I’m really grateful that we’ve cultivated such a knowledgeable readership for this blog. But one of the drawbacks is that in our discussions about the usefulness of new statistics or the problems with calling up prospects too early or making fun of Hall of Fame voters, sometimes we might let the more obvious things slip by us without the proper amount of appreciation.
I write this because a couple minutes ago I was reminded that Pedro Martinez was really, really good.
It all started from a conversation with Drew Fairservice. We were talking about Alex Rodriguez and his last year in Seattle (2000) when he put up an eleven WAR season, but only managed to finish third in MVP voting. I checked the outcome of the voting, preparing myself to heap scorn on the voters. To my surprise, Jason Giambi’s offensive numbers more than held up to Rodriguez’s, as did the rest of the top four which included Carlos Delgado and Frank Thomas. In fact, if you look at the entire top ten vote getters in the American League, only two batters don’t have an OPS above 1.000.
The only pitcher in the top ten was Pedro Martinez.
While these hitters were putting up those kind of numbers in 2000, Martinez had an ERA of 1.74 in 217 innings of work, striking out 284 batters and accumulating an other worldly WHIP of 0.737.
But it’s not just 2000. At the height of offensive outbursts in baseball, Pedro Martinez strung together ten seasons of utterly amazing pitching.
That’s really, really good.