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View Full Version : pedro vs. koufax



Redsoxin2009
11-30-2008, 10:55 PM
who would you rather have as your teams ace?? assuming both were in there primes

bagwell368
12-01-2008, 12:09 AM
For the entire career, or a span of years?

Four man or five man rotations?

Answer: for a 5 year span in a 4 man rotation I would take Koufax due to IP advantage over Pedro. For every other combination I can think of it is Pedro hands down.

Koufax had the big hill, the big strike zone - Pedro had a very small strike zone, a regular hill, and he kicked every SP pitchers butt in the array of stats he is near the top in:

in ERA+, win %, WHIP, H/9 IP, K/9 IP

Pedro had six brilliant years, seven very good

Koufax had 5 brilliant, 1 very good, and the rest, not so great

todu82
12-01-2008, 02:14 PM
Koufax

CY24
12-01-2008, 09:23 PM
Pedro

EAGLES3658
12-01-2008, 10:53 PM
Pedro

Lincecum4CY
12-01-2008, 11:19 PM
Close. Pedro.

ThisIsTheYear
12-02-2008, 12:28 AM
Pedro.

From 1997-2003, he had an ERA of less than 2.5 (except for 1998 - 2.89) every year. His ERA+ was over 200 for 5 of those 7 years, topping out at 291 in 2000. Koufax's highest ERA+ was 187.

Frank Costanza
12-02-2008, 02:06 PM
Sandy Koufax hands down no doubt, much love pedro

Tragedy
12-02-2008, 02:23 PM
I'd take Pedro.

He was so f'n good.

bagwell368
12-02-2008, 02:41 PM
On a per inning basis, Pedro crushes every other SP ever period.

However if you bring him back to 1960 with the 4 man rotations and the deep pitch counts, I think he may have ended up being an Elroy Face - 10 starts and 40 RP per year.

I'm a big fan of Koufax, but he is one of the most overrated pitchers ever. Go look at the poll from six months ago - Koufax is on top tied (or nearly so) with the most overrated pitcher of all time - Nolan Ryan.

nygiants242
12-02-2008, 02:46 PM
Pedro

Cursed Rangers
12-02-2008, 03:13 PM
How could someone consider Nolan Ryan overrated? Let's see:

7 no-hitters
324 wins
222 complete games
19 complete games with 1 hit or less
61 shutouts
215 games with 10+ K's
26 games with 15 K's
3.19 ERA
6, 300+ Strikeout seasons
15, 200+ Strikeout seasons
5,714 career strikeouts

What is there to overrate? And don't tell me it is because he played a long-time. I am not saying he is the best of all time, but there is no way he is overrated.

blb
12-02-2008, 03:55 PM
How could someone consider Nolan Ryan overrated? Let's see:

7 no-hitters
324 wins
222 complete games
19 complete games with 1 hit or less
61 shutouts
215 games with 10+ K's
26 games with 15 K's
3.19 ERA
6, 300+ Strikeout seasons
15, 200+ Strikeout seasons
5,714 career strikeouts

What is there to overrate? And don't tell me it is because he played a long-time. I am not saying he is the best of all time, but there is no way he is overrated.

Another one, huh?

Bolded stats are stats that don't really matter when you're talking about the best pitchers of all time.

Underlined stats are stats that aren't really that good.

-The 7 No Hitters aren't overrated. No one ever said they were. But that's not a stat anyone should use when talking about the best pitchers of all time. Would you rather have a guy with a 3.19 career ERA who tossed seven amazing games or a guy with zero no-hitters and a career ERA of 2.60?

-Ryan has 324 wins, but he pitched for 8,000 years (27 to be exact) and every single pitcher that's ahead of him on the wins list pitched fewer seasons than he did. Ryan's wins? Overrated.

-Ryan has 222 complete games, which puts him in 113th place. Again, he pitched for 14,289 years and the guys ahead of him didn't play for that long. Ryan's CG's? Overrated.

-Saying that Ryan threw 19 complete games in which he gave up one hit or less is basically saying that he threw 12 1-hitters (along with his 7 no-nos). I don't feel like doing any research, but I bet at least a few other pitchers threw more than 12 1-hitters and I'd also bet that none of them played as long as Ryan. Ryan's 12 1-hitters? Overrated.

