Greatest pitcher ever?

   This was my first post and I only know one person that read it, so I am posting it again if you would like to read it.  Please leave a comment!

     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.


  1. John

    Great blog. Pedro is indeed a great pitcher and the 90’s would have been much different for the Dodgers had they kept him.

    In your comment on my blog, you asked for my thoughts on J.D. Drew. Overall, I feel J.D. did a good job with the Dodgers but was given a bad rap during his brief tenure in L.A. First of all, the injury he suffered in 2005 that sidelined him most of the year had nothing whatsoever to do with his being injury-prone. After the 2005 season, when talking about GM Paul DePodesta and Drew’s season-ending injury, Jim Rome quipped, “Who didn’t see that one coming?” I was at the game where he broke his wrist being hit by a pitch and that injury would have put Cal Ripken on the DL. It had nothing to do with being fragile.

    Second, Drew was often characterized as being unexciting or lacking enthusiasm. Because I’m not a teammate of Drew’s, I can’t comment with 100% accuracy on that one, but I personally felt that any lack of enthusiasm had more to do with his personality than laziness or apathy. I prefer to look at his stats and he had a great season. Was it a lack of ambition that had him on Jeff Kent’s heels prompting the infamous double-play at the plate during the NLCS? I feel that much of the criticism of Drew during his two years in L.A was not warranted.

    Having said all that, I wasn’t particularly pleased with the way he left the Dodgers. He led the Dodgers to believe he was sticking around and then at the last minute decided to exercise his opt-out clause. I felt he could have handled that situation with a little more integrity and at least kept his mouth shut when asked by reporters about his future status with the club. But it wouldn’t surprise me if everything he said and did wasn’t heavily influenced by Scott Boras. It’s all about money unfortunately.

    After Drew’s decision to opt-out was announced, Jim Rome said, “I look back at his two years with the Dodgers and I can’t recall anything special (a specific hit or play that really stood out) and left an imprint on the memories of Dodger fans.” I most certainly can. On September 18th, J.D. Drew was part of one of the greatest moments in Dodger history when he, along with Jeff Kent, Russell Martin, and Marlon Anderson hit four consecutive home runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to cap a comeback unlike anything anyone’s ever seen. As a Dodger fan, I will always remember J.D. Drew for that moment alone.

    As for how his leaving affects the Dodgers, while Drew and his 100 RBI’s will definitely be missed, the Dodgers will be able to get by in the short-term with the addition of Luis Gonzalez and there will be no long-term effects with all the talent they have coming up through their minor league system. I believe Drew will be a good addition to the Red Sox. I don’t know that he is quite worth 70 million but he should do well over in Boston. After his wrist surgery in 2005, he was able to get work done on his shoulder that may very well have taken care of many of the injury problems he was having prior to the Dodgers. So, I don’t think health will be a big issue.


    P.S. If the Dodgers don’t make the World Series, I would very much enjoy a Cubs-Red Sox series.

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