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Best ERA

DocTee
Aug 18 2005 06:08 PM

Right now Roger Clemens is 11-4 with a 1.32 ERA. If the season ended today, he'd have the 2nd best ERA in the post-WWII era--and, he probably wouldn't win the Cy Young Award (Chris Carpenter 17-4 2.25 ERA would).

I've listed the best single-season ERAs. Bob Gibson's season in 1968 gets all the press--and Tim McCarver airtime. But I think Pedro was better in 1999 and 2000 (check out the league AVG and ERA, and the next lowest ERA. I don't think anyone was ever more dominant for their year--in a hitter's era, against a DH. I also don't think Steve Carlton's gets enough credit for what he did in the 1972 season (27-10 1.97 ERA on a last-place team that went 59-97).


Bob Gibson 1968 22-9 1.12 ERA 268 K NL AVG: .243 - NL ERA: 2.98 (Next lowest ERA: 1.99 Bobby Bolin, Fergie Jenkins 260 Ks were second).

Dwight Gooden 1985 24-4 1.53 ERA 268 K NL AVG: 252 NL ERA 3.59 (Next lowest ERA: John Tudor 1.93, Mario Soto 214 Ks were second).

Greg Maddox 1994 16-6 1.56 ERA 156 K NL AVG: .267 NL ERA: 4.22 (Next lowest ERA: Bret Saberhagen 2.74, Maddox 3rd in Ks, Ken Hill tied for lead with 16 wins).

Luis Tiant 1968 21-9 1.60 ERA 264 K AL AVG: .230 AL ERA: 2.98 (Next lowest ERA: Sam McDowell 1.81, Tiant 3rd in Ks, tied for 3rd in wins).

Greg Maddox 1995 19-2 1.63 ERA 181 K NL AVG: .263 NL ERA: 4.18 (Next lowest ERA: Hideo Nomo 2.54, Maddox 3rd in Ks).

Dean Chance 1964 20-9 1.65 ERA 207 K AL AVG: .247 AL ERA: 3.63 (Next Lowest ERA: Joe Horlan 1.88, Chance 3rd in Ks, tied for lead in wins).

Nolan Ryan 1981 11-5 1.69 ERA 140 K NL AVG .255 NL ERA 3.49 (Next lowest ERA: Bob Knepper 2.18, Ryan 4th in Ks, 6th in wins).

Sandy Koufax 1966 27-9 1.73 ERA 317 K NL AVG: 256 NL ERA: 3.61 (Next Lowest ERA: Mike Cuellar 2.22, Jim Bunning 252 Ks were second).

Ron Guidry 1978 25-3 1.74 ERA 248 K AL AVG: .261 AL ERA: 3.76 (Next lowest ERA: Jon Matlack 2.27, Guidry 2nd in Ks).

Sandy Koufax 1964 19-5 1.74 ERA 223 K NL AVG: .254 NL ERA: 3.53 (Next lowest ERA: Don Drysdale 2.18, Koufax 4th in Ks, Koufax 4th in wins).

Pedro Martinez 2000 18-6 1.74 ERA 284 K AL AVG: .276 AL ERA: 4.91 (Next lowest ERA: Roger Clemens 3.70, Bartolo Colon 2nd in Ks with 212, Martinez 4th in wins).

Tom Seaver 1971 20-10 1.76 ERA 289 K NL AVG: .252 NL ERA: 3.47 (Next lowest ERA: Dave Roberts 2.10, Fergie Jenkins 2nd in Ks with 263, Seaver tied for 2nd in wins).

Vida Blue 1971 24-8 1.82 ERA 301 K AL AVG: .247 AL ERA: 3.46 (Next lowest ERA: Wilbur Wood 1.91, Blue 2nd in Ks, 2nd in wins).

Phil Niekro 1967 11-9 1.87 ERA 1.29 K NL AVG: .249 NL ERA: 3.38 (Next lowest ERA: Jim Bunning 2.29, Niekro led in nothing but ERA).

Sandy Koufax 1963 25-5 1.88 ERA 306 Ks NL AVG: .245 NL ERA: 3.29 (Next lowest ERA: Dick Ellsworth 2.11, Jim Maloney 2nd in Ks with 265, Koufax tied for lead in wins).

