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SteveA

On a day the Orioles play the Mets, Tom Seaver pases away at 75

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Why does Pedro Martinez miss the list? I always hear his name brought up in best pitcher ever conversations. What he did at the height of the steroid era was unreal

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1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

It's certainly not a lock, and I wouldn't personally pick him.  But it goes something like this:

The shortlist is Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Clemens, Lefty Grove, Seaver, Maddux, Johnson.  Maybe you could make some kind of case for Kid Nichols, Pete Alexander, Christy Mathewson. 

Young, Johnson, Grove, Nichols, Alexander, and Mathewson played 90-120 years ago when the league was segregated, only had 16 teams in the eastern half of the country, mostly didn't have affiliated minors, almost no foreign players, modern scouting and analysis was all but unknown, and pitchers clearly paced to try to throw a complete game all the time.  I would argue that it's almost impossible to say someone from that era is comparable to a top pitcher from the past 50 years.  All of them were able to save their best stuff for the key moments of games.  Walter Johnson and Grove probably threw in the 90s, but they almost certainly weren't throwing 98 mph for 300-400 innings. An average MLB fastball in 1915 was probably about 80 mph.

Clemens has the PED stuff.

Maddux and Johnson have almost as good a case as Seaver, possibly better.  Johnson I think you can eliminate because he just wasn't that good until he found his control at 30.  Maddux was never a huge strikeout pitcher, and relied on his defenses more than Seaver.  I'm also a little wary of 260 ERA+es from Maddux that really are only possible in a very high run environment like the 90s.  For Seaver to have a 260 in 1970ish he'd have had to have like an 0.70 ERA, which is essentially impossible.

So after all that you're left with Tom Seaver.  Personally I'd pick Clemens, but I get why others wouldn't.

Thanks for the great thoughts! 

No mention of guys like Pedro or Koufax? Or even a Palmer (I know that's a stretch) who lost some time to injury? I know their careers were shorter, perhaps WAR can be compared on a per season or per game basis?

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1 minute ago, ChosenOne21 said:

Why does Pedro Martinez miss the list? I always hear his name brought up in best pitcher ever conversations. What he did at the height of the steroid era was unreal

He didn't pitch enough.

Pedro- IP 2827.1

Seaver- 4783.0 '

Johnson- 4135.1

Maddux- 5008.1

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4 minutes ago, ChosenOne21 said:

Why does Pedro Martinez miss the list? I always hear his name brought up in best pitcher ever conversations. What he did at the height of the steroid era was unreal

That's a good point.  Corn is right, short career.  But his peak is about as high as anyone's. 

Koufax is similar, but had an even shorter peak and pitched in the best pitcher's environment of the past century.  I imagine Tom Seaver or Clemens or anyone on the list would have looked pretty unhittable on a giant mound in Dodger Stadium with a knees-to-shoulders strikezone.

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As much as I like Palmer, he pitched mostly in a pitcher's era, in a pitcher's park with an epic defense behind him.  If anything you could argue that his performances weren't as good as his raw numbers.  Clearly a HOFer, but probably in the 30-50 range in all time starters.

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2 minutes ago, ChosenOne21 said:

*tongue in cheek* So that's what Matusz meant when he said Palmer's numbers "Weren't that good"

Was that ever confirmed to be Matusz?  I always figured it was Jake.

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2 minutes ago, ChosenOne21 said:

*tongue in cheek* So that's what Matusz meant when he said Palmer's numbers "Weren't that good"

:)

I know this is blasphemy in some circles, but Mussina was as good as Palmer.  If Palmer had pitched in a five-man rotation he may have never won 20.

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On 9/4/2020 at 8:38 AM, Can_of_corn said:

Was that ever confirmed to be Matusz?  I always figured it was Jake.

It was never confirmed.   The Matusz haters assumed it was him.   Could have been, but we don’t know.   

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I thought it was cool the Mets tribute of dirt on the knee.   It seems the conventional wisdom today is the drop and drive thing is not optimal, but it sure worked for Seaver.

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3 hours ago, OrioleDog said:

 

I thought it was cool that the Mets had a tribute of dirt on the knee. It seems the conventional wisdom today, as the drop and drive thing is not optimal, but it sure worked for Seaver.

 

o

 

Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Gary Gentry ...... it worked for numerous Mets pitchers who were (at the time) groomed by Rube Walker.

 

o

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