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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mike Mussina

eligible in 2014

DL from MN Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 10, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4344526)
I assume Orioles cap?
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: January 10, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4344570)
I saw Mussina pitch on Opening Day in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. One of my favorite baseball memories.
   3. Rob_Wood Posted: January 10, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4344596)
I saw Mussina pitch at Stanford many times. He was a fully-formed pitcher even in college.
   4. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: January 11, 2013 at 02:12 AM (#4344774)
Mussina won more than half of the starts he made in his career. This is difficult to do as a starter not only has to give up fewer runs than the guy he's facing, but also pitch deep enough into games to avoid no-decisions. Only Pedro Martinez won starts at a greater rate than Mussina among contemporaries. (Granted, I'm sure there are stretches of 536 starts in Johnson and Clemens careers with more than 270 wins)

Percentage of starts won (relief wins removed):
Martinez: .509
Mussina: .504
Clemens: .501
Johnson: .499
Maddux: .480
Schilling: .472
Glavine: .447
Brown: .441
Smoltz: .435
   5. Cooper Nielson Posted: January 11, 2013 at 02:51 AM (#4344785)
Bitter Calculus, that's an interesting stat. Do you know what the league average is? (For, say, the past 20 years.)
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:06 AM (#4344792)
Pettitte is just behind Johnson, with 244 W in 491 starts.

   7. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4344917)
He was a fully-formed pitcher even in college.


Looking at his minor league stats I'd say you're not joking. Started in AA and pitched 9 games his first year split between AA/AAA with an ERA of 1.46. The Orioles decided to leave him in AAA to start 1991 and he tore up the league 10-4 in 19 starts. In baseball full-time at age 22 and we can argue whether he was held back by going to college.

So, why did he drop to #20 overall in that draft? I can't argue with the top few picks (Chipper Jones, Tony Clark, Mike Lieberthal, Alex Fernandez) and it was a relatively deep draft but Mussina seems to have been overlooked a little at the time.
   8. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4345040)
[5]Fortunately, bb-ref gives splits for an entire league. So I can see that as a whole in 2012, starting pitchers went 1738-1783 while relievers went 692-647. So on average, a starting pitcher won 35.8% of starts. I could get the numbers for the last 20 years, but I have to go to class right now, but you know where to look now.
   9. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4345632)
I assume Orioles cap?


According to B-R his WAR split is 45-33 O's to Yankees, so unless we find that to be way off for some reason, it's definitely an Orioles cap. B-R WAR does not appear to adjust for the shortened seasons (I just eyeballed Dave Concepcion, Mike Schmidt and Andre Dawson who all had their best years by far that season) . . . so that would push him even more towards the O's.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4345681)
I assume Orioles cap?

Why don't you guys send an email to his agent and ask his preference? Mussina seems like the kind of cerebral guy who would appreciate the HoM.

Some writer might pick up on it and you could get some nice publicity.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 12, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4345689)
Daisuke Matsuzaka .431
Felix Hernandez .412
Jose Lima .345
Adam Eaton .343
Brian Moehler .321
Josh Fogg .320
Jason Johnson .249

Whitey Ford .518
Burleigh Grimes .502
Jimmy Ring .371
Joe Oeschger .349
Hugh Mulcahy .290

John Van Benschoten .052
   12. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 12, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4345703)
Halladay's currently at .527.
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 12, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4345719)
Dave Stieb = .425
Jack "Pitch to the Score" Morris = .476
Nolan Ryan = .413

By the way, I look at Nolan Ryan's stats every couple of months just because it is so singular and amazing...

1974. 22-16, 42 GP, 41 GS. 332.2 IP, 367 Ks, 202 BBs - both led the league. 26 complete games. 221 hits, meaning he led the league with 6.0 hits per 9 IP. Three of his complete games were extra-inning games. A fourth one, he pitched 13 innings - 19 Ks and 10 friggin' walks.

He struck out 19 guys in a game three times that season. Three other times, he struck out exactly 15 batters. He struck out double-digits seven other times, too. 14 times that year, he walked seven or more guys.

In his last 15 starts of the year, when both pitchers would, you know, start wearing down, he pitched 130.2 innings - that's an average of 8.2 innings per start in his last 15 starts. He had an ERA of 2.00 in those 15 starts.