-Ryan has 61 shutouts. That ties him with Tom Seaver for seventh place. Seaver played for 20 seasons. Ryan played for 9,298,322,009 (in other words, 27). None of the guys ahead of Ryan played as long as he did. Ryan's 61 shutouts? Overrated.

-Ryan put up a 3.19 ERA. That puts him in a tie for 242nd place with Jim Maloney and Pete Richert. Couple of studs there. Ryan's ERA? Not very good when it comes to the best pitchers of all time.

-All of Ryan's strikeout records are unbelievable. He was an incredible power pitcher. No one has ever said anything otherwise. It's when he comes into the "best pitchers of all time" debate that people start shaking their heads. He's top 20 at best.

blb
12-02-2008, 04:05 PM
On a per inning basis, Pedro crushes every other SP ever period.

However if you bring him back to 1960 with the 4 man rotations and the deep pitch counts, I think he may have ended up being an Elroy Face - 10 starts and 40 RP per year.

I'm a big fan of Koufax, but he is one of the most overrated pitchers ever. Go look at the poll from six months ago - Koufax is on top tied (or nearly so) with the most overrated pitcher of all time - Nolan Ryan.

Whoa. I didn't even see that when I first read through the thread.

Koufax overrated? By who? People on this forum? Are they looking at career stats or his stretch from '63 to '66, one of the best four year stretches of all time, when he was by far the best pitcher in the game? Because that's what Koufax is known for. He was horrible prior to 1960, decent in '60 and '61, very good in '62 (but only for 26 starts) and absolutely incredible from '63 to '66.

blb
12-02-2008, 04:55 PM
After my two off-topic responses, I'll respond to the original topic of the thread:

I'd take Pedro in a heartbeat.

Koufax was putting up ERA's in the high 1.00's and low 2.00's when the league average ERA was around 3.25. The league OPS during Koufax's peak was around .720.

Pedro was putting up ERA's in the high 1.00's and low 2.00's when the league average ERA was around 4.50 or 5.00. The league OPS during Pedro's peak was closer to .800.

Pedro's 2000 season is probably the best pitching season in the history of the game. The league average ERA in the AL was 5.07 and the league average OPS was .800. Pedro's ERA was 1.74. His ERA+ was 291. He walked 32 hitters in 217 innings. His K/BB ratio was almost 9 to 1 (8.875 to be exact). He gave up 123 hits and posted a 0.74 WHIP.

Side note: The only pitchers that even topped a 260 ERA+ in a single season didn't throw more than 25 starts. Greg Maddux did it in both of the most recent strike years (271 and 262 in the '94 and '95), Dutch Leonard put up a 279 ERA+ in 25 starts in 1914 and Tim Keefe put up a 294 in 12 starts against a league OPS of .600 in 1880.

Another side note: Randy Johnson's ERA+ in his 11 starts with Houston in 1998? 321. Wow...

ShinobiNYC
12-02-2008, 05:16 PM
Pedro.

bagwell368
12-02-2008, 11:20 PM
Whoa. I didn't even see that when I first read through the thread.

Koufax overrated? By who? People on this forum? Are they looking at career stats or his stretch from '63 to '66, one of the best four year stretches of all time, when he was by far the best pitcher in the game? Because that's what Koufax is known for. He was horrible prior to 1960, decent in '60 and '61, very good in '62 (but only for 26 starts) and absolutely incredible from '63 to '66.

He's great, his peak is great, but people get hung up on his raw stats - its sort of like worshipping the guys from the 1910's because they had ERA's of 1.5, which is actually no big feat when the league average is 2.2.

Koufax had a monster mound, and one of the worst hitters parks of all time to work in, and several other terrible hitters parks to visit (Houston, Pittsburgh). That certainly depressed his numbers a great deal. ERA+ alone tells the tale. A very fine borderline great pitcher for 4 years, a real good one for one, and a mess the rest of his career.

