Carl Hubbell vs. Sandy Koufax: A Hall of Fame Inner Circle Debate

Dating back to Graham Womack’s Inner Circle Hall of Fame project, Bryan and I have been engaging in a friendly debate regarding a couple candidates where our ballots differed, and who received decidedly different levels of support from the project’s voters. We agreed back then to collaborate on a post where we’d debate the merits of our guy versus the other. That was back in July, so this one has admittedly been a long time coming, but Adam’s recent Hall of Stats unveiling served to rekindle the conversation.

Honestly, the reason this little collaboration has taken so long to come to fruition is because I quickly realized I was fighting a losing battle, and frankly, I’m not a good loser. You see, Bryan’s candidate received more than three times as many votes as mine in said Inner Circle ballot. Which, of course, reinforces to me the guy’s career was overvalued, but that realization doesn’t do me much good when the rest of you put me in my place for saying that. Making matters worse, I quickly learned, when Bryan ended an otherwise completely objective argument with over-the-top hyperbole, Bryan’s simply a better debater than I am. Either that, or he’s just completely full of it. I’ll let you decide.

But, the thing that gave me a glimmer of hope I actually stand a chance of winning this argument (did I mention I like to win?) is the Hall of Stats, which says my candidate is more than 30% better* than Bryan’s. Yes, you read that right. I said more than 30% better. That’s like the difference between Sandy Koufax and Milt Pappas. Seriously.

*OK, so Adam corrected me when I used the word “better” in a comment thread where I was essentially trolling Bryan on his own blog. Adam claims “more valuable” is more appropriate. Yeah, yeah, yeah…whatever. It’s not like he’s an authority on the subject or anything.

Oh, and speaking of Koufax, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, he’s Bryan’s guy. Mine is Carl Hubbell.

Let’s get it on…


The Case for Carl Hubbell
by Dan McCloskey

Of course, Sandy Koufax is primarily remembered for a dominant stretch in which his statistics look unbeatable until you factor in it happened in an era that favored pitchers and in a hitter-unfriendly home ballpark. But, there’s really no debating that Koufax’s four best consecutive years (1963-1966) are better than Hubbell’s (1933-1936), although not by as much as you’d think when you adjust for ballpark and era:

However, four years does not a Hall of Fame inner circle case make, so we need to take a look at a larger body of work. We already know that smaller samples will favor Koufax, while larger ones will favor Hubbell, so let’s start by looking at eight years, which we’ll call their “extended peak.” This seems a pretty fair compromise, albeit one that should still probably favor the player with the better peak:

Koufax (1959-1966): 145-66, 2.49 ERA, 141 ERA+, 1961 IP, 47.7 WAR, 31.3 WAA
Hubbell (1929-1936): 160-88, 2.74 ERA, 143 ERA+, 2270 IP, 47.8 WAR, 31.4 WAA

Two things jump out at me. First and foremost, how unbelievably close these sets of numbers look, particular in the player valuation metrics (WAR and WAA). But, also Koufax’s 0.25 ERA advantage points to how he’s become just a bit over-rated, since Hubbell has a better (park and era adjusted) ERA+ despite Koufax’s not insignificant ERA advantage.

So, what am I trying to say here? I’ve conceded Koufax had the better peak, but when we look at extended peak, they’re basically even. You could argue that Hubbell is better, since he maintained a slightly higher ERA+ over 300 more innings, but you could also counter that Koufax earned the same value over 300 fewer innings, so he was maybe a little more dominant. Personally, I prefer the ERA+ comparison when we’re looking at a body of work in the ballpark of 2000 innings, but you could make a case that it all basically evens out. I threw the won-loss records in there, just for kicks, but I don’t think there’s much value in those.

However, the WAR and WAA totals represent 95% and 102% of Koufax’s career value, respectively. For Hubbell, they’re only 73% and 82% of his career totals. Lest you think Hubbell was just a compiler in the years that fell outside of that range, here are those numbers: 93-66, 3.39 ERA, 112 ERA+, 1320 IP, 17.5 WAR, 7.1 WAA. So, you can see he was still a pretty effective pitcher and if we looked at any time frame greater than eight years, Hubbell would clearly be superior.

Personally, I think a major reason why Koufax is seen as an inner circle guy is that he retired at his peak, so he gets a lot of credit for what might have been. In reality, though, injuries are what prompted his decision to retire. As unfortunate as that is, he’s not alone in this regard.

Wes Ferrell and Bret Saberhagen are examples of pitchers who fought through their career-threatening injuries and probably negatively affected their legacies in the process. Sure, neither of them had peaks quite as great as Koufax (although Adam may disagree with me when it comes to Ferrell), but I wonder how our perceptions of Koufax may have changed had he had a similar downward trajectory while attempting to comeback from injury.

Of course, we can’t assume that would have happened to Koufax. Neither can we make all the “what might have been” assumptions that seem to drive the perception he’s worthy of the Hall of Fame inner circle.


The Case for Sandy Koufax
by Bryan O’Connor

That Hubbell accumulated more career value can’t be denied, and you make a compelling argument that Hubbell’s peak value was comparable to Koufax’s as well.  Eight years seems like a reasonable sample size to compare the peak value of any two players, but it sells Koufax’s greatness short.

Hubbell’s eight best seasons came at ages 26 to 33.  That may be a little on the late side for the average pitcher, but it’s probably typical of Hall of Fame pitchers, who generally separate themselves from lesser pitchers by dominating well into their 30s.  Sandy Koufax was not a typical Hall of Fame pitcher.  He retired at age 30, having just finished two of the greatest pitcher seasons in baseball history.  To fix his peak at eight years is to include his age 23 to 25 seasons, when he was still honing the skills that would make him the best pitcher in baseball.  Hubbell didn’t even crack the major leagues until he was 25, and his numbers that season are underwhelming, but are conveniently left out of his eight-year peak.

From 1962 to 1966, Koufax’s true peak, he never had an ERA over 2.54 and led his league in ERA every season.  He struck out 1,444 batters and walked 316, a 4.57 to 1 ratio.  Koufax earned 39.1 rWAR and 42.9 fWAR in five years.