Amazing.
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 12, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4345728)
I searched for pitchers with >1000 career innings, >80% of appearances were starts, and more than half as many wins as GS. Couldn't find a way to isolate starting wins.

Some of the highest numbers: W/GS
(starting 1900)

Mathewson .677
Babe Ruth .639
Pete Alexander .622
Eddie Plank .616
Addie Joss .615
Carl Lundgren .611

Whitey Ford was at .539. As seen above he's at .518 when it's just starting wins / starts.

How about since 1960?

Halladay is right up there with .528
Ron Guidry .526
Bob Gibson .524
Juan Marichal .532
Pedro .535
Verlander .534

Mark Mulder .508
Clemens .501
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 07:07 PM (#4345762)
Mussina is a HOFer to me. Solid middle tier. Does not lower the standards of the Hall.
   16. bookbook Posted: January 14, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4347040)
Mussina may have dropped in the draft In part for interpersonal reasons - he was enough of a jerk as an undergrad that it might have hurt him.
   17. DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4347049)
My thoughts watching Mussina were always that the knuckle-curve must be a ##### to learn how to throw correctly or everyone in baseball would be throwing it. That was a nasty pitch. Twins v. Mussina usually meant bad news for the Twins.
   18. baudib Posted: January 14, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4347070)
I remember Mussina when he was a young pitcher, he was quite a sensation, IMO. In a way, sort of like Frank Thomas, though not as impressive -- a guy who came out of college and was clearly a fully formed major leaguer. A much better pitcher than, say, Jack Morris.
   19. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:30 PM (#4347108)
The Retrosheet game logs are complete from 1915 on and have a fairly large number of game lines before that (although not much from Mathewson's career) so I was able to get a partial answer on this question.

The logs list 43 pitchers who have started at least 200 games and won at least 50% of their starts. Dizzy Dean ranks first in this group with 138 wins in 230 starts (an even 60%). After that it's pretty solid Hall of Famers (Alexander, Grove, Gomez, etc.) mixed in with some short-career pitchers (Urban Shocker, Remy Kremer, Johnny Allen) and some modern guys (Ron Guidry, Verlander, Halladay, Mulder, Pedro). Hal Newhouser was right at 50% (187/374).

The bottom two guys on this list who started at least 200 games in the majors, by the way, are Glendon Rusch and Jason Johnson. Johnson is the only pitcher with 200 or more starts in the majors to have won fewer than 25% of his starts (55/221).

CC Sabathia is one start under for his career (191/383). If he can put together three more solid seasons he gets into the discussion; indeed I think he's on the border now.

-- MWE
   20. bookbook Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4350411)
I was an O's fan at the time and remember vaguely Bill James using Mussina as an example of how K rates matter more than age. After Moose's sophomore campaign he stated that he would wash out of the league before any number of pitchers who were much older but had higher K rates.
   21. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 23, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4353779)
That comment was in the 1995 Player Ratings Book.

"I wonder how many pitchers in baseball history have gone 48-16 over three seasons? Mussina is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but his years of effectiveness are probably limited. He's 26, but pitches more likes he's 33. He'll run out of gas within four years, when guys like Cone and Randy Johnson, who are older than he is, are still going strong."

Of course that was coming off a year where he K'd 99 in 176 innings.

His K rates were 5.3, 6.3, 4.9, 5.1 through that point (age 25). In 1993 he pitched through arm and back trouble and had a 4.46 ERA.

In the seasons following that comment, the K rate shot up - 6.4, 7.5, 8.7. It didn't drop below 7 again until he was 38 years old.

Could this have been predicted? Do pitchers who have established themselves as amongst the best in the league from age 22-25 with a barely passable K rate eventually start striking more guys out as they mature? This wasn't a one-year wonder like Fidrych - four years is a pretty solid track record.

   22. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 23, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4353789)
Do pitchers who have established themselves as amongst the best in the league from age 22-25 with a barely passable K rate eventually start striking more guys out as they mature?


Take a look at Justin Verlander. His K rates for his first three seasons in the league were 6.0, 8.2, and 7.3; since then 10.1, 8.8, 9.0, and 9.0. OK, that's a little better than passable for the early part of his career, I guess; the league averages were 6.4, 6.6, and 6.6.

