Monday, February 22, 2016

FEB 15-21 Pitchers with 250 strikeouts in a season where they had a losing record

Q. Whose career ERA of 1.82 is the best of all-time?
Hint: He is the last pitcher to win 40 games in a season.
Hint: He exceeded 400 innings in a season twice in the 20th century and remains the last pitcher to reach that milestone in one year.
- Addie Joss is second on that list at 1.89
- 464 innings in 1908
- Also pitched 422.1 innings in 1907
FCR - Charlie Riordan, Chevy Chase, MD
Incorrect answers:  Jack Chesbro, Addie Joss, Will White, Sandy Koufax,  Joe McGinnity, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson

Q. Who was the first pitcher to win more Cy Young Awards than Sandy Koufax?
Hint: Although he eventually was voted into the Hall of Fame, he didn’t take Thomas’ advice and go quietly.  He played for 4 teams in his last 3 seasons.
Hint: Dealing with the Philadelphia media, his guiding principle was, “Mum’s the word.”  It seems to work well for his performance on the field.
Hint: One of his long-time catchers said, "[He] does not pitch to the hitter, he pitches through him. The batter hardly exists for [him]. He's playing an elevated game of catch."
- CYA in 1972, 77, 80 & 82; Koufax had won in 1963, 65 & 66
- From 1986-88, played for PHI, SFG, CHW, CLE & MIN.
- Didn’t grant media interview for two decades
- Quote from Tim McCarver
FCR - Mark Blessing, Fort Wayne, IN
Incorrect answers:  Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan

Q. What Hall of Famer’s nickname was based on a type of pitch he had mastered?
Hint: One of his close childhood friends won 8 world championships.
Hint: He never got even one.
Hint: Hoping for one, he also had a restless career end, changing teams 4 times in his last 4 seasons.
- “Knucksie” because of his much feared knuckleball.
- Grew up in Lansing, OH with John Havlicek of the NBA’s Boston Celtics who won in:
1.       1963
2.       1964
3.       1965
4.       1966
5.       1968
6.       1969
7.       1974
8.       1976
- Played 24 seasons, 1964-87 and never even played in a World Series, striving towards the end with the Yankees, Indians & Blue Jays.
FCR - Michael Caragliano, Flushing, NY
Incorrect answers:  Three-Finger Brown, Gaylord Perry,  Joe Garagiola

Q. Who is the only American League pitcher since the Hoover Administration to win consecutive pitching triple crowns?
Hint: They didn’t even take place for a team where Herbert Hoover had any jurisdiction.
Hint: “The Hardball Times” rates him as the third-best pitcher of the modern era.
- TC 1997-98 for TOR; Lefty Grove, the only other pitcher to do it, 1931-32 for PHA
- Article in “Hardball Times”
FCR - Josh Sullivan, Tomball, TX
Incorrect answers:  Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Lefty Grove, Hal Newhouser, Walter Johnson, Clayton Kershaw, Nolan Ryan, Dave Stieb, Felix Hernandez

Q. Only one pitcher three times led his league in strikeouts, bases-on-balls and wild pitches in the same season.  Who was he?
Hint: He was not known for his large number of on-field scuffles, but rather their quality.
Hint: Even with a relatively long career (traded once and released twice), he only played for expansion teams.
- Led in K’s, BB’s & WP’s in 1972, 77 & 78.
- Best known of these is with Robin Ventura.  [Interesting to see them both now in management.]
- Played for a major league record 27 years.  Played for NYM, CAL, HOU & TEX.
FCR - Damian Begley, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Pedro Martinez, Mark Langston, Randy Johnson