Hubbell’s five best years also came consecutively, from 1932 to 1936.  Hubbell led his league in ERA three times over this stretch, with one blip in 1935, when his ERA spiked to 3.27.  He struck out 684 batters and walked 230, a 2.97 to 1 ratio.  Hubbell earned 35.7 rWAR and 24.1 fWAR over that stretch, a remarkable accomplishment, but one that not only pales in comparison to Koufax’s peak, but doesn’t look much better than contemporary Dizzy Dean’s and 32.6 rWAR and 29.7 fWAR over that same period.  Over in the AL, Lefty Grove put up 35.2 rWAR and 28.5 fWAR from ’32 to ’36 despite a 6.50 ERA over 12 games in 1934.  Was Hubbell ever the best pitcher in baseball?

I’ll admit that the five-year peak argument is biased in Koufax’s favor, but there was no one else in his stratosphere during that peak.  Had Koufax remained healthy and willing enough to keep pitching, he would have been 31 and 32 in two of the most pitcher-friendly years in baseball history, and it’s reasonable to believe that he could have put up a season like Bob Gibson’s 1968 in that environment.  I don’t approve of adding “would be” numbers to years a player missed, but if we’re looking for an inner circle Hall of Famer, don’t we want to choose the guy who was the best pitcher in the world for several years and retired on top of his game?

In addition to the short peak argument, Koufax also pitched in an integrated league at one of strongest times in National League history.  Park and era factors are important, and they’re baked into ERA+ and both versions of WAR, but advanced metrics can’t account for quality of competition.  When Koufax was dominating the National League, three of the best hitters in baseball history- Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Frank Robinson- were in their primes and playing for rival teams.  In Hubbell’s era, the best black players were playing in the Negro Leagues and the best white players were playing in the American League (Gehrig, DiMaggio) or on his own team (Ott).

In Koufax’s 12-year career, the National League won seven World Series, titles, including four by his Dodgers.  During Hubbell’s 16 years, the NL won just five championships, just one by his Giants.  The NL also went 8-4 in All-Star games during Koufax’s career, and 5-1 when he pitched, while the AL dominated the early All-Star games during Hubbell’s career.  Comparing leagues by championships and All-Star games is of course relying on small sample sizes, but they both support the generally-accepted opinion that the NL was at its peak in the ’60s, and perhaps at its nadir in the ’30s.

Sandy Koufax pitched against better hitters and dominated them like no pitcher had in decades.  He had two different seasons of 10 or more more rWAR and two of the seven sub-2 FIP seasons in baseball history.  Carl Hubbell was a great pitcher for a long time, and accumulated more career value, but he never pitched like Koufax did in the mid-’60s.  An inner circle without Koufax might as well not have any pitchers at all.


76 thoughts on “Carl Hubbell vs. Sandy Koufax: A Hall of Fame Inner Circle Debate

  1. 1
    Baltimorechop says:

    I also put in a ballot in that Inner circle debate, and I know I had Hubbell & I believe I left Koufax off of mine (could be mistaken). Regardless, I know I had Hubbell ranked above Koufax.

    To throw out some more facts for Pro-Koufaxians:

    Regarding the stats shown in the Pro-Hubbell article wherein their peaks are compared: it leaves out their batting stats. Koufax from 59-66 produced -3.0 batting WAR, whereas Hubbell produced +.3. Therefore, Sandy is really at 43.7 to Hubbell’s 48.1. (Koufax had a -22 OPS+ compared to Carl’s 24 OPS+).

    Also, in the Pro-Koufax article it states “I’ll admit that the five-year peak argument is biased in Koufax’s favor, but there was no one else in his stratosphere during that peak. From 62-66 (which must be the 5 years in question), Koufax had 37.4 WAR (39.1 pitching, -1.7 hitting). Juan Marichal had 37.2 (35.4 pitching, 1.8 hitting). Koufax wins, but .2 does not equal a different stratosphere.

    When I was deciding my inner hall, I do recall purposely going through to find other players that had ridiculous Koufax-like peaks, and I had a whole list of 6 or 7 players who really had done nearly the same as Sandy, but who are never given the same credit (because they didn’t walk away from the game right after it). I’ll look around to see if I can find it.

    • 2
      Baltimorechop says:

      I found my list of other high end peaks similar to Koufax.

      This list was made with just the last 4 super Koufax seasons, wherein he earns 34.9 pitching WAR, -1.2 hitting WAR for a 33.7 total in 4 years (averaging higher than 8 WAR a season, crazy). For those whose peaks looked longer than 4 years, I kept adding.

      The first number will be total war for 4 years, any numbers directly after with be for 5 or 6 years if the peak kept going. Numbers after in parentheses will show the hitting war for those numbers.

      Koufax: 33.7, 37.4, 42.0 (-1.2, -1.7, -2.4)
      Noodles Hahn: 29.4, 36.4, 42.7 (-.9, -1.3, -1.3)
      Vance: 25.5, 35.3 (-.6, -.5)
      Farrell: 29.2 (+4.1)
      Roberts: 33.9, 40.4 (.4, -.1)
      Marichal: 33.2 (1.1)
      Feller: 30.5 (.4)
      Waddell: 35.7 (-1.0)

      I guess i got lazy toward the end and only stuck with the 4 year peak (to match up against Koufax’s crazy last 4 seasons). How many people left Robin Roberts out of their top 50? Koufax was definitely great, but Marichal was right there with him, and Roberts did it the decade before (post-integration).

    • 6

      Chop, I’ll admit to a bit of hyperbole with the stratosphere comment, but when I wrote it, I certainly wasn’t considering offensive contributions. Isolating pitching, which I think is fair given that pitching greatness is what would make Koufax (or Hubbell or Marichal) worthy of the Inner Circle, Koufax led Marichal by 3.7 WAR, or 9.9%. Less than a win per season may not seem like much, but in today’s baseball economy, that pays about $18.5 million on the free agent market (assuming the free agent market doesn’t care about pitcher batting numbers, and I don’t think it does).

      I get that pitchers had to bat back then, and that a good-hitting pitcher contributed to the runs his team scored. I just have a hard time caring about batting wins when comparing two great pitchers. If Hubbell is more worthy of the Inner Circle, it’s because of his sustained pitching greatness, not because of his unterrible hitting.

      • 7

        I tend to agree with Bryan here, about pitchers’ batting numbers, that is. I’m a little torn on the subject, because especially back in the pre-DH days, there were pitchers who could actually hit, so the difference can be significant. But, I think (I honestly can’t remember) I decided not to include re: Hubbell because he was nothing special either.

        Thanks for the list of other guys with high-end peaks, Chop. Good point you make there.