-- MWE
   23. DL from MN Posted: January 23, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4353797)
The knuckle-curve is hard to command (or everyone would throw it). Could be the difference between having it as a "show" pitch and a "strikeout" pitch.
   24. bobm Posted: January 23, 2013 at 11:05 PM (#4353798)
I searched for pitchers with >1000 career innings, >80% of appearances were starts, and more than half as many wins as GS. Couldn't find a way to isolate starting wins.


I think you need to use Pitching Game Finder -- Play Index Tools for the following query:

Find Players with Most Matching Games in Multiple Years (the most 10-strikeout games in the 1960's was 86 by Sandy Koufax) ... Pitcher's Role [x] Starter


This returns, for example: From 1960 to 2012, as Starter, sorted by greatest number of games in all seasons matching the selected criteria

Using this data for the top 300 pitchers from 1960-2012 by GS:

Rk by GS         Player   W/GS   GS  #Matching   W  L  W-L%
     289   Sandy Koufax  0.570  237 Ind. Games 135  60 0.692
      43  Juan Marichal  0.521  457 Ind. Games 238 140 0.630
      91   Roy Halladay  0.520  377 Ind. Games 196  98 0.667
     141     Ron Guidry  0.517  323 Ind. Games 167  89 0.652
      35     Bob Gibson  0.514  473 Ind. Games 243 165 0.596
      66 Pedro Martinez  0.509  409 Ind. Games 208  97 0.682
      19   Mike Mussina  0.504  536 Ind. Games 270 153 0.638
      23     Jim Palmer  0.503  521 Ind. Games 262 148 0.639
       6  Roger Clemens  0.501  707 Ind. Games 354 184 0.658
      15  Randy Johnson  0.499  603 Ind. Games 301 166 0.645
      83    CC Sabathia  0.499  383 Ind. Games 191 102 0.652
      26  Andy Pettitte  0.497  491 Ind. Games 244 141 0.634
     240    Jim Maloney  0.496  262 Ind. Games 130  80 0.619
      69     Tim Hudson  0.486  405 Ind. Games 197 104 0.654
     234   Denny McLain  0.485  264 Ind. Games 128  89 0.590
       3    Greg Maddux  0.480  740 Ind. Games 355 226 0.611
      11     Tom Seaver  0.479  647 Ind. Games 310 203 0.604
      21    Jack Morris  0.476  527 Ind. Games 251 182 0.580
     201  Johan Santana  0.475  284 Ind. Games 135  76 0.640
     123     Roy Oswalt  0.475  335 Ind. Games 159  94 0.628
     170 Dennis Leonard  0.474  302 Ind. Games 143 106 0.574
      49 Curt Schilling  0.472  436 Ind. Games 206 134 0.606
      64  Dwight Gooden  0.471  410 Ind. Games 193 111 0.635
      16 Fergie Jenkins  0.468  594 Ind. Games 278 218 0.560
      87   Mike Cuellar  0.467  379 Ind. Games 177 125 0.586
   25. bobm Posted: January 23, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4353807)
Of the top 300 pitchers from 1916-1959 by GS:

