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whos a better lefty? Koufax or The Big Unit?

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Postby LCBOY » Sun Jun 13, 2004 2:07 pm

tsk, tsk, tsk....

The greatest LHP ever is Lefty Grove. Koufax and the Big Unit are right behind Grove but they are BEHIND Grove. Koufax supporters Love to point to his six year run of greatness. However, Grove was better.

From 1227-33 here is what Grove did:

1927: 20-13, 3.19 ERA, 133 ERA+
1928: 24-8, 2.58 ERA, 155 ERA+
1929: 20-6, 2.81 ERA, 151 ERA+
1930: 28-5, 2.54 ERA, 185 ERA+
1931: 30-4, 2.06 ERA, 219 ERA+
1932: 25-10, 2.84 ERA, 159 ERA+
1933: 24-8, 3.20 ERA, 134 ERA+

That's seven years of dominance. Oh, and he won 300 games and won nine ERA titles.

People tend to overrate Koufax's six season run. In those six seasons he had only three 20 win seasons. In one of those seasons, he only won 14 games. Koufax's "run" was in reality only four seasons (1963-66), NOT six. How can he be "the greatest pitcher ever" as some claim when he only had three 20 win seasons?
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Postby wkelly91 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 2:09 pm

Koufax
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Postby Registered_Guest » Sun Jun 13, 2004 2:12 pm

I'll say Randy Johnson.

Koufax: Best pitcher's park in the league and Johnson did his dominance during a hitter's era.

I think if Johnson pitched in Dodger Stadium and abused his arm the way Koufax did, he would IMO of put up as good if not better #'s.
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Postby CubsFan7724 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 2:13 pm

Lofunzo wrote:
CubsFan7724 wrote:Well, if Johnson could magically travel in time to the 60s, then that article could be realistic. But just speculating, hey maybe he could pitch more complete games in the 60s just because other pitchers did is pretty meaningless.


Then, according to your logic, comparing players from different eras and asking questions like this is meaningless as well.

It sort of is because you can never tell. RJ will not pitch against the same players the Koufax did, at least until I invent a time machine. When you start comparing people from different eras, the numbers are different depending on what the league was like in those years. You can guess what one player would do, but its pretty much just guessing.
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Postby LCBOY » Sun Jun 13, 2004 2:23 pm

CubsFan7724 wrote:
Lofunzo wrote:
CubsFan7724 wrote:Well, if Johnson could magically travel in time to the 60s, then that article could be realistic. But just speculating, hey maybe he could pitch more complete games in the 60s just because other pitchers did is pretty meaningless.


Then, according to your logic, comparing players from different eras and asking questions like this is meaningless as well.

It sort of is because you can never tell. RJ will not pitch against the same players the Koufax did, at least until I invent a time machine. When you start comparing people from different eras, the numbers are different depending on what the league was like in those years. You can guess what one player would do, but its pretty much just guessing.


That's the point of sabermetrics. We can make informed "guesses". This is called inductive logic and it is a sound approach. Just taking the point that it's just guesses and dismissing it outright doesn't really help the discussion. We can NEVER know for sure 100%, but is anything in life 100% sure?

Given what we know about the game of the 1960s and what we know about Johnson's durabiity, the question is this, "Is it reasonable to assume that if Johnson pitched in the 1960s, would he have thrown many CGs?" It is reasonable to assume this. The reason for this is because the quality of the game hasn't really changed much in the past 50-60 years.
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Postby Carnac » Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:24 pm

I agree with LCBoy.

Grove was the best lefty ever.
9 era titles don't lie

Koufax
5 era titles don't lie
only knock is shortened career and it is a fair knock

Someone will surely look up Johnson's era titles
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Postby Pochuck » Sun Jun 13, 2004 4:19 pm

Having seen Sandy Koufax pitch many times , there is no question for a five year period he was the best pitcher "ever". What a pitcher, an off day for him was giving up three runs. The Dodgers were so offensively challenged it was pathetic ( a good hitting day produced three runs).
He did all this with arthritic arm, and many times pitched on 2 days rest, including a world series game. His early career mirriored Johnsons or actually vice versa, wild and inconsistent but once they found there way ,both are great.
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Postby CubsFan7724 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:12 pm

I would not call Johnson durable anymore, hes had major knee surgery. Of course, Koufax wasnt very durable either.
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Postby Lenny Dykstra » Sun Jun 13, 2004 7:18 pm

did'nt they lower the mound in the 60's????i forget when they did it but i know they did.can you imagine rj on a higher mound....wow!
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Postby Carnac » Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:01 pm

Does that mean Ryan would have fanned 8,000 on the higher mound or does it mean he would have been injured? There is no way to tell if the higher mound would have helped or hurt RJ. He is a great pitcher on either mound.
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