Baseball-Fix Monday: Week 11
The only way to reveal the dynamic of an elite unit is by examining the 9 three-armed monsters in the sport. I’ll show the production of their entire 3-to-5-man corps, and the club’s success in that big year plus October. At the end I’ll crunch the numbers by the achievements of the franchises–including the postseason–the competition element on individual results, that affect over the other hurlers, and how many number ones had big summers. I’ll list them in order: The 1910 Athletics (1) and ’98 Braves (2) are before the 2011 Phillies (3). The others after them are: The ’71 O’s (4), ’54 Tribe (5), ’27 Yankees (6), ’73 A’s (7), ’66 Dodgers (8), ’16 Red Sox (9), and 2003 A’s (10). Read my Bleacher Autopsy (4-part series) by clicking my byline (Tal Venada), and that takes you to all the articles I’ve written.
The 1910 Philadelphia Athletics produced a 4-1 World Series Championship after a 102-48 record with a 14.5-game lead. That force featured: LHP Eddie Plank (16-10, 2.01 ERA), RHP Chief Bender (23-5, 1.58 ERA), RHP Jack Coombs (31-9, 1.30 ERA), and RHP Cy Morgan (18-12, 1.55 ERA). The mound masters had numerous annual blockbusters to show for their diligence and talent, but I will compact the words on all 9 contenders. The year they enjoyed in ‘10 was: Plank, 8th (13 powerful); Bender, cream of 9 potent; Coombs, the best from 3 strong; and Morgan with his career mark.
The 1998 Atlanta Braves experienced a 106-56 season (plus 18), losing 2-4 in The NLCS. They had: RHP Greg Maddox (18-9, 2.22 ERA), LHP Tom Glavine (20-6, 2.47 ERA), RHP John Smoltz (17-3, 2.90 ERA), LHP Denny Neagle (16-11, 3.55 ERA), and RHP Kevin Millwood (17-8, 4.08 ERA). They celebrated 1998: Maddux, 9th power-laden (12); Glavine, 5th heavy-duty (7); Smoltz with his 2nd loftiest summer; Neagle, 3rd highest; and Millwood in his 1st full year.
The 1971 Baltimore Orioles chronicled a 101-57 finish (12 ahead), falling 3-4 in the big dance. Their unit was comprised of: RHP Jim Palmer (20-9, 2.68 ERA), LHP Mike Cuellar (20-9, 3.08 ERA), LHP Dave McNally (21-5, 2.89 ERA), and RHP Pat Dobson (20-8, 2.90 ERA). They starred in ‘71: Palmer, 3rd mighty (9); Cuellar, 3rd best (7 power-packed); McNally, 2nd loftiest of 4 significant; and Dobson, his career season.
The 1954 Cleveland Indians had a 111-43 total (up by 8), getting swept 0-4 in The Fall Classic. Their pitchers were: RHP Bob Lemon (23-7, 2.72 ERA), RHP Early Wynn (23-11, 2.73 ERA), RHP Mike Garcia (19-8, 2.64 ERA), RHP Art Houtteman (15-7, 3.35 ERA), and RHP Bob Feller (13-3, 3.09 ERA). They authored triumph in ‘54: Lemon and Wynn, both with the top of 7 potent summers each; Garcia, 2nd highest (4 powerful); Houtteman, 2nd career best; and Feller on his last hurrah.
The 1927 New York Yankees polished off a 110-44 completion (19 in front), and swept The WS 4-0. The throwers were: LHP Herb Pennock (19-8, 3.00 ERA), RHP Waite Hoyt (22-7, 2.63 ERA), RHP Urban Shocker (18-6, 2.84 ERA), RHP Wilcy Moore (19-7, 2.28 ERA), and LHP Dutch Ruether (13-6, 3.38 ERA). They experienced 1927: Pennock, 4th strong (5); Hoyt, the cream of 4 heavy-duty; Shocker, 4th power-filled (6); Moore, a career year as a rookie; and Ruether in his final season.
The 1973 Oakland A’s staff was: RHP Catfish Hunter (21-5, 3.34 ERA), LHP Ken Holtzman (21-13, 2.97 ERA), and LHP Vida Blue (20-9, 3.28 ERA). That organization produced a 96-68 record (plus 6 ) and won the big dance 4-3. They enjoyed 1973: Hunter and Blue in their 5th of 5 mighty each plus Holtzman with his peak from 4 significant.
