Pitchers bracket challenge: Just like old times
So we have our winners from the first match-ups — the 16’s vs. the 1’s — and there were no surprises:
Greg Maddux (91 percent) over Jerry Koosman (9 percent)
Warren Spahn (96 percent) over Tim Hudson (4 percent)
Steve Carlton (98 percent) over Steve Rogers (2 percent)
Tom Seaver (97 percent) over Don Gullett (3 percent)
While most of the No. 15’s vs. the No. 2’s figure to stay true to form, there is some potential for some shock-waves (especially in the Christy Mathewson Region). Here they are (Note: Polls will close at 10 p.m. Wednesday Thursday)
Cy Young Region
2. Jim Palmer vs. 15. Dave McNally
My Take: Three Cy’s, two seconds, a third and a second in the MVP, a .638 lifetime winning percentage, and a 2.86 CAREER ERA! Spent entirely with ONE team in the American League. Decent post-season numbers, but I am amazed at the average to what could be labeled real bad K/BB ratio. Never gave up a grand slam. Said he would, and did, walk a hitter with the bases loaded rather than pitch to a threat in that situation. Still managed a sub 3.00 ERA in the AL. Not sure how incredible that sub 3 is compared to the era’s league wide ERA, but this is another mismatch, and also our first match up of real teammates. Oh, and Palmer was an eight-time 20-game winner! McNally was a much better pitcher than I knew about. Won 20 four consecutive years and ended his career with a won-loss percentage over .600. Three consecutive top five Cy finishes put him on track for a real nice career. Palmer should win this walking away.
Walter Johnson Region
2. Bob Gibson vs. 15. Chuck Finley
Think intimidator, or fastball, and Gibson’s name comes to mind. I had the pleasure of sitting down and doing an interview with him for the Sporting News back in the ’90’s and he struck me as an incredibly kind and honest man. Said he never intentionally tried to hit anyone, but never worried if he did. Told me Frank Robinson was someone he may have hit more than anyone, and he tried NOT to ever hit him, because Frank would ALWAYS hit a HR off him after he did. Had 3,117 career K’s and one of the best post season careers in the game’s history. Completed an astounding 255 of his 482 career starts! How about this post season line: Games started, 9; ERA, 1.89; IP, 81; Hits, 55; Walks, 17; Strikeouts, 92. ALL OF THAT added up to a win-loss record of 2-1!! This guy basically made nine starts and threw nine complete games worth of innings. His 1968 season of 1.12 ERA in 304 innings is one of the top three pitching lines in the games
history. Getting seeded against Gibby is a no-win really. Finley was barely 20 games over .500 and struggled for the most part in the post season. Nice career with 200 wins though.
Lefty Grove Region
2. Randy Johnson vs. 15. John Tudor
I remember Jon Tudor growing up, as the first ‘thumber’ that I ever watched dominate. His changeup was incredible and throwing 10 shutouts in a career is a nice feat, much less a season. But matching up against
a guy that will likely retire as the top left-handed power pitcher in history just isn’t fair. RJ will retire with 300 wins, over 4000 strikeouts, and five Cy Young award. The most dominant lefty to ever pitch in my opinion. Tudor was an awesome guy, but this is a mismatch.
Christy Mathewson Region
2. Roger Clemens vs. 15. Dave Stewart
Clemens had 354 career wins, seven Cy’s, 12 Top 10 Cy finishes, an MVP, seven Top 10 MVP finishes, more than 4,000 strikeouts and some of the greatest numbers ever vs. 168 career wins? Total mismatch? No way. For me everything done after the 1992 goes out the window. In my opinion he cheated, and I think he cheated up until he retired. No one is more upset about that than I am, but that’s what I believe. Add to this that Stewart owned Clemens in head to head, Stewart was a post season stud, and had four Top 4 Cy finishes as well. I don’t think this is the walk it might appear. If it were me, everything from the day of admission or the day someone is caught cheating goes out the window. He hasn’t been caught, he hasn’t admitted, but I believe he did do what people are claiming he did, and while it sucks, it’s what I