Rk by GS          Player   W/GS  GS      #Matching   W   L  W-L%
     122      Dizzy Dean  0.600  230 Ind. Games 138  65 0.680
     237   Eddie Cicotte  0.597  154 Ind. Games  92  50 0.648
      11     Lefty Grove  0.586  457 Ind. Games 268 119 0.693
      19  Pete Alexander  0.578  412 Ind. Games 238 137 0.635
     182   Spud Chandler  0.576  184 Ind. Games 106  42 0.716
      51     Lefty Gomez  0.572  320 Ind. Games 183  90 0.670
      48     Wes Ferrell  0.560  323 Ind. Games 181 118 0.605
      35       Bob Lemon  0.560  350 Ind. Games 196 118 0.624
       9    Warren Spahn  0.557  476 Ind. Games 265 159 0.625
      52       Carl Mays  0.552  319 Ind. Games 176 111 0.613
     235     Tex Hughson  0.551  156 Ind. Games  86  51 0.628
     149     Whitey Ford  0.548  208 Ind. Games 114  44 0.722
      54   Urban Shocker  0.543  317 Ind. Games 172 109 0.612
      13    Carl Hubbell  0.538  433 Ind. Games 233 146 0.615
      33  Walter Johnson  0.538  357 Ind. Games 192 133 0.591
      25  Stan Coveleski  0.535  383 Ind. Games 205 129 0.614
      36     Dazzy Vance  0.533  345 Ind. Games 184 128 0.590
       5      Bob Feller  0.533  484 Ind. Games 258 154 0.626
      58  Allie Reynolds  0.531  309 Ind. Games 164  89 0.648
     162    Hippo Vaughn  0.528  195 Ind. Games 103  73 0.585
     104      Ray Kremer  0.522  247 Ind. Games 129  79 0.620
      22    Herb Pennock  0.522  391 Ind. Games 204 136 0.600
      86     Bob Shawkey  0.521  265 Ind. Games 138 101 0.577
      57        Art Nehf  0.519  310 Ind. Games 161 101 0.615
      53     Eddie Lopat  0.516  318 Ind. Games 164 109 0.601
     108    Johnny Allen  0.515  241 Ind. Games 124  62 0.667
      32   Tommy Bridges  0.514  362 Ind. Games 186 128 0.592
     150       Jim Bagby  0.512  207 Ind. Games 106  74 0.589
      37     Lon Warneke  0.510  343 Ind. Games 175 107 0.621
     250  Lefty Williams  0.510  147 Ind. Games  75  41 0.647
      95      Vic Raschi  0.510  255 Ind. Games 130  65 0.667
     118     Mel Parnell  0.509  232 Ind. Games 118  69 0.631
      65 General Crowder  0.507  292 Ind. Games 148 104 0.587
       4       Ted Lyons  0.506  484 Ind. Games 245 210 0.538
      18   Robin Roberts  0.504  421 Ind. Games 212 168 0.558
     166     Tiny Bonham  0.503  193 Ind. Games  97  71 0.577
       3 Burleigh Grimes  0.502  496 Ind. Games 249 192 0.565
      76    Don Newcombe  0.502  277 Ind. Games 139  79 0.638
      39   Wilbur Cooper  0.501  339 Ind. Games 170 138 0.552
      29   Hal Newhouser  0.500  374 Ind. Games 187 140 0.572



   26. bobm Posted: January 23, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4353808)
EDIT: Selected from the top 300 pitchers from 1936 to 1995 by GS:

 Rk       Player   W/GS   GS      #Matching   W   L  W-L%
  8 Warren Spahn  0.538  665     Ind. Games 358 227 0.612
...
 42  Whitey Ford  0.518  438     Ind. Games 227  99 0.696
...
 28   Bob Gibson  0.508  482     Ind. Games 245 170 0.590
...
114 Sandy Koufax  0.506  314     Ind. Games 159  85 0.652
   27. bobm Posted: January 23, 2013 at 11:47 PM (#4353812)
EDIT: double post
   28. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:42 AM (#4353835)
Is it conceivable Mussina won't make the HOF within three years of his initial eligibility? I suppose he may get the 'I never thought of him as a HOFer' deal, but it'll be ridiculous if he has to wait a dozen years to make it.
   29. DL from MN Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4353937)
It is conceivable Mussina doesn't make the HOF within 30 years of his initial eligibility. It's all screwed up right now.
   30. Loren F. Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4354001)
I have felt for a long time that Mussina's biggest risk is becoming the Blyleven of his generation. He was the third or fourth best pitcher in the league on a consistent basis (except in 2001, when he was the best), but was never seen as "the best" and he wasn't great enough at one skill (strikeouts, innings, etc.) to stand out that way. With no All-Star appearances after 1999, Moose sort of got lost in the shuffle and had a relatively low profile given his talent. He's really a poster boy for someone likely to be under-appreciated.
   31. theorioleway Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4355494)
Good point Loren about Mussina's lack of a skill/stat that made him stand out, although I always thought one of the reasons savvy baseball fans were so upset about how long it took Blyleven was that even if you wanted to look at basic things like innings or strikeouts, Blyleven did very well in those categories (and of course, much better than Morris). Besides Schilling (whose only had one shot), there hasn't been a pitcher of Mussina's value in post-1893 MLB baseball that hasn't made it into the Hall of Fame. Maybe a better comparison is as a superior Reuschel--someone without a lot of black ink but who is very valuable?
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4355503)
Maybe a better comparison is as a superior Reuschel--someone without a lot of black ink but who is very valuable?
Reuschel's value is still very much a matter for debate - his rating as a kind of shockingly valuable pitcher depends on giving him a ton of credit for pitching in front of bad defenses. Reuschel's simple runs allowed numbers are not meaningfully better than Jerry Koosman's. And then on top of that Reuschel got poor run support from his offense, so he was barely above a .500 pitcher.