      • 10
        Baltimorechop says:

        I think it is pertinent considering how awful Sandy Koufax was at batting (minimum 502 PAs, I can only find 14 pitchers with a worse OPS+). I can slightly understand trying to say only pitching war matters when you’re ranking pitchers, but then you turn around and point out the dollar value of war. Maybe someone today would give Sandy $74 million more over 4 years than Juan, but they’d be a very poor business man. Marichal may’ve been worth 9.9% less pitching WAR, but he made up nearly every bit of that with his bat.

        While I do understand trying to separate pitching from hitting, to me it’s similar to saying that we should ignore someone’s (say a first baseman) defense, or their baserunning and only look at their hitting. If Koufax had been in the AL during the DH years, I wouldn’t have this argument; but he wasn’t. He swung the bat, and it ate up about 8% of his pitching value (50.3 pitching war, -4.1 batting war). To determine the 50 best baseball players, I can’t ignore how bad of a batter he was.

    • 16
      Baltimorechop says:

      Confession time: it appears neither Hubbell nor Koufax were in my top 50.

      If my hand-scrawled note is representative of the final e-mail I sent, my pitchers were:

      Grove, Young, Johnson, Alexander, Nichols, Seaver, Niekro, Mathewson, Blyleven, Spahn, Plank, Carlton, Gibson & Roberts.

      Perry, Feller (with war credit) and Waddell were next closest.

      • 21

        So Feller gets war credit but Koufax doesn’t get deteriorated arm credit?

        Great list. I had Koufax, Feller, Satch, & Smokey Joe in place of Niekro, Blyleven, Plank, & Roberts. Mostly differences in peak vs. longevity, which are perfectly valid given the nebulous definition of the Inner Circle.

        • 24
          Baltimorechop says:

          war credit vs. injury credit is a great argument (whether to give 1, or the other, or both or neither).

          I find war credit easier to quantify since it’s usually (not always) years out of the middle of a career. You can see what they did prior to, and immediately after and try to fill in the blank.

          It’s tough to use speculation when ranking players, and some people won’t do it at all (whether war, injury or integration issues). That’s probably part of the reason that Feller & Mize are written in a special box on my top 50 list; i considered them heavily but ended up not picking them. I recall J Robinson gave me the most trouble, but I ended up including him.

          • 25
            Ed says:

            The other obvious difference between war and injury is that war is obviously extraneous to the individual and injury isn’t.

        • 27

          I think this is perfectly reasonable. Time lost due to baseball factors vs. non-baseball factors (segregation, war, premature death).

  2. 3
    StrikeOne says:

    Another “extended peak” example? Kevin Appier (1990-1997): 1643.2 IP, 140 ERA+, 44.5 WAR, 31.0 WAA.

  3. 4

    I only know how to chime into this discussion in one way…

    More Valuable Pitcher: Carl Hubbell.
    Better Pitcher: Sandy Koufax.

    I know (in my heart, if saberists have those) that if Sandy Koufax had continued his career, he would have provided more value than Carl Hubbell. Therefore, I call him the “better pitcher”. But he didn’t. Therefore, Hubbell is the “more valuable pitcher”.

    I’m a bit of a skeptic of Hubbell’s ERA+ numbers after a recent finding. ERA+ doesn’t factor in defense. When writing about Hubbell and his #1 most similar player (Rick Reuschel), I noted:

    The two pitched roughly the same number of innings. Reuschel allowed about 100 runs more than Hubbell. That’s not much. When you start to adjust their runs allowed, the gap shrinks quickly. In fact, the gap shrinks immediately when you factor in the defenses they played in front of.

    Reuschel’s defenses were rather poor. Over the course of his career, they cost him about 71 runs more than the average defense would. Hubbell, meanwhile, played in front of some excellent Giants teams. Those defenses actually saved him 92 runs more than the average defense. Those numbers are not reflected in ERA—or even ERA+.

    • 5
      Baltimorechop says:

      Hubbell also pitched during a much higher offensive time. is a spreadsheet of NL yearly stats (Rick was only in the AL for one year, so let’s just ignore that).

      The average OPS for Rick looks to be under .700 (only going above 5 times, maxing at .724) but well into .700s for Carl (only below 4 times, high of .808). Also, looking at runs per game, Hubbell’s average looks around 4.5 (twice above 5 rpg), but Rick’s would be right around 4 (only twice above 4.25)

      Not mathy enough to know how much of a difference this should make in runs allowed (also, i’d think there’d be some extra factor that even good defense between 28-43 probably allowed far more errors than ‘bad’ defense from 72-89 (ignored those 2 partial last years)).

      This all proves nothing. I think Reuschel is underrated, but not as good as Hubbell.

    • 13
      John Autin says:

      “if Sandy Koufax had continued his career, he would have provided more value than Carl Hubbell”

      Adam, I don’t mean to nitpick you, but I honestly don’t know what that means. As I understand the decision, Koufax retired because he was told that continuing to pitch would have risked permanent debilitating damage to his left arm. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the Dodgers’ team physician had advised him to retire *before* the ’66 season.

      So I think that, after he’d ignored that advice and gone ahead and logged another 323 IP and 27 CG in ’66, how much more WAR value he might have amassed had he kept pitching until he was no longer effective is a matter of pure conjecture.

      And to suppose that Koufax would have made up the 15.0 WAR gap between himself and Hubbell — equivalent to two very good years, three good years, or the last seven years of Hubbell’s career — is, I think, insupportable.

    • 17
      Doug says:


      I tend to agree with John @ 13.

      Unless when you said “If Sandy Koufax had continued his career, he would have provided more value than Carl Hubbell.” you really meant “if Koufax’s arm had held up and allowed him to continue his career, …”. When we hear the horror stories of the after game and between start treatment Koufax didn’t receive, it seems a miracle his arm held up as long as it did.

      Dan showed how close the two looked over an 8-year peak period. To me, that seems rather long to be considered a peak. I prefer to look at 4 year periods, when both averaged about 300 IP a year (though Koufax would have had more IP but for injury in 1964). That comp looks like this.
      – Hubbell: 1933-36, 1228 IP, 29.1 WAR, 20.3 WAA
      – Koufax: 1963-66, 1192 IP, 34.9 WAR, 25.1 WAA

      Koufax, to me, clearly has the peak value edge. Interestingly, to this point in their respective careers, we have career value of:
      – Hubbell: 2392 IP, 49.8 WAR, 32.4 WAA
      – Koufax: 2324 IP, 50.3 WAR, 30.7 WAA

      Basically even. Thus, all of Hubbell’s career value edge comes in the seasons following his peak.
      – Hubbell: 1937-43, 1196 IP, 15.5 WAR, 6.1 WAA, 109 ERA+

      So, in almost the same IP after his 4-year peak, Hubbell’s post-peak value compared to his peak dropped by half in WAR, and by 2/3 in WAA.

