the national anthem.

But nothing made as big an impression on me as the fact that SANDY KOUFAX said a few words as well.

Wow!
8:34 AM Dec 25th
 
Steven Goldleaf
Another angle is that there are three basic elements to our (certainly my) reverence for Koufax's dominance: 1) the three Cy Youngs (when no one had won two before he won his third), 2) the first ballot HoF after only five or six years of pitching well 3) the consensus while active that he was unquestionably better than Marichal, Gibson, Ford, etc. They were super pitchers, but Koufax was considered a notch better than "super." Shifting twelve wins from the W to the L column in exactly this way undermines all three at once, depriving him of all the CYs, depriving him not only of the first-ballot but probably the HoF entirely, and throwing him into the discussion of "Who was the greatest pitcher of the 1960s?" and probably on the losing end of that argument. He still has the Ks, he still has the World Series performances, he still has the no-hitters, so maybe we still make exceptions for him, but how low can your peak years go before you start discounting all those things as freak-show stats and not very significant? It's sort of like the discussion we're having now about Curt Schilling. Do we really want to make a HoF case on someone's best handful of games in crucial spots or do we make a case based on overall career performances, by which measure Schilling falls a little short and our unlucky Koufax falls short too.
5:06 AM Dec 25th
 
Steven Goldleaf
Thanks, Gary (and Bruce, and everyone)--that was my main point, I think. (It's hard to know exactly what your main point is when you're speculating so wildly.) Koufax was great, but he also had to be at least a little lucky to do SO well in low run-support games, and probably a lot lucky. No one can pitch to the score like that, if only because it's hard to know how many runs your team will score for you. That's what I mean by "the Magic Man," that Koufax had special powers of prescience to understand that in certain games he could give up a few runs because the Dodgers would score more than a few but in other games he had to toss shutouts because the Dodgers would eventually get him only the one run. If we speculate that instead of being a little lucky, he would be a little snakebit (is that like being a little pregnant?) and Drysdale would go from unlucky to lucky to the same degree, well, that's all I was speculating about. All I need is for you to grant my premise, that Koufax was pretty lucky in addition to being pretty great and that Drysdale suffered from a commensurate lack of luck.
4:50 AM Dec 25th
 
garywmaloney
Koufax may have "pitched to the score" as well as any hurler in history -- especially in that he had fewer runs to work with. Bill's point in Historical Abstract 1 was -- hey, NOBODY was this good with only one, two or three runs to work with. He walked back his earlier Drysdale "crucial games" review, and gave him credit for doing as well as he did, given the usual anemic Dodger offenses after 1962. He does better under Win Shares analysis that in Historical 1.
8:54 PM Dec 24th
 
evanecurb
OK I decided to do some research.

From 1963 to 1966, the Dodgers scored 4.1 runs per game in Koufax's starts vs. 3.9 runs per game in Drysdale's. That's about 8 runs per season based on 40 starts. That's a lot. 1 point in support of the thesis that Koufax had more luck than Drysdale.

Koufax allowed 2.12 runs per 9 innings pitched during those 4 seasons, including 0.26 unearned runs. Drysdale allowed 3.19 runs per 9, including 0.46 unearned. So Drysdale allowed 0.2 more unearned runs per game: again, about 8 runs per season. One point in support of the thesis that it wasn't all luck.

Koufax had 31(!) shutouts during that time; Drysdale had 18. In games that were not shutouts*, Koufax allowed 2.75 runs per 9 innings. In games that were not shutouts*, Drysdale allowed 3.75 runs per 9 innings. There was a difference of 1 run allowed per game in all games, but there was also a difference of 1 run allowed per game in non-shutouts.

I didn't attempt to count the number of games with 1 run allowed for each pitcher. too much work and I'm too lazy.

*assumes 9 innings pitched per shutout.









6:50 PM Dec 22nd
 
evanecurb
Stephen:

This is a very cool article. Fun stuff to think about. Did you look at the number of games in which Koufax allowed only one run, and his W-L record in those games? I would guess that in a league where the average team scores 3.5 runs a game, a typical pitcher would win 80% of those games.

I'm trying to make a point here, and not sure how well it's coming across. My basic question is this: Did Koufax really have better run support than Drysdale? There is a shortcoming in ERA (as there is in all stats) in that it doesn't take into account the distribution of runs allowed. A pitcher who allows only 1 run frequently but gets blown out once every ten games is going to have a better W-L record than a pitcher who allows the same number of total runs but spreads the runs evenly across all of his starts.

All other things being equal, a pitcher with more strikeouts will allow fewer unearned runs than a pitcher with fewer strikeouts, because there are fewer balls in play.

In the case of Koufax and Drysdale, it would be interesting to see if either of these factors made a difference, or if the entire difference was in run support. I guess I could look it up myself (I probably won't).
5:25 PM Dec 22nd
 
flyingfish
And Sandy refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 world Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. It's fascinating to me how important that was to him, and apparently he wasn't even all that religious, and that he was willing to risk a lot to make that refusal.