BTW, I actually saw him pitch, he was great, but to say he was head and shoulders above every in his great streak of '62-'66 is either due to blindness or lack of knowledge.

63 ERA+: Ellsworth 167, Koufax 159, Simmons 145, Friend 140, Jackson 138

64 ERA+: Koufax 187, Short 157, Drysdale 149, Marichal 144, O'Toole 144

65 ERA+: Marichal 169, Law 163, Koufax 160, Maloney 148, Shaw 137

66 ERA+: Koufax 190, Marichal 167, Cuellar 153, Bunning 148, Gibson 148

In the history of baseball since 1900 there are a bunch of guys with more dominance then that in 4 years, and some for a lot longer. Below is a list of guys with very high finishes in Adjusted ERA+ over a number of years, they include:

Lefty Grove (1926-1939 - x '34) - x means excluding
WJ (1910-1919)
RC (1986-1998 x 95)
RJ (1995-2004 x 96 98 03)
Maddux (1992 - 2002)
Pedro (1997 - 2005 x 01)
Seaver (1968 - 1977 x '72)
Mathewson (1908-1913)
Alexander (1915-1920 x '18 + 1923-1927)
Hubbell (1930-1936 x '35)

Koufax isn't a match for these guys career or peak.

Also very telling on his career value - only 1 comp is the in the HOF, and none of the others is going in.

I admire him greatly from a number of angles. I have and enjoyed his book. I think he belongs in the HOF. But the aura that surrounds the guy has a lot to do with his early retirement and "what might have been", not what he actually did.

Twinke Masta
12-03-2008, 02:52 AM
pedro martinez will strike you out, that is all

blb
12-03-2008, 02:27 PM
BTW, I actually saw him pitch, he was great, but to say he was head and shoulders above every in his great streak of '62-'66 is either due to blindness or lack of knowledge.

63 ERA+: Ellsworth 167, Koufax 159, Simmons 145, Friend 140, Jackson 138

64 ERA+: Koufax 187, Short 157, Drysdale 149, Marichal 144, O'Toole 144

65 ERA+: Marichal 169, Law 163, Koufax 160, Maloney 148, Shaw 137

66 ERA+: Koufax 190, Marichal 167, Cuellar 153, Bunning 148, Gibson 148

Dick Ellsworth? In talking about Koufax's four years of dominance, you're bringing up Dick Ellsworth? You're kidding, right? He did put up that 167 ERA+ in '63, but what was his second best ERA+? 109 sounds about right. And his career ERA+ was 100. '63 was a career year for Bob Friend and Larry Jackson as well. Curt Simmons? Come on... Besides, Koufax's ERA+ was 15 points better than Simmons's and 20 points better than Friend's and Jackson's. And '63 wasn't even close to Koufax's best year.

In '64, Koufax's ERA+ was 30 points better than anyone you listed. I believe you helped prove my point with that one.

'65? Juan Marichal was great. A HOFer in every way. But how many times did he put up an ERA+ over 170? And how about Vern Law? His other ERA+'s during Koufax's run: 67, 97, 88. Please... Jim Maloney was solid in a short career, but nothing compared to Koufax. Bob Shaw put up that 137 ERA+ in '65, but he posted a 95 in '64 and an 84 in '66. Are you done with these crap comparisons yet?

1966 is your most respectable comparison, as all of the other pitchers listed had very good careers (no chumps like Ellsworth and Law this year), but it was Koufax's best year, besting all of the other guys by more than 20 points.

In short, if your own comparison doesn't show you that Koufax was head and shoulders above the competition from '63-'66, you're either blind or lacking knowledge.

Another thing: I realize that there's a handful of guys who had much better peaks than Koufax, and I'm not arguing that, but you could easily argue that guys like Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson had huge advantages because of a weak talent pool, a league average OPS in the .600's and enormous stadiums all over the league.

Either way, I already said I'd take Pedro's peak over Koufax's in a heartbeat and I'd certainly take Maddux's or Randy Johnson's as well. Those three impress me the most because of their massive success in the steroid/small stadium/30 team era. I have a hard time with the pre-1930's guys because the game was so different back then and I don't even know what style of pitcher any of them were aside from Walter Johnson.