      I guess you have to decide whether Hubbell’s 1200 IP of say 10% above average pitching constitutes enough of a career value edge to overcome a 20% to 25% deficit in peak value. For me, it doesn’t – I would go with Koufax.

      • 18

        Yeah, that’s what I meant. I just totally stated it poorly.

        I would “go with Koufax” too, assuming we’re talking about who the better pitcher is. But the truth is, Hubbell simply provided more value. It’s all down to the injury.

  4. 8
    Ross Carey says:

    Their numbers are very similar that’s impossible to deny, but I think Koufax gets the edge because of the league and era he played in. Hubbell played in a fully segregated league, a league that existed before filming games for analysis was even a thing. A fully developed minor league system wasn’t even in place yet, and gambling (throwing games)was still somewhat common.

    I can say with confidence that had Koufax pitched in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s he would have been even better, and posted even more dominant numbers. I can’t say the same about Hubbell if he had pitched in the 60’s.

    • 14

      I love this argument, but now that I’ve seen your URL, Ross, I’m afraid people are going to think we’re in cahoots. For the record, I’ve never met Ross, but I agree wholeheartedly with his last paragraph. Vote Koufax/O’Connor!

    • 19

      I don’t get this argument, or maybe I just need it explained. Are we talking about if time travel was possible and the ’60s version of Koufax could travel back to the ’30s? Because if we are, I think it’s an unfair comparison. I’d be willing to bet Matt Stairs could travel back the ’20s and be Babe Ruth too. I think the only thing you can do is compare players to their eras, because obviously players from later eras are better athletes due to advancements in medicine, better physical conditioning, etc.

      • 20

        Transplanting players into different eras is one thing I’ll never touch. You can’t even make a good guess about it. And there are waaaaaay too many factors to consider.

      • 23
        Ross Carey says:

        I get that we can’t send Koufax and Matt Stairs into a time machine, although someone should really write that screenplay.

        If two players have similar careers & peak value, I prefer the player that played in a more advanced game.

      • 58

        Here’s what I’m talking about: Koufax had a career 2.76 ERA; Hubbell’s was 2.98. As far as we’ve come in advanced analysis, it would be ludicrous to say Koufax was better based on raw ERA. So we ask ourselves why Koufax allowed fewer earned runs. Ballparks were certainly a factor, and are relatively easy to adjust for. The run scoring environments in their relative eras were a factor, so we adjust for that too. Quality of competition was a factor too, but we don’t adjust for that because we can’t quantify the difference. Shouldn’t we still talk about it as a reason one pitcher was better (or more Inner-Circle-worthy) than another.

        John debunks some of my quality of competition argument in #33, but the effect of segregation was huge. If two players dominated their competition by a similar margin, doesn’t the quality of that competition tell us a lot about who was better? I went 28-for-30 in a coed softball league this fall. That doesn’t make me a better hitter than Barry Bonds or Cezar Izturis or some guy who hit .300 in a men’s league.

        • 59

          I think you can use factors like segregation and whether or not one league was significantly better than the other at any given time as arguments, and John’s point about expansion can be factored in as well.

          The thing I’m railing against is (and I’m going to use an extreme example here) is when people say 19th century players weren’t as good as their late-20th and 21st century counterparts. Well, obviously that’s true. But, that’s silly.

          Cap Anson, Roger Connor and Dan Brouthers, for example, were phenomenal hitters in comparison to their competition, given the advantages and disadvantages that were inherent in living and playing baseball in the 19th century. That’s all that matters. Whether or not Cap Anson was anywhere near the athlete that Jeff Bagwell was is irrelevant.

          I’m not sure if that’s what either of you guys were saying, so that’s why I asked to have it explained.

          Of course you know, the co-ed softball vs. MLB analogy is a bit ridiculous. But, for the record, batting over .900 even in a co-ed softball league is better than hitting .300 in a men’s slow-pitch softball league, unless it’s unlimited arc or some crazy rule like that. 🙂

          • 62

            Cap Anson retired in 1897 at age 45. The U.S. life expectancy of white males in 1900 was 46.6. Anson lived to be 69.

          • 63

            That, my friend, is a fantastic point. Jamie Moyer’s going to need to pitch another 26 years to match that.

          • 64

            Look at it this way: your IC has 16 pitchers, representing roughly 1880 to 2000. 44% of that time frame came after racial integration (using 1947, though it’s not that simple). You named 9 pitchers who retired by 1947, 3 who were playing in ’47, and 3 who debuted after ’47. Feller and Paige earned most of their value in segregated leagues, while Spahn earned most of his in integrated leagues, so you’ve basically got 11 pre-integration guys and 4 post-integration (27%).

            If you’re trying to name the pitchers who dominated their leagues to the greatest degree, doesn’t the fact that most of them played in segregated leagues suggest that it was easier to stand out above one’s peers before segregation? Anson and Connor and Brouthers played against guys with other full-time jobs. Should we really give them the same credit for dominating their peers that we give Mays and Aaron for standing out among theirs?

            My ballot’s not much different (5/14 pitchers are post-’47), but I think Koufax makes it a little more of a cross-section of great players over time.

            And re: your last point, 26 of the hits stayed in the park, so my BA was mostly BABIP-driven. I can’t hit a line drive to save my life, so I think it’s possible that 20 of the 26 balls that fell for hits in the coed league would have been caught in a stronger league, leaving me below .300.

          • 66

            I didn’t think we were debating our particular inner circles, but if you want to make demographic arguments, or say that a certain era is disproportionately represented, that’s fine. And I’m certainly not arguing for Brouthers or Connor to be in the IC either, and both of us had Anson, so there’s really nothing to debate there either.

            I’m just saying arguments based on statements like “the players are much better today than back then” are pointless, in my opinion. If you want to take this to extreme, was Babe Ruth anywhere near as good as Adam Dunn?