There's a nice story about that here:

www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/13710996/los-angeles-dodgers-legend-sandy-koufax-decision-not-pitch-game​-1-1965-world-series-yom-kippur-resonates-today

4:49 PM Dec 22nd
 
Steven Goldleaf
Every pitch, every pain, every penny.
4:15 AM Dec 22nd
 
MikeChary
Does Koufax get to keep his strikeouts and no hitters?
10:10 PM Dec 21st
 
Steven Goldleaf
a (joking) expression of my dad's, I think. I found it funny, anyway: "Your English is getting worser."​
10:54 AM Dec 21st
 
astros34
"Worser?" (Thinking of the Peanuts strip)
10:43 AM Dec 21st
 
Steven Goldleaf
Jim, I will request that you get behind me in the line of "Sandy Koufax's admirers." For various autobiographical reasons (that I just described in a BJOL column) I feel closer to the man than perhaps anyone I've never actually met (though I do have several one-degree-of-separation connections.) I admire him out of all proportion to his achievements, which are considerable in themselves. Steve161, in regard to Bill's point, how much control did Sandy have over the Dodgers scoring runs for him? All he could do was to shut out the other team, but any game where he gave up a single run was a game he was in grave danger of losing. That he won most of them, of course, is a testament to his great skill, but my point is that sometimes skill isn't enough.
7:32 AM Dec 21st
 
JimPertierra
Fascinating stuff Steven. I must say though, that I am totally biased because I consider Sandy Koufax to be just a tad short of God and went speechless for a week after he retired 50 years ago.

He is the one sports figure that I would love to meet in person, even for a second.

I think that Drysdale's quote when he found out that Sandy had pitched the perfect game against the Cubs (Don had been sent ahead (to San Francisco I believe) because he was starting the next game) pretty much sums up Sandy's offensive support. When DD was told he said "Did he win?"

After reading both Historical Abstracts and looking a lot closer, I feel that Walter Johnson was probably the greatest pitcher of all time, but Sandy is my favorite with Pedro second. Loved to watch both of them work.
6:46 AM Dec 21st
 
steve161
As Rich Dunstan points out, what James emphasized in the first Historical Abstract was Koufax's ability to win without run support. His W-L when the Dodgers scored only one run is, pardon the understatement, striking. To say that he was lucky to get two runs when he only gave up one is turning Bill's argument exactly on its head.
6:32 AM Dec 21st
 
Steven Goldleaf
We would definitely be calling him the greatest pitcher who never got into the HoF, and non-sabermetric types would be calling us insane. It's possible to make Koufax even unluckier than I have, of course--that 10-9 record in his non-shutout games in '63 is far from a total nightmare scenario.
4:56 AM Dec 21st
 
Poincare
Good article as always Stephen. I would like to point out if your proposed narrative had played out in real life Koufax would have become a sabrmetric hero as opposed to the living legend he is. Even in your alternate scenario Koufax still has three 20 win seasons, three 300 strikeout seasons, and 5 consecutive ERA titles. I think Johan Santana would be close modern parallel to how Koufax would be regarded.
12:51 AM Dec 21st
 
villageelliott
Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain ...

"When Captain Stormfield asked to see Napoleon, the greatest soldier ever, he was disabused, 'The greatest military genius our world ever produced was a bricklayer from ... and Napoleon are all on his staff, and ever so many more great generals; but the public hardly care to look at them when he is around.'"

9:08 PM Dec 20th
 
Steven Goldleaf
Thanks, ff. Grey's Elegy is a great favorite of mine--I wrote a close analysis of it in grad school, a very complicated poem on how to read a poem.

As to Rich Dunstan's point, as best as I can figger, this wasn't about Koufax getting undeserved praise or Drydale getting unfairly ripped, just that life sometimes bes very harsh: the games I selected of Koufax's were all games in which he gave up at least 1 run, and averaged 2.65 earned run, or about 3 runs per game, earned and unearned (in 1963, anyway). Seems to me he could have theoretically (and in the 1960s practically) have lost all of them, if the other team threw a shutout that day, 0-19, pitching the same exact way he did in those 19 games, but instead, because the Dodgers scored runs behind him, he won 14 and lost 5. Your reading of Bill's piece (and maybe Bill's reading) is that Koufax pitched very skillfully, winning 2-1 and 1-0 and 3-2, but I'm pointing out that he had zero control over whether the Dodgers scored 1 or 2 or 3 or 0 runs. That's at least partly lucky. Drysdale, not so much. Either Koufax had the genius to give up one run on a day when he knew the Dodgers would score 2, whereas Drysdale would give up two runs on days the Dodgers would only be scoring one for him, or Koufax was luckier than Drysdale. Absent this ability to pitch to the score, I don't see how you reach another conclusion. Without luck, we'd be thinking very differently about these two pitchers.
8:56 PM Dec 20th
 
flyingfish
Interesting and well written, as always, Steven, although I'm not quite sure what to do with it. Similar things have been said by many, my favorite being Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, by Thomas Gray, in the 18th century. Perhaps the best-known bit (and at least most memorable to me) is this:

Some village Hampden that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

Worth (re-)reading in its entirety, here:

www.bartleby.com/101/453.html
6:49 PM Dec 20th
 
Rich Dunstan
As I recall (I don't have the book any more), a major point of the Historical Abstract article was that Koufax had a shockingly good W-L record, not only relative to his ERA, but relative to his actual run support . For example, he had a ridiculously good W-L even in games where the Dodgers scored only one run for him. Drysdale was no worse than most pitchers in this respect, but could not match Koufax at all. The article, again as I recall, was not a criticism of Drysdale, but a defense of his record, in that Bill thought no one could reasonably be expected to do what Koufax did.
5:15 PM Dec 20th
 
ksclacktc
And if my grandmother had a !!!!x,)0^ she'd be my grandfather.
2:48 PM Dec 20th
 
 
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