Kevin Brown 1996 17-11 1.89 ERA 159 K NL AVG: .262 NL ERA: 4.22 (Next lowest ERA: Greg Maddox 2.72, Brown not among leaders in Ks, Brown 3rd in wins).

Pedro Martinez 1997 17-8 1.90 ERA 305 K NL AVG: .263 NL ERA: 4.21 (Next Lowest ERA: Greg Maddox 2.20, Martinez 2nd in Ks, tied for 5th in wins).

Roger Clemens 1990 21-6 1.93 ERA 209 K AL AVG: .259 AL ERA: 3.91 (Next lowest ERA: Chuck Finley 2.40, Clemens 4th in K, 3rd in wins).

Hal Newhouser 1946 26-9 1.94 ERA 275 K AL AVG: .256 AL ERA: 3.50 (Next lowest ERA: Spud Chandler 2.10, Newhouser 2nd in Ks, tied for lead in wins with Bob Feller).

Steve Carlton 1972 27-10 1.97 ERA 310 K NL AVG: .248 NL ERA: 3.45 (Next lowest ERA: Gary Nolan 1.99, Tom Seaver 2nd in Ks with 249).

Billy Pierce 1955 15-10 1.97 ERA 157 K AL AVG: .258 AL ERA: 3.96 (Next lowest ERA: Whitey Ford 2.63, Pierce was 3rd in Ks, but not among the leaders in wins).

Whitey Ford 1958 14-7 2.01 ERA 145 K AL AVG: .254 AL ERA 3.77 (Next lowest ERA: Billy Pierce 2.68, Ford not among the leaders in wins or Ks).

Sandy Koufax 1965 26-8 2.04 ERA 382 K NL AVG: .249 NL ERA: 3.54 (Next lowest ERA: Juan Marichal 2.13, Bob Veale 2nd in Ks with 276).

Roger Clemens 1997 21-7 2.05 ERA 257 K AL AVG: .271 AL ERA: 4.57 (Next lowest ERA: Randy Johnson 2.28, Johnson 2nd in Ks with 256).

Joe Horlan 1967 19-7 2.06 ERA 103 K AL AVG: .236 AL ERA: 3.23 (Next lowest ERA: Gary Peters 2.28, Horlan was 4th in wins but not among the leaders in Ks).

Pedro Martinez 1999 23-4 2.07 ERA 313 K AL AVG: .275 AL ERA: 4.86 (Next lowest ERA: David Cone 3.44, Chuck Finley was 2nd in Ks with 200).

cooby
Aug 18 2005 07:23 PM

I also don't think Steve Carlton's gets enough credit for what he did in the 1972 season (27-10 1.97 ERA on a last-place team that went 59-97).


Steve Carlton was KILLER in 1972. His record in contrast with the Phillies record is remarkable.

When he was pitching, I never missed a game

MFS62
Aug 18 2005 07:23 PM

Thanks.
Nice work.
I think (as of the last time I read it) that in 1972, Steve Carlton set the record for highest percentage of a team's games won in the modern era. (Maybe all time)

Say what you want about McCarver pumping up that Gibson year, I think he was Lefty's catcher in '72 as well.

Later

cooby
Aug 18 2005 07:24 PM

I think he was too, 62. I know he was on that team, I had their yearbook that year

DocTee
Aug 18 2005 09:11 PM

That may be the best season ever compiled by an individual on a horrible team-- the only comparisons I can think of are Andre Dawson's MVP year with the last place Cubs and A-Rod with the Rangers.

Frayed Knot
Aug 18 2005 09:25 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Aug 18 2005 09:30 PM

Nate Colbert still may hold the record for the largest pct of his team's RBIs for one of those early '70s Padre teams.

on edit: He had 111 Ribbies for the '72 Pads who only had a team total of 452. 2nd place went to LeRon Lee with 47.

Edgy DC
Aug 18 2005 09:28 PM

Walter Johnson's 1.14 in 1913 was the record Gibson broke.

It would still stand but Johnson decided to have fun the last game and throw some intentional gopher balls.