Mike Mussina has some very clear stats to make him stand out, and he should be elected reasonably easily. As all this W/GS stuff has shown, Mussina has great W/L numbers. He won 270 games and lost 153. He's +117 for his career. That's an elect-me number right there - compare to just +37 for Blyleven. Barring full ballot catastrophe, I'd guess it takes 3-5 years to clear out the even greater pitchers (minus Clemens), and then Mussina goes in relatively easily.
   33. theorioleway Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4355581)
Maybe a better Bunning--who had to get in via the Veterans Committee? Also, at this point I'm not sure how you don't prep for full ballot catastrophe the way the voters are going.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4355585)
Bunning, like Blyleven, was +40 in W-L. Nothing close to Mussina.

If there's a full ballot catastrophe, players notably greater than Mussina will be kept out, and Mussina's snub won't have anything to do with his being underrated by the writers.
   35. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: February 20, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4372936)
The favorite player of my adult life. I remember watching his stellar debut, and the home run Frank Thomas hit to spoil it. It was great to see him retire on a high note.
   36. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4373584)
Mussina won more than half of the starts he made in his career. This is difficult to do as a starter not only has to give up fewer runs than the guy he's facing, but also pitch deep enough into games to avoid no-decisions.


Since 1901 79 pitchers have between 3000 and 4000 innings pitched

Those 79 pitchers averaged 8.77 innings per decision


Mussina is 7th with a decision every 8.42 innings, Petitte is 1st with one every 8.09 IP, numbers 2 through 6 are guys who pitched 60-80 years ago. Petitte BTW won .499 of his starts.

As a comparison, Palmer and Smoltz had a decision every 9.4 innings.
Palmer had nearly an inning more per start than Mussina- so it's not really a matter of Moose pitching deeper into games
   37. karlmagnus Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:01 PM (#4373592)
Parisian Bob Caruthers, 310GS, 218 wins 0.703 has to be close to the all-time leader with 200 wins, no? Not even on the damn Veterans ballot. (Spalding is 252/325, .775, presumably #1.)

   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4373602)
Parisian Bob Caruthers, 310GS, 218 wins 0.703 has to be close to the all-time leader with 200 wins, no? Not even on the damn Veterans ballot.

Hell, he should be in just for the damn nickname. I assume he wasn't actually from Paris; then the nickname would suck.
   39. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4373604)
Hell, he should be in just for the damn nickname. I assume he wasn't actually from Paris; then the nickname would suck.

According to Wikipedia, he wasn't:

He led the league in wins (40), ERA (2.07), shutouts (6) and winning percentage (.755) in 1885, and was 30-14 for the 1886 champions after a lengthy contract dispute which he conducted from Paris, earning him his nickname.
   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:22 PM (#4373606)
Isn't the key to getting decisions not only pitching deep into games but also having a team that can score a lot of runs?
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4373612)
Isn't the key to getting decisions not only pitching deep into games but also having a team that can score a lot of runs?

Or can't score any.
   42. OCF Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4373625)
I've been doing RA+ equivalent records since I joined the HoM project, and one of the columns of my spreadsheet computes exactly what you've been talking about: innings per decision. What has struck me is how stable that number is over time, even as everything else changes. I've got somewhere between 180 and 190 pitchers of potential HoM interest worked up (some have multiple lines and I'm too lazy right now to separate them out), and the average innings/decision is around 8.8 - which pretty much just what Johnny reported with a different sample. But what I'm saying is that there really is no trend in that number over time.

Relief pitchers screw things up. Closers get very few decisions, and pre-closer era relief aces got many decisions. Johnny reported Smoltz at 9.4 (actually 9.44) but that's distorted by his years as a closer. Separate things, and Smoltz had 20.38 in his closer years and 9.00 in his starter years. I just sorted my database by this number and got that 20.38 as the extreme on one end, with the next number being 12.66 for Wilhelm. And who are the names at the other end, with very low innings/decision? Marshall, Fingers, Eckersley's relief-only years, Hiller, Gossage, Lee Smith, Stu Miller.

