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Postby rainman23 » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:15 pm

Anyway I agree with whoever said that Ryan has to be considered one of the best strikeout pitchers of all time.


You guys saying this are really going way out on a limb.
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Postby stumpak » Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:04 pm

Yeah, I am not trying to say that Stieb, Rijo etc were crappy. Quite the opposite. They are just not names that typically roll off the tounge when discussing the top 10 of all time.

You can talk all you want about BAA, but what about walks? His WHIP was a somewhat pedestrian 1.24. A nifty career total, but again nothing that scratches the top 100, which ends at 1.19. He walked 4.5 batters/9 innings, which is a ridciulous stat for a "great pitcher".

BAA is a very selective measure of pitching effectiveness. I will use the same analogy I used in the Robinson Cano thread: To single ou Ryan's greatness based on BAA alone is liek saying that Rob Deer is a fantastic hitter because he smacked a lot HRs, while ignoring the fact that he hit .210 while doing it.

Ryan was a fantastic pitcher and a great power pitcher to walk, but he does not really have the bona fides to be among the top 10 when we are talking about pitching effectiveness in the sense of allowing your opponent to score as few runs as possible.
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Postby johnsamo » Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:24 pm

Ryan's odd #s are a combination of overwork early in his career and terrible run support for most of his career. Once he was with the Rangers, even though he was 42 when he went there, his win versus loss #s suddenly closely matched what you would expect from his base stats. That was because the Rangers (a) gave him decent run support, (b) took him out when he was having a bad game or got tired.

It was the Angel years that cemented his "walks too many" reputation. One massive reason why he had so many walks was because the Angels rarely took him out. Anybody knows a pitcher starts walking guys when he gets tired. When he was throwing 300+ innings a season, he was walking 200 or so guys. That's also why he had so many losses. starters who get taken when they tire or are having a bad day will often get lucky and got a no decisions, Ryan never had that luxury.

But as his carrer went on and he stopped throwing so many innings a season, his walk ratios plummetted to respectable levels. Once he was in the more reasonable 200 innings a year average, he was walking around 80 guys a year. A massive difference that comes from (a) not being over worked, and (b) getting better at locating.

Hypothetically, lets say a pitcher throws 233 innings in a season, gets 200Ks and has a 3.35 ERA.... How many wins do you think he'd have?

With Ryan it was 11.

Or say, 211 innings, 270 Ks, a 2.76 ERA... How many wins do you think he'd get?

With Ryan it was 8.

If these sort of anomalies happened once or twice, you could write it off as bad luck, but for Ryan, his entire career (except with the Rangers) had these imcongruous win and loss #s that didn't match the base inning and ERA #s he was putting up.
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Postby Tavish » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:12 pm

johnsamo wrote:Ryan's odd #s are a combination of overwork early in his career and terrible run support for most of his career. Once he was with the Rangers, even though he was 42 when he went there, his win versus loss #s suddenly closely matched what you would expect from his base stats. That was because the Rangers (a) gave him decent run support, (b) took him out when he was having a bad game or got tired.

It was the Angel years that cemented his "walks too many" reputation. One massive reason why he had so many walks was because the Angels rarely took him out. Anybody knows a pitcher starts walking guys when he gets tired. When he was throwing 300+ innings a season, he was walking 200 or so guys. That's also why he had so many losses. starters who get taken when they tire or are having a bad day will often get lucky and got a no decisions, Ryan never had that luxury.


Pretty much every pitcher who played during that era was handled in the same way. Why didn't they all walk a ton of people because they were tired? Was he the victim of bad run support at times over his career? Sure, every pitcher is. The fact that his ERA was often around league average is why his record is around .500.

He was walk machine before he even made it to the Angels. He had the 3rd most walks in the league in his last season with the Mets, and that was with 150+ less IP than the league leaders. He was averaging around 5 BB/9 before he ever reached his first 200 IP season.

The big 5 from Ryan's era. People choose to focus on Ryan's Ks and no-hitters. Of the 5 he was probably the worst of the 5 pitchers, and one of them can't even make it into the HoF.

<pre>GS CG SHO W L IP BB WHIP ERA+
773 222 61 324 292 5386 2795 1.25 112
692 242 60 287 250 4970 1322 1.2 118
709 254 55 329 244 5217 1833 1.25 115
647 231 61 311 205 4782 1390 1.12 127
690 303 53 314 265 5350 1379 1.18 117</pre>
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Postby PlayingWithFire » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:30 pm

I can look it up but Names, Tav?
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Postby johnsamo » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:36 pm

I'm guessing that other guy is Burt "be home" Blyleven?

If I actually had to pick a pitcher from the 70s to build a rotation around, I'd probably go with Carlton. He just always seem to bring his A game. I was a cubs and braves fan back then (WGN & WTBS) and everytime Carleton was pitching against them, I just had this feeling of dread that we'll have to be lucky to win this game.... When it was Ryan pitching, it was more awe... just watching how that fastball seemed to rise because it was coming in so fast. And later on in his career, his 12 to 6 curveball was unbelievably nasty too.

I'm not saying Ryan was the greatest pitcher of all time, I'm just saying his win totals were abnormally deflated for reasons largely beyond his control. But in regards to K's and just pure duration as an effective pitcher, nobody touches him. And when he was "on", nobody was better. I mean, they guy threw a no hitter (against a decent team) when he was 45! If that doesn't blow your mind, nothing can.
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Postby Tavish » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:37 pm

PlayingWithFire wrote:I can look it up but Names, Tav?


Tom Terrific, Lefty Carlton, Ryan Express, Gaylord, and Mr. "Hall of Fame Voters are Morons" in some order. My bet is Ryan's numbers are the easiest to pick out from the bunch, just find the stat that looks like a typo.
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Postby mbuser » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:57 pm

i hate to keep harping on it, but despite the huge amount of walks, his WHIP wasn't that bad (especially considering how bad it could be). would you rather have a pitcher walk a batter or give up a base hit?
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Postby Tavish » Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:37 pm

mbuser wrote:i hate to keep harping on it, but despite the huge amount of walks, his WHIP wasn't that bad


There you go, thats all I've been saying. Ryan wasn't bad. Not awe-inspiring, not amazingly dominating, not legendary. Above average, for a very long time. Something that only a handful of pitchers in the history of the game can lay claim to.
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Postby stumpak » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:52 am

Sort of like Cal Ripken - above average for a very long time.
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