            I’m honestly curious how people would answer that question, and if they even think it’s a relevant discussion.

            I guess I played in better co-ed softball leagues than yours.

          • 68
            Baltimorechop says:

            Re: Bryan

            I think everyone’s lists will skew toward integrated in just a couple of years, after the inductions of Martinez, Johnson, Maddux. The HOF is currently skewed toward pre-integration with respect to pitchers. Only one starting pitcher in the hall of fame debuted after 1970 (June of 1970 Blyleven). 7 HOFers pitched at least 1000 innings in the 80s (counting Eck), but no one pitched more than Ryan’s 600.2 in the 90s. So really, the cutoff now is like 1990, not 2000.

            Though, my list is 7/14 post-integration. It would probably skew even more because I would definitely add Pedro, Randy & Greg if given the chance (though maybe that bounces a couple of other newer pitchers I have)

          • 69

            Good point, chop. When those three guys get in, if I were to revise my list and maintain 15 pitchers in the process, I’ll probably bump Plank, Walsh and Hubbell for Maddux, Johnson and Martinez. I suppose my staff will be much more balanced then. And the fact that the post-1970 choices are virtually non-existent is a great point too.

  5. 9
    John Autin says:

    “Hub Fans Bid Koufax Adieu”

  6. 22
    Jimbo says:

    lol the fan elo rater has Jamie Moyer at 94 and Sandy Koufax at 97.

  7. 28
    no statistician but says:

    Top fifty HOFers. Let’s see . . . nine positions, so pitchers get how many? 5.555 by straight math, but pitchers deserve a few more so let’s say 9 or 10. Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Walter J., Dazzy V, Lefty G, Pete Alexander, Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson, Lefty C., Tom Seaver, Kid Nichols . . ..

    I’m sure I’m leaving out a couple, but throw in Maddox and Clemens and Pedro and where do either Hubble or Koufax stand? Not in my top 50. Koufax not in my top 100, good as he was. He ranks just about where his overall stats put him, a touch behind Whitey Ford, and no one’s putting Ford in the top 100. Are they?

    • 34
      bstar says:

      I totally agree here. How are Sandy Koufax and Carl Hubbell in anyone’s top 5 or 6 of all-time pitchers? I don’t get that at all. I’d put Walter Johnson, Maddux, Pedro, Christy Mathewson, Randy Johnson, Seaver, Clemens, etc. ahead of either one of these guys. I guess if your Inner Circle has 12 pitchers in it I can see one sneaking in, but that’s about it. Are either of these two one of the ten best pitchers ever?

      I also don’t understand why this argument has been reduced to a “who had the better peak” thing. Isn’t looking at a player’s entire career a far more comprehensive way to look at things?

    • 39
      no statistician but says:

      Ooops. Guess I was thinking of the telescope. Hubble, anyone? And the wrong Maddux. Regardless, lots of pitchers in their own time were the guy “who you would pick to pitch one game,” (Mike L #31) such as Three Finger Brown who out-dueled Mathewson in his prime and had a 0.00 ERA in the 1907 and -08 Series, Lefty Grove, Bob Gibson in Koufax’s era. Whitey Ford during parts of his career was the go-to man, and he still, I believe, holds the record for consecutive WS shutouts and scoreless innings. Looking at baseball history overall is a fairly sizable challenge in this regard. Walter Johnson in his prime would be my choice, but there’s no evidence to support it, since he only played on one pennant contender and no winners prior to his age 36 year.

      I know this is off the point, but who since Gibson has had that rep? Maddux, Pedro, and R. Johnson have performed erratically in “big” games. Seaver, Carlton, Clemens? Nah. Any ideas?

      • 41
        e pluribus munu says:

        Minor correction, nsb. Johnson played with two pennant winners, two second-place teams, and one third-place team that finished four games out.

        Not to push too hard on Koufax (I wrote about him with enthusiasm below, but would also not include him in a 50-man Hall), but his big game performances in ’65 and ’66 pennant stretches – both tight races – were really exceptional (over two Septembers, 11-3, 11 CG, 5 SHO, 5 other ER=1); and his WS ERA over 57 IP was 0.95. He might give Johnson a run.

      • 45
        Dr. Doom says:

        Smoltz had a deserved reputation as a big-game pitcher. Jack Morris had an undeserved one because of one game. Quite probably, it’s harder to develop a reputation as a “big-game” pitcher now because there are SO many more games. I mean, I don’t think it’s an accident that Gibson had that reputation, and that his career is one of the last to have been played in the pre-LCS era. The more game you have to pitch, the better the chance you’ll have one bad one. Add to that the changes in pitcher usage (fewer complete games), and it totally makes sense to me that this isn’t that big of a “thing” anymore.

        • 47
          bstar says:

          Good points. I’d throw out Dave Stewart of the A’s as another name from the late eighties that had that reputation, at least for a few years.

    • 48

      Keep in mind nsb, this was top 50 Hall of Famers, so Maddux, Clemens, Pedro aren’t up for consideration yet. I had 15 pitchers out of my 50, which is 30%. That’s actually less than their representation in the Hall of Fame, which is about 35%.

      If you want to see my complete list, you can check it out here:

      Bryan had 14 pitchers in his 50. His complete list is here:

      As far as pitchers are concerned, we had 12 in common: Alexander, Carlton, Feller, Gibson, Grove, Johnson, Mathewson, Nichols, Paige, Seaver, Spahn and Young.

      • 52
        PP says:

        There was one important stat missing in your beers of 2012: quantity consumed.

        • 54

          The answer to that PP is one. For almost everyone of them. The point of that page is I made a New Beers Resolution at the beginning of the year to go as long as I could without drinking the same beer twice. I allowed myself to break it for my own home brews. Otherwise, I lasted until Oct. 27 when I had two of the same beer at a wedding.

          Thanks for reading. 🙂

    • 60

      In addition to pitchers’ ~35% representation in the Hall of Fame, as Dan mentions below, pitchers typically comprise 48% of modern regular-season rosters (12/25 spots). They’ve comprised at least 32% (8/25) for over a century. And per fangraphs, pitchers accumulated 40.7% of all WAR in 2012 (460.6/1130.4). I think it’s reasonable to have 12-18 pitchers in a 50-man Inner Circle. We were also limited to actual Hall of Famers in completing our ballots, so the Maddux/Clemens/Pedro group wasn’t eligible. Dan linked to my ballot in #48. I’d be interested to hear your case for Dazzy Vance over Hubbell (in particular) or Koufax.

