Tuesday, July 14, 2009

World Series Game 7, Who is Your Starter? [David Stefanini]

This was a question just posed to me by a good friend of mine. He randomly called me and made me pick a starting pitcher to start and win game 7 of the World Series.

This pitcher would need to have several characteristics in order for me to chose him. So I decided to quickly run down the list of pitchers that I have seen, in other words pitchers from the 90's and up. This is the short list I produced: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana, Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens.

After looking at this list I realized as great as Johan is he has not pitched in a World Series game and does not possess the career numbers in which the others do; so he was eliminated from the thought process. Next was Greg Maddux, for as great as he was posted a losing record in the World Series, though he has a 2.09 ERA in 5 games. He was a brilliant pitcher who possessed the intelligence to be considered, but I wanted someone who had 'disgusting' stuff. Someone who scared you. I then looked at Roger Clemens who is 12-8 with a 3.75 ERA. He was amazing, but did it using steroids. In today's game he may be suspended so I couldn't take that risk.

That left me with Johnson and Martinez, two guys who have such amazing arms, and both have great baseball intelligence. Johnson's postseason statistics are not tremendously impressive but his World Series record and ERA are incredible. However, when you put these two legendary pitchers statistics together you get a feel for how amazing Pedro Martinez was.

Pedro in his prime was simply untouchable. Just go to baseballreference.com and punch in his name to look at these stats. In 1999 he had probably the most amazing season I have ever seen, like I said earlier I started watching baseball in the early 90's. His numbers: 23-4, 2.07 ERA, .923 WHIP, 313 K's, and how does he follow this season, with arguably a better one: 18-6, 1.74 ERA, .737 WHIP, 284 K's. He only pitched one World Series game and pitched 7 shut out innings of stellar baseball. Want more evidence supporting my claim? How about a 6-2 Postseason record doing it while going against the great Yankee teams and other AL power houses of recent memory. His seasons form 1997-2003 go down as the best stretch of any pitcher not named Koufax.

Give me Pedro in his prime any day over anyone else I have ever seen, and probably Pedro over anyone in history. Feel free to argue this in the comment section as it's only my opinion and J. Mark English will more than likely argue against Pedro.

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