Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One More Pitch for Burt Blyleven

Every year, Burt Blyleven is overlooked for the Hall of Fame. Jack Morris gets more buzz, but Blyleven was the better pitcher. The only knock on the guy seems to be that he didn't win any Cy Young Awards and he didn't get to 300 wins. But here is how Blyleven stacks up to some of the pitchers from the recent era who are in the Hall of Fame:

Don Sutton 324 wins, .539 WP, 3.26 ERA, 108 ERA+, 1 20-win season, 58 shutouts, 178 CG 1.142 WHIP 2.66 K/BB 6.1 K/9 2.3 BB/9 Led league in ERA once, Led in WHIP 4 times

Phil Neikro 318 wins, .537 WP, 3.35 ERA, 115 ERA+, 3 20-win seasons, 45 shoutouts, 245 CG, 1.268 WHIP, 1.85 K/BB, 5.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, Led league strikeouts once, ERA+ once, cg 4 times

Fergie Jenkins 284 wins, .557 WP, 3.34 ERA, 115 ERA+, 7 20-win seasons 49 Shutouts, 267 Cg, 1.142 WHIP, 3.20 K/bb, 6.4 k/9, 2.0 BB/9, Led league in victories twice CG 4 times WHIP once K/bb 5 times Cy Young 197

Gaylord Perry 314 wins, .542 WP, 3.11 ERA, 117 ERA+, 5 20-win seasons, 53 Shutouts, 303 Cg, 1.181 WHIP, 2.56 K/bb, 5.9 k/9, 2.3 bb/9, led league in wins three times, ERA+ once cg 2, IP 2, 2 Cy young

Burt Blyleven 287 wins, .534 WP, 3.31 ERA, 118 ERA+, 1 20-win season, 60 shutouts, 242 cg 1.198 WHIP, 2.80 k/bb, 6.7 k/9, 2.4 bb/9, Led league in WHIP once, Cg once, ERA+ once, K's once

Analysis: Blyleven is in the ball park in Winning Percentage with all of them. His ERA+ is higher than all of them. His Strikeouts Per Nine Innings is higher than all of them. He had more shutouts then all of them. His Walks per Nine Innings and WHIP are right there with them. Only Jenkins had a better Strikeout to Walk Ratio. Fergie Jenkins had a superior stretch of dominance, but less total wins. His Complete Games are in the same ballpark.

Some would say that Sutton and those would be marginal Hall of Famers. This writer says that they are in the Hall of Fame and as such are benchmarks. Blyleven deserves a place in the Hall of Fame. If those guys are in there, he should be in there.


bobook said...

Funny you write this as my buddy Tim and I last week were reviewing his record and arrived at the same conclusion-- he's a Hall of Famer.
Longevity and excellence is the equation and, had he been on some better teams, he's have had a much better W/L record.

Josh Borenstein said...

Hard to argue with this post. To me, this is a no-brainer.