      • 65
        Baltimorechop says:

        Quasi-tangential but…

        Koufax pitched through his age 30 season, and Dazzy didn’t get a real shot until his age 31 season. Can you imagine if either had gotten to have full careers that matched each others?

        A Koufax that got to pitch to age 44, with stats like Dazzy from 31 on? Or vice versa? Wasn’t there a post a while back about how Dazzy was the greatest statistical outlier ever on k/9?

  8. 29
    mosc says:

    I guess my mental process uses a graduated scale for yearly value in a career. If you put up the best season ever, that’s about 50% of what I need to see for a HOFer, career be damned. The best season in baseball that year, maybe ~20%. Koufax wasn’t just great. That’s not fair to how much better than the competition he was. There’s a big difference between “routinely a front line pitcher” and “the best pitcher in baseball”. I guess some guys attack this with a WAR above average number, I’d attack it with a WAR above the other staff aces average as well. Particularly for pitching staffs, average is not a good enough threshold. 75% or 80% of the games started (mattering on 4 man or 5 man era) shouldn’t be measured against. I want a WAAA: Wins Above Average Ace for a career. Koufax would be right up there with anybody in history even given a short career.

  9. 30
    Doug says:

    One thing that really stands out for me about Hubbell are his raw ERA totals in his prime. 1.66, 2.30 and 2.31 in those years and that ballpark – remarkable. That 1.66 is better than any of Koufax’s raw ERAs in his prime. Hard not to be impressed.

  10. 31
    Mike L says:

    I have a hard time placing Koufax in the “inner circle” of Hall of Famers. I think we might mentally get caught up in the “who would you pick to pitch one game” which, by inference, refers to a player’s absolute peak. But career value, I don’t see Koufax there.

  11. 32
    DrBGiantsfan says:

    Maybe someone can correct me if I’m wrong here, but doesn’t ERA+ account for variance from the mean, but not standard deviation? Since the bottom end of ERA range is 0 and the top end is infinite, pitchers in a pitching rich era may get shortchanged by ERA+ because the bell curve of ERA’s gets compressed on the left side of the scale thus also compressing the standard deviation. The difference between an ERA of 2.00 and 2.5 may be greater in terms of standard deviation from the mean for a pitcher from the ’60’s than for a pitcher from the 90’s. An ERA of 1.70 may be closer to the mean for Sandy Koufax vs Pedro Martinez, but they could be the same in terms of standard deviation.

    • 36
      bstar says:

      No, ERA+ is simply a ratio, (lgERA/player ERA)x100. Park factors change what every pitcher’s lgERA is, so a pitcher pitching in a lower-offensive park will have a lower lgERA(lower numerically) than one pitching in a hitter-friendly park.

      That’s all ERA+ is.

  12. 33
    John Autin says:

    Bryan’s case for Koufax included this point: “Koufax pitched … at one of strongest times in National League history.”

    For sure, the NL was stronger than the AL during Koufax’s prime. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he faced tougher opposition than Hubbell from that particular angle. (The integration issue was cited separately.) Koufax’s last 5 years — 4 of his best years — came after expansion.

    And Koufax feasted on the expansion teams, going 31-4 with about a 1.67 ERA against the Mets and Astros combined.

    I’m splitting hairs, yes, but this is a hair-splitting debate. In the comparison to Hubbell, I think the expansion factor balances out the NL’s superiority over the AL.

  13. 35
    bstar says:

    Dan and Bryan, this is a fantastic idea for an article. We can use advanced metrics to talk about historically significant pitchers and argue who was better. This should be right in the wheelhouse of any HHS regular.

  14. 37
    John Autin says:

    To be clear, I do think Koufax had a better peak than Hubbell. On both WAR and WAA, he wins every set of “best N years” from 1 to 7, whether those years are consecutive or just best over all.

    But I’m just not sure I want to make an “inner circle” distinction on that basis. Yes, Koufax had 2 of the 20 10-WAR years in the live-ball era, had 2 more very good years (7+ WAR), and 2 more good years. Does that give him a clear leg up on a guy who pitched 50% more career innings with almost the same ERA+, who was also the clear ace of a team that won 3 pennants in 5 years, who also starred in the World Series (4-2, 1.79), and over the length of his career, ranked #1 in IP and #2 (to Grove) in Wins and WAR? I just don’t know.

  15. 38
    e pluribus munu says:

    This post inspired an element deja vu for me: when I was a teenager, Koufax was my favorite player, and I used to have to defend him against the argument for Hubbell, since Hubbell was my father’s favorite player. At the time I developed arguments in Koufax’s favor far more convincing to any I have seen since. It’s really too bad I forget what they were. They certainly crushed my father’s arguments. He was not sharp enough to recognize this fact.

    I’ve never considered the end of Koufax’s career a “what-if” – I believed he had nothing left, and I agree that an inability to pitch is not like the cases of Feller or Paige. However, I think that when Koufax’s five-year peak is considered, it’s important to realize that at the time the issue of injuries did have a lot to do with how it was understood.

    From the vantage point of fans who followed Koufax at the time, his most astonishing year was actually 1962. In mid-July, he was carrying a 2.06 ERA with over 200 Ks, and was on target, by my calculations at the time, to break Feller’s K record in under 300 IP (Feller had taken close to 400 IP to set it – Koufax’s 269 the year before had broken the NL record set by Mathewson in 1908). Nothing like Koufax’s K rates had *ever* been seen (calculating this evening, he stood at 10.72 K/9 – Koufax himself was at the time the only qualifier ever to exceed 10), and he was striking out these numbers without giving up walks: his WHIP was under 1.0 (and yes, kids used to calculate that, even if the papers didn’t). The first “what-if” concerning injuries is the fact that this was the virtual end of the season for Koufax because of an abrupt circulatory malfunction in his index finger – he lost 40% of his most extraordinary season. (His premature return for a few mostly horrible innings in September, when the Dodgers had become desperate, just messed up his season averages.)

