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100backstroke
10-10-2011, 06:07 PM
Just wanted some opinions on a few things, thanks.

1. The DH rule was adopted in 1973, the year Nolan Ryan struck out 383 to break Koufax's MLB single season record. How many strikeouts did this new rule cost Ryan? How many strikeouts did Koufax pitch against "pitchers"?

2. The pitching mound was lowered in 1969. Ryan had over 10 one-hitters, how many career no-hitters would Ryan have if he pitched a decade earlier with the raised mound?

3. Is there any way to put statistics into play to figure out how many games won Ryan's walks cost him?

steve B
10-10-2011, 08:15 PM
1) probably about as many as he gained by not being hit for in late inings.

2) Tough one. My impression is that the hitters of the 50's-60's were more disciplined and the 70's was the start of an era of big free swinging hitters like Reggie Jackson.

3)I forget what it's called, but something like "run value" -I think walks are roughly 1/3 of a run. Or, just do it the hard way and review the play by play of each game and figure out how many of those walked batters scored and how many times it made a difference. Ryans numbers may be different than average.

Steve B

100backstroke
10-14-2011, 06:30 PM
Found some stats:

1973 - Ryan pitched 2 no hitters, won 21 games, ERA 2.87, struck out 383 (new record) in 326 innings pitched. Palmer won it with 22 wins, struck out 158 in 296 innings.

1974 - Pitched another no hitter, won 22 games, struck out 367 in 333 innings, allowed only 221 hits, ERA 2.89. Catfish Hunter won it with 25 wins, struck out 143 in 318 innings, allowed 268 hits.

1972 - Ryan struck out 329 in 284 innings, ERA 2.28, won 19 games for lowly Angels. Gaylord Perry won it with 24 wins, 234 strikeouts in 343 innings.

1981 - Strike shortened year. Ryan pitched 5th no hitter, ERA 1.69, struck out his 3,300 batter. Fernando Valenzuela won it with ERA 2.48, struck out 180, won 13 games.

Ryan has over 10 one-hitters. And nearly 30 three-hitters.

What does a guy have to do to win the Cy Young? Maybe the voters were waiting for him to cure cancer.

Runscott
10-14-2011, 07:25 PM
Found some stats:

1973 - Ryan pitched 2 no hitters, won 21 games, ERA 2.87, struck out 383 (new record) in 326 innings pitched. Palmer won it with 22 wins, struck out 158 in 296 innings.

1974 - Pitched another no hitter, won 22 games, struck out 367 in 333 innings, allowed only 221 hits, ERA 2.89. Catfish Hunter won it with 25 wins, struck out 143 in 318 innings, allowed 268 hits.

1972 - Ryan struck out 329 in 284 innings, ERA 2.28, won 19 games for lowly Angels. Gaylord Perry won it with 24 wins, 234 strikeouts in 343 innings.

1981 - Strike shortened year. Ryan pitched 5th no hitter, ERA 1.69, struck out his 3,300 batter. Fernando Valenzuela won it with ERA 2.48, struck out 180, won 13 games.

Ryan has over 10 one-hitters. And nearly 30 three-hitters.

What does a guy have to do to win the Cy Young? Maybe the voters were waiting for him to cure cancer.

??? It's a single-season award - plenty of great pitchers have been left out simply because other pitchers had even greater years. The Cy Young doesn't seem to be like the Oscars where they eventually hand you one just because you've had a great career (cough, cough...Clint Eastwood)

Scott <=== attended one of Ryan's no-hitters and one of his one-hitters

Karl Mattson
10-14-2011, 08:14 PM
In 1973, Ryan won 21 but lost 16 games, walked 162 batters and allowed over 400 baserunners. Palmer won the CY with 22 wins and only 9 losses, with an ERA nearly 1/2 a run lower than Ryan's.

In 1974, Ryan won 22 but again lost 16 games, walked an incredible 202 batters, allowed over 430 men to reach base, and had an ERA of 2.89. Catfish Hunter won the CY with 25 wins and 12 losses, allowed over 100 fewer baserunners than Ryan and had an ERA nearly 1/2 run lower than Ryan's.

In 1972, Ryan won 19 but lost 16 games and walked 157 batters, with an ERA of 2.28; Gaylord Perry also lost 16, but won 24 times and had a 1.92 ERA and won the CY. Looking back, Ryan's ERA of 2.28 sounds great, but at the time it was only 7th in the league, as were his 19 wins.

Ryan lost more games than anyone in the last 100 years. He issued 50% more walks than anyone in history. He threw more wild pitches than anyone in modern history. He was amazing and fun to watch, but he wouldn't be in my top 100 pitchers if it was important to actually win the game.

100backstroke
10-14-2011, 08:15 PM
I understand it is a single season award. The reason I posted all the stats is because I believe (imho) that Ryan did infact have better years than some of those who won the award over him.

Cy Young lost the most games - MLB record. Yeah, lets brush old Mr. Young aside. Also wonder why Ryan cards sell for way more than Seaver/Carlton/Palmer - some folks do agree with me.

