Pedro Martinez is as great as any pitcher, ever. I love debating these questions where there are no clear cut answers. I believe he is the greatest in a tie with Clemens, but even that is not definite. I am really here to discuss a recent debate that I had with a few employees at work. They said that Nolan Ryan is the greatest, and that he is better than Pedro. I disagreed.
Since we can all agree that they are two of the best to ever throw the ball. Here are some stats to support my argument. Since I believe ERA is a much more telling stat than Wins. ERA: Pedro 2.81, Ryan 3.19. Both have spent about half their time in each league. Win %: Pedro 4th all time with .691, Ryan .526 (which isn’t even close to being in the top 100). SO/9IP: Pedro 3rd all time, Ryan is fourth. WHIP: Pedro is 3rd all time, Ryan once again is not even in the top 100. Adjusted ERA, (which is a very cool stat, takes into account the league and ballpark in which the pitcher throws): Pedro is first all time, ahead of Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson; Once again Nolan Ryan failed to crack the top 100. Now in Ryan’s defense he has 324 wins, but 296 losses. He has 5,700 SO’s and that is remarkable regardless of how you look at it. But Pedro’s stats are simply better when compared to the all-time greats in terms of dominance.
Both were big game pitchers I might add. Ryan has 7 no-hitters while Pedro has zero. However, Pedro has 3 Cy Youngs to Ryan’s 0. Pedro also should have one the MVP in 99.’ Pedro pitched in the steroid era. Ryan pitched to I am pretty sure some players who used PED’s, but I have to say that Pedro threw to significantly more.
Jim Callis stated in a chat the other day that "Pedro was the greatest pitcher at his peak." Jim Palmer added in another article "Pedro is the greatest pitcher he has ever seen." This is coming from another incredible pitcher! Many people become enthralled with a legend, a name. And yes, Ryan is one of the greatest pitchers ever. I just believe that Pedro is better than he was, and that Clemens may be the only pitcher that is better than Martinez. And I am not even sure about that. We must include names like Gibson, and Koufax as well. Gibson postseason stats are unparalleled. But his regular season stats outside of a few devastating years are not as good as Pedro’s. Oh and I do not think Gibson faced hitters with syringes hanging out of their veins.
So who would you want, at their best, to start in game 7 or the World Series? I would go with Gibson or Pedro. Some have said Schilling, but I don’t think he is in quite the same caliber of pitchers as these other guys. Even though he is a great "Big-game" pitcher. But no one knows for sure who is the best, which is why it makes the arguments so compelling.