    1962 was *before* the mound was lowered – the other great high-K pitchers of the ’60s: Marichal, Gibson, and lesser standouts like McDowell, were not yet performing their ’60s feats. Koufax in ’62, through mid-July (already a qualifier), set a new bar – he changed the expectations of what was possible. Starting in ’63, Koufax had company and the mound had been raised – one of the reasons he is viewed differently from other fine ’60s pitchers is that he was the first to take pitching to the new level, and he didn’t have the high mound, although I have now to grant the effects of Chavez Ravine. (Parenthetically, I saw Koufax pitch a complete game that year: he gave up 6 runs on 13 hits, 3 BB, and 2 WPs – against a team on its way to 120 losses – leaving me in a permanent state of cognitive dissonance.)

    It’s also sometimes overlooked that Koufax’s ’64 season was cut short – the arthritis that ended his career erupted suddenly in August: he lost 25% of that season. His ERA+ at that point was 186 and he was on a 15-1 streak (his ERA over that stretch was 1.42).

    It’s the two thirds of a season that Koufax lost between the two partial seasons of ’62 and ’64 that have always been the “what-if” for me. How he pulled off ’65 and ’66 with the severity of the arthritis he had has always been beyond comprehension, but I doubt any pitcher has ever performed at that level under such a persistent physical disadvantage – and for two very full seasons (almost 670 IP, 700 K, 53-17 W-L).

    So it’s significant that the WAR Koufax compiled over those top five years occurred over a stretch of games that equaled well under 4.5 seasons. It’s not like Feller and the War, but it’s still something to bear in mind when trying to figure out why people at the time viewed Koufax on the field as pitching at a level above human. Koufax created a new model of a high K control pitcher in the lively ball era.

    Having said all that, now that I have grown much older than my father was when I so successfully debated Koufax vs. Hubbell with him, I have come to appreciate just what a splendid pitcher Hubbell was, and how rare and wonderful great screwball pitchers are in general (my father also spoke of “Matty” in tones otherwise reserved for the Deity). If I were casting a family vote, I’d have to vote for both Bryan and Dan.

    • 40
      no statistician but says:


      You’re absolutely right about the astonishment factor caused by the first 2/3 of Koufax’s 1962 season. I remember it well. The big question at season’s end was, could he keep it up in ensuing years, or 1) would he revert to the old Sandy; or 2) was it an anomalous burst of excellence; or 3) was the injury going to do him in? Well, he kept it up, to put it mildly, until a different problem did him in.

      If he had stayed healthy that year, I doubt the Giants would have had a chance to tie the Dodgers for the pennant, as they did—and won the playoff, of course.

    • 43
      bstar says:

      You’re right, that was a really good pro-Koufax argument. Well done, epm. And I enjoyed the personal, deja vu aspect of it as well.

      Still, you readily admit that both of your points about his prime are “what-if”-based, and can we really put Koufax’s prime amongst the very, very best in MLB history without them? I say no.

      Advanced metrics don’t really point to Koufax’s prime as being one of the very best ever. I think looking only at a four or five year stretch is unfair, but, if we’re going to do that, Koufax’s numbers should just be exploding off the screen in comparison to other great pitching primes, and they just don’t do that.

      Best 5-year ERA+ peaks using B-Ref’s ERA+ numbers*:

      1. Pedro Martinez 228 ’99-’03
      2. Greg Maddux 202 ’94-’98
      3. Walter Johnson 193 ’12-’16
      4. Mordecai Brown 182 ’06-’10
      5. Pete Alexander 175 ’15-’19
      6. Randy Johnson 174 ’97-’01
      7. Lefty Grove 173 ’35-’39
      8. Chr Mathewson 170 ’08-’12
      9. Sandy Koufax 167 ’62-’66

      *each pitcher’s best 5-year stretch only is included.

      There were eight 5-year peaks better than Koufax’s based on ERA+. Although it’s better than raw ERA and a nice quick-and-dirty, ERA+ only includes park factors and offensive context but is missing team defense (as Adam D points out above) and strength of opposition adjustments.

      So we can go to pitcher rWAR here and have all those built-in adjustments reduced to a single number. Who has the best 5-year stretch of pitching WAR ever? That’s a long comprehensive study and I don’t have the energy to fully complete it right now, but I can tell you that Koufax’s 5-yr total of 39.1 WAR is surpassed by several pitchers, including Walter Johnson (58.7), Cy Young (44.8), Pete Alexander (44.5), Randy Johnson (42.2), Pedro Martinez (41.4), Lefty Grove(two separate 5-yr runs of 41.0), Roger Clemens (40.1), and Greg Maddux (39.2). That’s eight, and I didn’t check Gibby, Seaver, Marichal, Hubbell, Robin Roberts, Niekro, Christy M, Kid Nichols, etc.

      The problem here is the counting stat aspect of WAR, innings pitched. I for one don’t think it’s really fair to compare a 350 IP season to a 250 IP one. What if we normalized the IP for these great pitchers and used WAR as a rate stat? Well, even though Koufax racked up impressive IP totals in three of his five best years, he did also miss time in the other two as you point out. That might help Koufax’s case vs. pitchers that came before him, but it’s really going to make his peak look less impressive against more modern throwers who threw fewer innings than Sandy.

      If Maddux, RJ, Clemens, Pedro, etc. compile higher WAR totals in fewer innings pitched during their peaks, how can we reasonably say Koufax’s peak was better?

      But everything I’ve said is just about Koufax’s peak. When you look at the entire picture, I see no justification for calling Koufax one of the very best ever.

      Hubbell > Koufax.

    • 51

      This is awesome, epm. Thanks for sharing. My grandfather’s hero was Bill Terry, but I’d say Carl Hubbell was second. In fact, I have an Uncle Carl (his son), so who knows? 🙂

    • 57
      John Autin says:

      Enjoyable narrative, epm. But I’m not sure what this meant:

      “1962 was *before* the mound was lowered — the other great high-K pitchers of the ’60s … were not yet performing their ’60s feats..”

      First off, did you mean “raised” instead of “lowered”?

      Secondly, I’m not aware that there was a particular year for the raising of mounds in the ’60s, as from a rule change. My understanding is that teams just started doing it on their own, surreptitiously — and the Dodgers were said to be the most extreme in this regard. So absent any evidence, I’m not buying that Koufax didn’t have a mound-height advantage in ’62 — especially since (a) that was the first year of the new stadium, which did substantially favor the pitcher (park factor of 90), and (b) Koufax was FAR better at home that year, with a 1.75 ERA (3.53 away).

      BTW, a significant rule change that did come in 1963 (and so did not benefit Sandy in ’62) was the expansion of the strike zone, raising it from armpits to shoulders and lowering it from “the top of his knees” to simply “his knees.”