The 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers had: LHP Sandy Koufax (27-9, 1.73 ERA), RHP Don Drysdale (13-16, 3.42 ERA), LHP Claude Osteen (17-14, 2.85 ERA), and Don Sutton (12-12, 2.99 ERA). The Dodgers finished 95-67 with a 1.5 game lead, but were swept 0-4 in The World Series. They celebrated 1966: Koufax, the zenith (5 power-laden); Drysdale in the first summer after his stud-run ended; Osteen, 3rd highest (3 potent); Sutton, his rookie year (5 seasons before his notable emergence).
The 1916 Boston Red Sox starred: RHP Carl Mays (18-13, 2.39 ERA), LHP Babe Ruth (23-12, 1.75 ERA), LHP Dutch Leonard (18-12, 2.36 ERA), RHP Ernie Shore (16-10, 2.63 ERA), and RHP Rube Foster (14-7, 3.06 ERA). The Sox went 91-63 (2 ahead) and toasted a 4-1 Fall Classic victory. They featured in ‘16: Mays, 1st of 7 strong summers (sophomore opportunity); Ruth, the loftiest from 3 crown-worthy; Leonard, 2nd highest (3 power-packed); Shore, 2nd best (4 full) over 9 years; and Foster, 3rd successful within his 5 seasons.
The 2003 Oakland squad contained: RHP Tim Hudson (16-7, 2.70 ERA), LHP Barry Zito (14-12, 3.30 ERA), and LHP Mark Mulder (15-9, 3.13 ERA). They authored a 96-66 finish with a lead of 3, losing 2-3 in The ALDS. They built in ‘03: Hudson, his top of 3 mighty; Zito, 2nd highest (3-summer ace run); and Mulder, the peak from 3 heavy-duty.
The 9 star-laced teams produced 5 World Series Championships, 2 made it to the big dance, and 2 won division titles. Two required 7 victories for the trophy claiming, and two needed 11 wins, which is the current benchmark. That’s 2 championships with 2 efforts (LCS & WS), and none under the present conditions–like the ‘10 Phillies. Two nailed the prize over 2 rounds, one navigated through 1 playoff series, and one did not advance past the first tier, while the 2010 locals didn’t pass the second stage.
25 of the 27 starters created powerful seasons, Zito had a solid year, and Drysdale experienced his first summer without top-shelf numbers on the way down. The 25 breaks down to 10 with their loftiest season, 4 captured their second best achievement, and 2 established their third highest performance. The other 9 had potent outcomes, including 1 by a sophomore. The 11 fours-fives managed 3 top summers–one as a rookie–2 second bests, 2 third highest, and 1 year each of: first full, rookie, final, and last hurrah. All 27 number ones had respectable summers, and the entire 38 thrived. 4 of the clubs enjoyed 5 successful hurlers, and 3 had 4 solid pitchers, but only 2 were limited to 3 with good results.
These are the top full-season stats for the horses. Doc celebrated his loftiest summer in ‘10 with a 21-10 masterwork and a 2.44 ERA, while his top performance was 22-7 (’03). The General tasted his cream year in ‘08 with a 22-3 finish and a 2.54 ERA. The Wizard Of Os hit his peak in ‘05, going 20-12 with a 2.94 ERA. His zenith was a 2.76 ERA for ‘10 and a 20-10 total in ‘04. King Cole authored a 15-5 record in ‘07 with a 3.39 ERA, produced his best ERA at 3.06 for ‘10, but he had a 2.68 ERA after May 1 by perfecting Lee’s cutter. Joe Blanton experienced his summit in ‘07 with a 14-10 effort and a 3.95 ERA. His crown-worthy seasons were 16-12 (‘06) and a 3.53 ERA (‘05).
The arms advantage in the 3 to 5 slots is imposing, and should evolve into a wider gap between wins and losses for those starters. Jamie Moyer produced a 56-40 result in those slots, which is 17-15 over a 32-appearance average. Blanton will face the 5-hole thrower, Hamels will challenge the 4, and Oswalt will encounter the opposition’s 3–more times than not. Then, you have the top right-handed star, and the class MLB lefty at the front of the rotation to defend the mound. The best NL rivals are: RHP Tim Lincecum (Doc), RHP Matt Cain (Lee), RHP Matt Garza (Os), RHP Hiroki Kuroda (Hamels), and RHP Jon Garland (Kentucky Joe). I do not include LHP Johan Santana, RHP Adam Wainwright, and the most worthy competition (RHP’s) will face a left-slanted lineup. There is the definite possibility that all 5 hurlers can reap between 15 to 20 victories, and the above are the strongest of the other 15 organizations.