4's vs. 13's
Pardon the interruption, there was some retirement issues to tend to. But we’re back with the ‘Greatest Pitchers of the Modern Era Bracket’, bringing you the No. 4’s vs. the No. 13’s. To get you up to speed, here are the results from the No. 3’s vs. the No. 14’s:
Nolan Ryan (96 percent) over Dean Chance (4 percent)
Pedro Martinez (92 percent) over Bob Welch (8 percent)
Whitey Ford (67 percent) over David Wells (33 percent)
Sandy Koufax (97 percent) over Rick Reuschel (3 percent)
Now comes the next round (with guest commentator, resident bracketologist, Kirk Minihane supplying the particulars for each match-up):
Cy Young Region
4. Fergie Jenkins vs. 13. Frank Viola
Jenkins won 20 games seven times in his career, including six straight seasons (1967-1972). Pretty impressive, even more so when you realize he spent the majority of his career pitching in hitters’ parks (12 of his 19 seasons in Wrigley or Fenway). Five top three Cy Young finishes. Viola won a Cy Young in 1988 after a 24-7 season with the Twins and was a real solid pitcher for a nine-year stretch (won at least 13 games in each season from 1984-92, including five seasons with at least 16 wins). A nice career, but he just wasn’t in Jenkins’ class.
Walter Johnson Region
4. Gaylord Perry vs. 13. Milt Pappas
The first pitcher to win a Cy Young in both leagues, Perry used that spitter to win 314 games. For an idea of how the game has changed, look at the number of complete games Perry had each season from 1969-1976: 26, 23, 14, 29, 29, 28, 25, 21. Johan Santana has nine in his career. Milt Pappas is best known as the guy traded to the Reds for Frank Robinson but he had a decent career, winning 209 games. Problem is that he never won 20 and his best career Cy Young finish was ninth in 1972. Big edge to Perry here.
Lefty Grove Region
4. Tom Glavine vs. 13 Larry Jackson
Over 300 wins and six top three finishes in Cy Young voting (two wins) for Glavine. He also led the league in wins five times. And he was a horse, placing first or second in the NL in starts eight times. Jackson chalked up a bunch of 16-18 win seasons in the 1960s, and even had a 24-win season in 1964. He just didn’t pitch long enough 12 seasons as a starter to have any chance against Glavine.
Christy Mathewson Region
4. Juan Marichal vs. 13. Mike Cuellar
I guess I can see how Marichal never won a Cy Young Award, but how is it possible that he never received a first-place VOTE? Six 20-win seasons, five top-three finishes in ERA, even led the league in WHIP twice. How about his 1968 season? Thirty-eight starts, 30 complete games, 26 wins and a 2.43 ERA (granted it was the Year of the Pitcher, but still). Cuellar was a very good pitcher for a decade or so and won 20 games four times with those great Baltimore teams of the 1970s. Not a Marichal, but probably the best pitcher out of the four 13 seeds here.