      • 70
        e pluribus munu says:

        John, “Lowered” meant “raised.” I was writing in code so that if HHS were hacked, no essential secrets would be compromised.

        My understanding differs from yours: teams certainly shape their grounds to get away with whatever they can – and perhaps that was the case in Chavez Ravine in ’62 – but I recall announcement of the raised mound as a rule change, and I confirmed my suspicion that this was after ’62 by poking around on the web. However, your certainty that there was no such rules change has now led me to make a second search, and although I find references to this change in ’63, I can find nothing reliably documenting it in the way that the strike zone rule is documented. So maybe this is another instance of “created memory” on my part, shared in this instance with some blogger types. History tells us that when you and I present different facts, my facts have a way of smiling and waving goodbye.

        • 72
          John Autin says:

          e, I don’t mean to be the guy whose dry facts play “gotcha” to a cherished memory.

          But I yam what I yam. So:

          When I look at Sandy’s fantastic but abridged ’62 season in the context of the rest of his career, these things stand out:

          Although Koufax in ’62 was obviously more effective than ever before, he was already a SO legend just through ’61:

          – Koufax already owned the highest career SO/9 of any pitcher with 500+ IP (9.04 in over 900 IP), with Herb Score the only other pitcher at 8+ SO/9. (By the way, the top 5 pitchers in career SO/9 with 500+ IP through ’61 were all active in ’61. The only retired guy with more than 7 SO/9 at that point was Rube Waddell.)

          – Koufax already had 3 seasons of 150+ IP and at least 9.5 SO/9. Score had 2 such years, and no other pitcher in the history of MLB had any.

          – Koufax had tied the 9-inning record of 18 SO back in 1959.

          In ’62 he was much more effective at run prevention — with improved control and a huge benefit from the change in parks — and thus was bearing a much heavier workload than ever before. Through July 12 of ’62, he was on pace for about 310 IP (and about 370 SO); his previous IP high was 256 the year before, with no other seasons above 175. No pitcher had reached 310 IP in the last 5 years.

          So maybe there’s a connection between the workload and the injuries. And obviously there’s a connection between workload and value produced. So if the workload is a big part of the massive WAR seasons, but the workload contributes to a shortened career, aren’t we in a sense just teasing ourselves by imagining “what might have been”?

          Few modern pitchers have been able to carry a consistent 300-IP workload in their 20s and remain stars in their 30s. For most, “the light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.”

          Since 1920, there are 22 pitchers who had 2 or more years with 300+ IP through age 30. Through age 30, those pitchers combined for 55 seasons worth 6+ WAR. From 31 onward, they produced just 6 such years. Their median through age 30 was 39.5 WAR; thereafter, 9.3 WAR.

          Or maybe I’m just jealous that you got to see Koufax in his prime, while I was born (in L.A. county) 2 weeks after Sandy clinched the ’63 WS sweep, and we moved away to Michigan while I was still a babe. 🙂

          • 73
            e pluribus munu says:

            No worries about facts vs. memories, John: I never let the first interfere with the second. And I’m happy to be the object of jealousy for a few Zelig moments, since I have little enough claim on anyone’s jealousy for earned accomplishments. (I have noticed, in any event, it’s clear that in the twenty or so years that you and I overlapped in Michigan, you attended many more interesting Tigers games than I.)

            You’re right that Koufax had become well known for K’s before ’62, but not yet for exceptional pitching quality overall. Your points about workload are well taken in general – and fully apply to Koufax’s arthritic years, where he and his manager, never on good terms, almost conspired to destroy what was left of his arm.

            But ’62 was different. Koufax apparently crushed an artery in his hand in April while experimenting with ways to improve his awful hitting, but hid the injury until he not only could no longer feel a baseball, but was in danger of having his finger amputated due to incipient gangrene. I suppose you could interpret ’62 either by saying that its abbreviated result was the logical outcome of pitching an exceptional number of innings with a finger that was falling off, or by wondering how insane his record would have been if he’d been pitching with all fingers intact.

            Nevertheless, there’s no question that the ’64 injury and his career end were very much caused by overwork. As I wrote earlier, I don’t see his short career as a what-if: it was indeed a Faustian trade-off, as you suggest.

            But the nature of the trade-off in Koufax’s case was leveraged very much towards exceptional results. Take, for example, his September/October record in the context of three pennant races, two extremely close, and subsequent Series. Looking at those periods in ’63, ’65, and ’66, over what I calculate to be 105 total team games (less than two-thirds of a season), Koufax’s line looks like this:

            GS 30 CG 19 SHO 8

            IP 240.2 BB 46 K 248 ERA 1.46 W-L 22-6

            Project that to 162 games and you get something like:

            370 IP, 383 K and 34-9 (with 1.46 ERA)

            So that was the quantity and quality of Koufax’s pitching in the context of the sustained pressure of three pennant stretches and Series. He also had one Save.

            I don’t think you can walk that back very far with weak expansion teams and Chavez Ravine, even in the context of a pitchers’ decade. But the cost was, indeed, the missing remainder of his career.

  16. 67
    Brent says:

    I don’t think this point has been raised, but let me post a paragraph about Hubbell from his bio at SABR:

    “Over the five year period from 1933 to 1937, Hubbell’s pitching excellence had been largely instrumental in bringing the Giants three pennants and a World Series victory. But these triumphs came at a price. In throwing a standard curveball, a left-handed pitcher twists his wrists to the left in a counter-clockwise motion, with the pitch breaking in to a left[sic, should be right]-handed batter. Hubbell’s screwball forced him to defy nature by twisting his wrist to the right, causing the pitch to break down and to the left, away from the right-handed batter. Thrown properly, Hubbell’s signature pitch confounded the hitters but also resulted in considerable strain on his left elbow. Hubbell later admitted that the pitch had begun to hurt his elbow as early as 1934 and that by 1938, his pain had become unbearable.”

    And this: “Years of throwing his screwball left him with a deformed left hand with the palm facing out instead of in against his body. He was a quiet, undemonstrative, thoughtful man, with a wry sense of humor.”

    Sounds like he and Koufax had a lot in common. Essentially, Hubbell after the 1937 season had the same choice as Koufax after the 1966 season. Koufax chose to retire, Hubbell chose to continue to pitch. Do we give him credit for that, since he continued to be an effective pitcher?

  17. 74
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    36.05% missed it.

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