OK, take the relief pitchers out. What (among the pitchers I've worked up) do I have as the highest and lowest innings/decision?

On one end:

Curt Davis 8.04
Wes Ferrell 8.17
Trout 8.26
Joe Wood 8.30
Harder 8.38
Derringer 8.38
Newhouser 8.38
Wilbur Wood 8.39
Wynn 8.39
Dauss 8.39

On the other end:

Maglie 9.52
Tudor 9.51
Palmer 9.40 (so Palmer really is quite extreme)
Ford 9.27
Reynolds 8.27
Seaver 9.26

Here's the order of some very prominent names:

[Mussina 8.43]
Ryan 8.50
Walter Johnson 8.50 (Notably affected by relief work)
Mathewson 8.52
Maddux 8.61
Spahn 8.62
Plank 8.65
Mordecai Brown 8.65
Glavine 8.70
Hubbell 8.82
Martinez 8.86
Randy Johnson 8.87
McGinnity 8.89
Cy Young 8.90
Alexander 8.93
Grove 8.94
Feller 8.93
Nichols 8.95
Rusie 9.08
Carlton 9.10
Sutton 9.11
Marichal 9.11
Clemens 9.14
Gibson 9.14
Perry 9.24
Seaver 9.26
Ford 9.27
Palmer 9.40

OK, looking at that I do see one timeline signature - the "innings hero" pitchers of the late 60's through the 70's, the same era that produced many 300-game winners, tended to pitch a lot of innings per decision. (But not Ryan, and not Wilbur Wood.)

(As a response to karlmagnus: The only pre-1893 pitchers I have on this list are the early careers of Young, Nichols, Rusie, and Griffith, all of whom continued to pitch from 60'6". I simply don't want to apply these methods to the prior era.)

I'll add that when I've done RA+ equivalent records, I've based the total in innings, not decisions. I've arbitrarily granted 9.0 innings per decision, which shorts the decision totals slightly on average, since the average is about 8.8. So with Mussina, I'll give him significantly fewer virtual decisions than his actual number of decisions. That cuts his bulk total down some, but doesn't change his virtual winning percentages.

That said, I have Mussina with an RA+ equivalent record of 236-147. That's outstanding, and makes him in my eyes a "frontlog" candidate for the HoM, someone to be elected as soon as the space is available.


   43. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4373628)
Isn't the key to getting decisions not only pitching deep into games but also having a team that can score a lot of runs?


plus lack of lead changes after leaving-
if your team has a really good set-up/closer combo and tends to use sub replacement level slop when behind, then your starters may get more decisions

Moose averaged a decision every 8 IP with the Yankees, so did Petitte
Wang was at 8.25...
   44. Chris Cobb Posted: February 21, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4373687)
Interesting list, OCF!

OK, looking at that I do see one timeline signature - the "innings hero" pitchers of the late 60's through the 70's, the same era that produced many 300-game winners, tended to pitch a lot of innings per decision. (But not Ryan, and not Wilbur Wood.)

Both of whom were relief pitchers before they became innings heroes. That's not really the whole story in Ryan's case, although it is probably a contributing factor. But Wood was a reliever for seven years before he switched to starting.
   45. bookbook Posted: March 12, 2013 at 01:54 AM (#4386728)
1) Mussina is, to me, an obvious HOFer.
2) the winning percentage on games he's started has little to do with it.

Look, the man chose to sign with the Yankees AFTER they won a gazillion rings in four years. He went to a team with a phenomenal offense and Mariano Rivera to close out his wins. Sure, he voluntarily chose to pitch in front of Jeter and Bernie, so credit for some guts, there.

Will anyone argue that the difference between Mussina's GS/W and Felix's has anything more than a glancing relation to the talent and tenacity of the starting pitchers involved? (It's actually a bit damning that Pettite, a clear HOVG guy, put up a very similar number pitching for the same team for many of the same years, now that I think about it.) It's a fun and interesting stat, but not really a HOF case.
   46. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 12, 2013 at 08:36 AM (#4386769)
I think the BBWAA voters will elect Maddux. He won 270 games, and 20 in his last season, so I can see a lot of them saying that he could have won 300 easily if he'd wanted to.
   47. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 28, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4607139)
Bump

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