That said, I certainly put Sandy Koufax's peak up there with the best peaks of all time. He was an absolute beast from '63-'66, especially compared to his peers.

(One last thing... With Seaver, how do you exclude '72 while keeping '74? '74 was easily his worst season during his peak.)

bagwell368
12-03-2008, 10:43 PM
Dick Ellsworth? In talking about Koufax's four years of dominance, you're bringing up Dick Ellsworth? You're kidding, right? He did put up that 167 ERA+ in '63, but what was his second best ERA+?

I'm not bringing him up, I'm quoting the stats for the 4 years - the first thing we notice is that he didn't win every year, and that Marichal was around in the same area as his career was starting up. He did not dominate in the way Pedro or RC or RJ have at times in the past 22 years.



In '64, Koufax's ERA+ was 30 points better than anyone you listed. I believe you helped prove my point with that one.

30 points is not any sort of record - Gibson was 108 ahead of the NL in 1968, Guidry 41 in '78, RJ 38 in '02, Maddux 112 in '95, Seaver 36 in '71, Clemens 49 in '05, Pedro 107 ahead of the AL in '99, 159 in 2000!!.

So for Koufax to be tied with Ryan (both with 21 votes as of right now) in the poll I mentioned with the following names and votes for other choices:

WJ has 8
Maddux 2
RC 3
Gibson 4
RJ 1
Pedro 5
Alexander 0
Spahn 1
Carlton 2

proves that by definition, that Ryan and Koufax are overrated because Ryan is about #27 all time, and Koufax is about #16. Every one of those other guys I listed blow those 2 away all day and every day. Overrated - simple concept - the people that took the poll overrate those two pitchers.



In short, if your own comparison doesn't show you that Koufax was head and shoulders above the competition from '63-'66, you're either blind or lacking knowledge.

What is it with you, are you related to him? He had 4 great years in a row, that is the definition of a very fine peak. Nice, other guys had greater peaks, and even more had better careers - period.



Another thing: I realize that there's a handful of guys who had much better peaks than Koufax, and I'm not arguing that, but you could easily argue that guys like Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson had huge advantages because of a weak talent pool, a league average OPS in the .600's and enormous stadiums all over the league.

And you could argue that Koufax had a monster mound, and a killer sized strike zone, and ball parks which led to the deadest of dead ball conditions since 1921 in the 60's. His raw numbers are far gaudier then his adjusted numbers. Go look at what his ERA's meant in the last 20 years when guys had them. A whole other class.



Either way, I already said I'd take Pedro's peak over Koufax's in a heartbeat and I'd certainly take Maddux's or Randy Johnson's as well. Those three impress me the most because of their massive success in the steroid/small stadium/30 team era. I have a hard time with the pre-1930's guys because the game was so different back then and I don't even know what style of pitcher any of them were aside from Walter Johnson.

That said, I certainly put Sandy Koufax's peak up there with the best peaks of all time. He was an absolute beast from '63-'66, especially compared to his peers.

(One last thing... With Seaver, how do you exclude '72 while keeping '74? '74 was easily his worst season during his peak.)

How do I exclude it? I did. Let's list his career ERA+ vs Koufax:

Seaver - Koufax

122 - 135
137 - 082
165 - 107
142 - 092
193 - 104
115 - 101
175 - 123
112 - 141
145 - 159
127 - 187
150 - 160
124 - 190
120 - N/A
099 - N/A
140 - N/A
067 - N/A
103 - N/A
105 - N/A
136 - N/A
106 - N/A

2 1st place (6 top 10) ERA+ finishes for Koufax and 3 (13 top 10) for Seaver

4782 2/3 IP for Seaver -- 2324 1/3 for Koufax

131 ERA+ for Koufax and 127 for Seaver - if Koufax had pitched deeper into his decline phase, his total would have gone down as well.

So yeah, I left it out, I figure a guy that gets #1 3 out of 4 years had a better run then a guy that had 2 #1 finishes. BTW, Seaver was about #14 in ERA+ in '74 in the NL hardly a disaster.

acecrusher06
12-05-2008, 10:04 PM
pedro was a beast