I will admit I am biased in favor of Ryan, sorry for any ruffled feathers here - I just remember him having the best stuff. Ryan also holds the MLB record for lowest opponent Batting avg. He got jacked in the Cy Young voting, All-Star starts also.

Mikehealer
10-14-2011, 08:48 PM
Forget a no hitter or even a 1 hitter how about just out pitching Bobby Ojeda in game 2 of the '86 NLCS, is that too much to ask. Underachiever in my book, had as much talent as anyone before or since and just a little better than a .500 pitcher.

Karl Mattson
10-15-2011, 03:02 PM
Ryan didn't give up many hits because he walked so many hitters. His on base percentage allowed was actually high for the era he pitched in, and when you throw in all the wild pitches and stolen bases allowed, it's easy to see why he lost so many games. Cy Young may have lost 24 more games than Ryan, but he also won 187 more.

Even though Ryan pitched for a lot of poor teams, in eleven different seasons his win percentage was actually lower than his team's. He only won one of seven post season starts. He allowed an incredible 757 stolen bases while he was on the mound, far and away the most in recorded history. As I stated earlier, he was amazing - maybe the pitcher I'd most like to watch - but there are dozens and dozens of pitchers I'd rate ahead of him overall. I honestly don't think he ever had a season for which he should have won the Cy Young award.

steve B
10-16-2011, 10:26 AM
But you also have to figure in a few things that aren't easy to put a number on.

Here's his losses in 73
runs for winning pitchers runs against runs against ryan
2 wilcox 6
0 palmer 5
4 bahnsen/forster 7 5
1 wood/acosta 4
1 lee/bolin 2
0 peterson/lyle 2
5 Tiant/bolin 6
3 acosta 8 7
0 blyleven 4
0 holtzman 3
1 cuellar 7 6
1 cuellar 3 2 extra inn.
1 bibby 7 4
1 moret/veale 2
2 colborn 6
0 curtis 4

He didn't get much run support, getting more than 3 runs in only 2 of the 15 losses. I didn't have time to break out earned vs unearned runs.

He also pitched tons of innings, even getting a save along the way.


Another thing I wonder about is how many of the walks were from umpires having trouble seeing the pitches well. I've read a few books by umpires, and they do say Ryans pitches were hard to see.

Steve B

Runscott
10-16-2011, 10:45 AM
I understand it is a single season award. The reason I posted all the stats is because I believe (imho) that Ryan did infact have better years than some of those who won the award over him.

Cy Young lost the most games - MLB record. Yeah, lets brush old Mr. Young aside. Also wonder why Ryan cards sell for way more than Seaver/Carlton/Palmer - some folks do agree with me.

I will admit I am biased in favor of Ryan, sorry for any ruffled feathers here - I just remember him having the best stuff. Ryan also holds the MLB record for lowest opponent Batting avg. He got jacked in the Cy Young voting, All-Star starts also.

There's no feather-ruffling - I have probably seen Nolan Ryan pitch more than anyone on this board other than sports writers, and he is my favorite retired pitcher. Nolan Ryan was very popular and the greatest strikeout pitcher of all time, and he's still popular and in the spotlight - no real secret why his cards sell for more.

But if you think he deserved the Cy Young, give examples (years and winners who he outperformed) - I didn't see you compare him to any winners for any particular year. Personally, as much as I liked him, I can still only think of one year when he might have deserved it, but I'll wait for your examples since you brought this up.

100backstroke
10-17-2011, 11:07 AM
Runscott - I did compare him to the pitchers who won in Ryan,s better years - please see my 2nd post to this thread - I compared him to Palmer's stats in 1973, Hunter's stats in 1974, Perry's stats in 1972, and Valenzuela's stats in 1981.

Also note when looking at Ryan's stats - the 1970's were when all the absurd walks numbers came from. In the 1980's, Ryan gained better control and walked far fewer batters. In fact, he led the league in Strikeout/walk ratio in the mid-1980's.

Runscott
10-17-2011, 01:46 PM
Runscott - I did compare him to the pitchers who won in Ryan,s better years - please see my 2nd post to this thread - I compared him to Palmer's stats in 1973, Hunter's stats in 1974, Perry's stats in 1972, and Valenzuela's stats in 1981.

Also note when looking at Ryan's stats - the 1970's were when all the absurd walks numbers came from. In the 1980's, Ryan gained better control and walked far fewer batters. In fact, he led the league in Strikeout/walk ratio in the mid-1980's.

True, but you left out very key information in order to build up Ryan.

Found some stats:

1973 - Ryan pitched 2 no hitters, won 21 games, ERA 2.87, struck out 383 (new record) in 326 innings pitched. Palmer won it with 22 wins, struck out 158 in 296 innings.


Not picking on you, but for instance,

In 1973 Ryan led the league in walks and lost 16 games. You left this out, as well as Palmer's ERA. Palmer lost only 9 games and led the league with a 2.40 ERA. Unless you consider K/Innings ratio to be more important than ERA, and you minimize the difference in wins and losses (Hunter had the edge in both), Hunter easily takes the Cy Young in '73.

