Ok, so here it is folks. My Top 10 Baseball Pitchers of My Generation. As with my past lists, we’ll call my generation 1990-2010. And because this is my list, I get to exclude one player from the list again.
I’ll go with Roger Clemens. My reasons? Not important. But hold your horses Yankees fans before you going telling me this is biased against New York. I’m pretty sure Clemens had some of his best years on the Red Sox, so breathe easy. If it will make you sleep better at night, call the list the 10 best pitchers of my generation not including Roger Clemens.
Without further adieu.
1) Pedro Martinez — 162 game averages of 17-8 with a 2.93 ERA. Pedro averaged 10 strikeouts and 2.4 walks per 9 innings. Ultimately it is his .687 career winning percentage, by far the highest on this list, that gets him the #1 spot. He won 3 Cy Young awards and his best season was 1999 when he went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA. That same season, he started the all-star game by striking out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Jeff Bagwell. That was the season immediately following McGwire and Sosa’s home run race.
2) Randy Johnson — Randy ending up this high on the list surprised me. Johnson’s averages were 17-9 with a 3.29 ERA. He averaged 10.6 K’s per 9 innings to go with 3.3 walks. He won 5 Cy Young awards and had a .646 winning percentage. His best season: 24-5 with a 2.32 ERA. Oh yeah, and he led the league in strikeouts 9 times.
3) Mariano Rivera — Rivera has 548 saves and a 2.21 career ERA. He averages 8.3 K’s per 9 innings and 2.1 walks. His post season resume consists of 88 appearances, 39 saves, and a .74 ERA. He’s probably the best closer ever, but hurts his chances at one of the top 2 spots because he has only led the league in saves 3 times and he’s blown a world series.
4) Greg Maddux — Maddux was 355-227 on his career, putting him way up high on the career wins list. The guy was the definition of consistency — he won 15 or more games 17 consecutive season. That’s got to be the most underrated statistic in baseball history. His average season was 16-10 with a 3.16 ERA. He won 4 Cy Young’s, and leads this list with only 1.8 walks per 9 innings — a very underrated statistic in my opinion. His career winning percentage was .610 and his best season was 19-2 with a 1.63 ERA.
5) Curt Schilling — Schilling’s place on this list is hurt by his .597 winning percentage. His average season was 15-10 with a 3.46 ERA, and his best season was 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA. 8.6 strike outs per 9 innings with 2.0 walks. Schilling claims this spot for his postseason prowess — he was the definition of a big game pitcher. Remember everything from Schilling starting 3 games of the World Series for Arizona to the bloody sock in Boston. Schilling is 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in the postseason — making him arguably the most reliable postseason pitcher — ever.
6) Johan Santana — While Johan doesn’t have quite as many games under his belt as many of these players, his .667 winning percentage gets him this spot. He averages 15-8 with a 3.12 ERA. 2 Cy Young awards.
7) Trevor Hoffman — The second best reliever of our generation, after Mariano. Hoffman actually has more saves (596) and has led the league twice. His career ERA is 2.85 with 9.4 strike outs and 2.5 walks per 9 innings — dominant stuff over a long term.
8)Roy Halladay — Halladay also hasn’t played as many games (160-84), but his .656 winning percentage is superb. He averages 17-9 with a 3.34 ERA. He’s also great averaging 1.9 walks per 9 innings. 1 Cy Young award.
9) John Smoltz — Smoltz career numbers almost keep him off the list. His 3.33 ERA was good, and his best season was 17-3 with a 2.9 ERA. That being said it’s his 15-4 postseason record (a .789 winning percentage) and 2.67 ERA that get him this spot.
10) Andy Pettite — I’ll hate on this pick, but Pettite still makes the list I think. Petite is 240-137, a 17-10 average, but his career ERA is by far the highest at 3.87. One season he actually went something like 20-8 with an ERA over 4.00. That being said, there’s a New York run producing factor that got him a lot of wins he wouldn’t otherwise have. But he’s still done it over the long haul, he’s been consistent with age, and he’s done it in the playoffs.
Let me know what you think.
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