Q. Who, upon his retirement, held the record for most games played in the All-Star era without being an All-Star himself?
Hint His career 50.8 WAR, nearly identical to Hall of Famer and contemporary Kirby Puckett's, is the highest total by a non-All-Star.
Hint: His 1987 season was interrupted when teammate Mark McGwire hit him with a batting-practice line drive, fracturing his arm.
Hint: He was the very definition of a utility player, playing 100 or more games at each of 6 positions and 97 games at a 7th.
Hint: He raced behind a diving Mark McGwire, snagged Brett Butler’s hard grounder, and flipped it to Dennis Eckersley for the last out of the 1989 World Series.
- Retired in 1999 w/2,161 games, 0 AS nods; Puckett's career WAR 50.9
- Missed 11-Jul to 28-Aug-1987
- Games played at -
2B: 778
LF:  565
3b:  428
SS:  294
RF:  169
DH:  101
CF:    97
(We should probably also mention his 5 games at 1B)
- WS finale 28-Oct-1989
FCR - Jonathan Keisler, Spartanburg, SC
Incorrect answers:  Mike Bordick, Dave Henderson, Walt Weiss
Q. What All-Star was born and raised 30 miles from where Willie Mays was born and raised and then spent his entire major league career as Mays’s teammate?
Hint He was the first regular-season batter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Hint: He replaced a future Hall of Famer as manager of the Giants.
Hint: The year he managed, they had their worse win/loss record in their 133-year history.
Hint: He set the major league record for consecutive errorless games played at third base.
Hint: Near the end of his rookie season, he enjoyed a 7 for 10 day, including a home run in each game of a doubleheader.
Hint: Manager Bill Rigney called him, "the greatest third baseman I ever saw--at least the only one I'd compare with Billy Cox."
Hint: On the occasion of his 50th season with the team, Hall of Fame teammate Willie McCovey said, "We got all the publicity, but ... we all appreciated [him]. He looked up to guys like myself and Mays, but we looked up to him as much as he did us."
- SFG 1958-70
- 1st at-bat 18-Apr-1958
- 97 consecutive games without an error in 1967-68 (Passed 32 years later by John Wehner)
- Doubleheader against PHI 12-Sep-1958 (1) & (2)
FCR - Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI
Incorrect answers:  Alvin Dark

Q. What young moundsman led the majors in games started in 2015?
Hint: In his only All-Star appearance, he surrendered a home run to a former MVP.
Hint: He was raised by his maternal grandparents.
- 34 GS in 2015; 9 NL pitchers tied with 33 each
- 2015 ASG; homer surrendered to Andrew McCutchen in bottom of the 6th
- Raised by Donna and Ron Archer.
FCR - Rick Tharp, Rockville, MD
Incorrect answers:  Dallas Keuchel, Madison Bumgarner

Q. What former Indian three-hit Cuba for an olympic gold medal?
Hint: His cousin Andy played for five teams in the majors.
Hint: Jamey Wright was a mentor of his.
Hint: Eight additional major leaguers are also alumni of his university, the former Ouachita Parish Junior College.
- Got the W for the USA in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
- Andy Sheets, in MLB 1996-2002
- Mentioned Wright in an interview with USA Today
- University of Louisiana at Monroe, formerly the Indians; became the Warhawks in 20006 (Originally Ouachita Parish Junior College)
FCR - Daniel Wilson, St. Paul, MN
Incorrect answers:  Alan Benes, Jaret Wright, Cliff Lee

THEME FOR THE WEEK - Pitchers with 250 strikeouts in a season with more losses than wins

Player     SO  W   L W-L%    Year Team
Archer     252 12 13   0.480 2015 TBR
Carlton   275** 15 16  0.484 1983  PHI
Clemens  257** 10 13  0.435 1996 BOS
Niekro      262* 16 20  0.444 1977 ATL
Ryan      327** 17 18  0.486 1976 CAL
    " 260 + 10 13   0.435 1978 CAL
    " 270**  8 16   0.333 1987 HOU
Sheets     264 12 14  0.462 2004  MIL
Walsh       258 18 20  0.474 1910 CHW
*Led NL
†Led AL
**Led MLB

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Dave Washburn, Marietta, GA (after Niekro Q.)

Incorrect theme guesses:
Monday   - Pitchers with career postseason ERA under 1.00.

Tuesday - Pitchers with multiple 10 WAR seasons
- Pitchers with the most innings pitched in each decade of the 20th century
- Pitchers who led the league in wins and losses in different seasons

Wed - Hall of Fame pitchers who lost 20 games in a season
- Hall Of Fame pitchers to have led the league in both wins and losses
- Hall of fame pitchers who lost at least 20 games in a season
- HOF pitchers who led their league in IP 4+ times

Thurs - Pitchers who had a 10+ WAR season after turning 30
- Hall of Fame pitchers who posted an era under 2 in a full season
- Pitchers who were the winning pitcher in the highest percentage of their team's wins (since 1901).

Friday - All time strikeout kings

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