In 1974 Ryan was 22-16, Hunter was 25-12 with a 2.49 ERA. Again, you left out the losses and Hunter's ERA. Hunter led the league in both ERA and wins. So Ryan led the league in K's - he also led the league in BB's. The Cy Young deservedly went to Hunter.

I was into baseball very heavily during all the years you mentioned, I was a huge Ryan fan, and I always wanted him to win the Cy Young. He didn't, and I don't feel he ever deserved it. I'm very happy that his career continued to improve, he lasted a long time, and he made the HOF. I love strikeouts and no-hitters as much as the next guy, but while he had a few years that would have warranted the Cy Young if he had been up against lesser candidates, you haven't shown me any years where he deserved it.

Runscott
10-17-2011, 01:51 PM
edited - consolidated posts

100backstroke
10-17-2011, 04:10 PM
I see your points. Too bad more weight isn't given to complete games, no-hitters and near no-hitters. I sadly suppose these are but single feats of awe, and don't neccessarily put tally marks in the "Wins" column.

Kinda like a tape measure homer is just one run, same as a long line drive that barely clears the fence. Just like a super human leap for a slam dunk is just 2 points same as the free throw jump shot. Fans usually want to see the spectacular, something they don't see but on rare occasion - this is what Ryan excelled at - I remember the crowd banter at Anaheim Stadium when I was a kid when Ryan pitched, ... "do ya think he'll throw another no-hitter tonight?" And the game my dad took me to when CalTech sported a new highly sophisticated radar gun that timed Ryan at Guiness Book World Records new world record fasted pitch.

Honestly, if you get right down to it, for all around pitching, the aces of the era were Seaver and then probably Carlton.

And on a tangent - Lots of folks put Walter Johnson as top all-time selection, rightly so. However, a young pitcher named Ruth outdueled Mr. Johnson on 5 consecutive matchups in 1915/16. Ruth was then seen more valuable as an outfielder.

BearBailey
10-17-2011, 04:49 PM
Ryan is loved because of his fastball and all of those strikeouts, and that is why the non baseball fans and casual baseball fans all know who Nolan Ryan is, and his cards are worth more than pitchers who were significantly better than him. This is also part of the reason baseball fans don't consider Ryan among the greatest of the greats. Is he a HOFer, yes, due to the 300 wins and strikeouts, but in a team game strikeouts are no better than groundouts or popouts. Ryan's insistence on trying to srike every batter out lead to the all time record for walks. While Ryan padded his K numbers he hurt his team, and that is why he is a .500 pitcher. Palmer, Seaver, Carlton and others from that era are far better pitchers. Ryan had superior stuff, but was the inferior pitcher to those other HOFers from the era. Sadly there card values might not say so, but that is not the point. Ryan never got a Cy Young because he never deserved one.

Runscott
10-17-2011, 06:43 PM
Ryan was so much fun to watch live. The old Arlington stadium had a ramp that sunk down behind home plate, so you could go down there and be basically at the level of Ryan's pitches. It was quite a rush. We would go to every game he pitched after he had won #299, but he just could not pull off #300 at Arlington. I lived in Houston when he and Carlton were trying to break Johnson's all-time strikeout record. I believe Carlton broke it first, and then the two of them went back and forth for the lead until Carlton broke down - Ryan, of course, kept plugging away. If I dug around I could probably find 20-30 ticket stubs from games I saw him pitch with the Astros and Rangers.

Point I'm making - Ryan provided his fans with tremendous entertainment. You knew when you went to his games that there was a real chance you could witness a no-hitter. I was lucky enough to be at his last one, and was also at a 1-hitter where he lost it in the ninth. I also saw him get pounded a few times.

But I have to agree that Seaver and Carlton were of more value to their teams.

steve B
10-26-2011, 09:27 AM
Ryan was so much fun to watch live. The old Arlington stadium had a ramp that sunk down behind home plate, so you could go down there and be basically at the level of Ryan's pitches. It was quite a rush.

I wish I could have done that!

Closest I ever got was in college an ex player started a bating cage that the local minor league team and college teams went to.
They had one cage that was set for low 90's, and like everyone else I just had to try it. Maybe 100 pitches worth and I finally got a tiny bit of one just enough to hear, didn't even deflect the pitch. I could only see the ball as it left the machine, and once when it was about halfway. Apparently my eyes are as slow as the rest of me.
And the cage had decent control, only a fastball and I was told, not much motion on it.
I can't imagine what another 5-8 mph with motion and a chance of an 80+mph curve would be like.

That changed my entire perspective on pro ballplayers in general. It made me realize that even the guys that bat .200 are actually quite good.

Steve B

alanu
11-01-2011, 11:16 AM
Nolan Ryan was my favorite player growing up. I remember always having to wait 2 days to see the Angels home boxscores since the local paper wouldn't pick up the west coast box scores the next day and without ESPN or the internet, the paper was about the only place to get the stats. Frank Tanana was one of my favorites too when he was also a strikeout pitcher with the Angels.

To me Ryan is like the big homerun hitters, you watched him to see him strikeout batters (or noogie Robin Ventura) instead of hit HR's.