Continuing with pitchers in this installment of the Gypsy Queen set comparison. We’ve looked at a number of hitters, but last time looked at 2 great pitchers. Here are two more hurlers with a penchant for pitching well despite not getting similar output from their team’s hitters.
Best Pitcher on a Losing team
Last post I looked at “Old Hoss” Radbourn – who had the best season of any pitcher in the 1800’s. Radbourn had two unmatched seasons and was one of the best pitchers from the 19th century, but the best pitcher from a full career perspective was Pud Galvin. He started his career with Buffalo of the International Association – and joined the National League when his team did a few years later. He pitched for Buffalo and later Pittsburgh of the NL, and for the first 10 years of his career had an ERA under 3.00 all but one season. Galvin was the first 300-game winner in baseball history; his 363 wins are tied for 6th behind only Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Pete Alexander. This is particularly amazing considering the fact that he pitched 3 years for Buffalo before they joined the National League – at this time, the National League wasn’t undisputed as the only major league. So his actual win total could very possibly be around that of Johnson. Plus, he never pitched for a great team – neither his Buffalo or Pittsburgh squads ever won a pennant.
Felix Hernandez for seattle jumps to mind here. He may not be the best pitcher in the game – that has to be Roy Halladay – but he’s certainly in the top 5. Halladay, Sabathia, Lincecum, and Cliff Lee are the other guys in that argument. What do those 4 have in common? They’ve all been significant keys to a deep postseason run, while Seattle has only had 2 winning seasons with Hernandez there; they’ve only once finished as high as 2nd. He won last year’s Cy Young and has been the best AL pitcher, along with CC, over the past 2 years.