Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Flushing Frivolity – Saberhagen’s Dominance

Posted by JD on January 17, 2010

I spend a fair amount of time on the interwebs reading about and researching the New York Mets. The Flushing Frivolities is a semi-regular feature in which I attempt to share some of the more minute facts I come across. And by “minute”, I often mean “meaningless” or “inconsequential”.

In researching the piece about Mike Pelfrey’s K/BB ratio, I created a list of the franchise leaders in that statistic (minimum 100 innings):

Rk Player SO/BB ERA+ IP Year Age
1 Bret Saberhagen 11.00 152 177.1 1994 30
2 Craig Swan 9.00 105 13.2 1981 30
3 Luis Ayala 7.00 77 18 2008 30
4 Mike Birkbeck 7.00 250 27.2 1995 34
5 Jeff Innis 7.00 171 19 1988 25
6 Jeff Innis 7.00 120 25.2 1987 24
7 Josias Manzanillo 6.25 77 18.2 1999 31
8 Tony Armas 6.00 56 8.1 2008 30
9 Paul Gibson 6.00 78 8.2 1993 33
10 Joe Vitko 6.00 26 4.2 1992 22
11 Rick Reed 5.82 121 134.2 2001 36
12 Bret Saberhagen 5.47 123 139.1 1993 29
13 Mel Rojas 5.33 80 26.1 1997 30
14 Rick Reed 5.28 121 212.1 1998 33
15 Billy Wagner 5.20 183 47 2008 36
16 Wally Whitehurst 5.11 114 65.2 1990 26
17 Robert Person 5.00 541 12 1995 25
18 Tommy Moore 5.00 115 12.1 1972 23
19 Herb Moford 5.00 57 15 1962 33
20 Mike DeJean 4.80 253 21.1 2004 33
21 Tom Seaver 4.74 193 286.1 1971 26
22 Julio Machado 4.67 100 11 1989 23
23 Pedro Martinez 4.57 167 28 2007 35
24 Heath Bell 4.50 128 24.1 2004 26
25 Billy Wagner 4.48 195 72.1 2006 34

I thought that an 11.00 K/BB ratio was impressive, and I wanted to see how it stacked up against the rest of the league. Here are the leaders since 1962 (minimum 100 innings pitched):

Rk Player SO/BB ERA+ IP Year Age Tm
1 Bret Saberhagen 11.00 152 177.1 1994 30 NYM
2 Ben Sheets 10.55 119 106 2006 27 MIL
3 Curt Schilling 9.58 142 259.1 2002 35 ARI
4 Pedro Martinez 8.88 291 217 2000 28 BOS
5 Greg Maddux 8.85 189 232.2 1997 31 ATL
6 Hal Brown 8.50 95 141.1 1963 38 HOU
7 Pedro Martinez 8.46 243 213.1 1999 27 BOS
8 Ben Sheets 8.25 162 237 2004 25 MIL
9 Carlos Silva 7.89 129 188.1 2005 26 MIN
10 Greg Maddux 7.87 262 209.2 1995 29 ATL
11 Curt Schilling 7.51 157 256.2 2001 34 ARI
12 Bret Saberhagen 7.36 170 119 1999 35 BOS
13 Jon Lieber 7.25 109 141 2002 32 CHC
14 Fergie Jenkins 7.11 142 325 1971 28 CHC
15 Dennis Eckersley 6.65 137 115.2 1987 32 OAK
16 Randy Johnson 6.59 177 245.2 2004 40 ARI
17 Curt Schilling 6.54 120 204 2006 39 BOS
18 Pedro Martinez 6.52 189 116.2 2001 29 BOS
19 Greg Maddux 6.41 146 233 2001 35 ATL
20 Roy Halladay 6.38 145 266 2003 26 TOR
21 Juan Marichal 6.17 167 307.1 1966 28 SFG
22 Dennis Eckersley 6.16 128 169.1 1985 30 CHC
23 Greg Maddux 6.14 162 245 1996 30 ATL
24 Rudy May 6.07 137 106 1982 37 NYY
25 Curt Schilling 6.06 159 168 2003 36 ARI

143 strike-outs versus only 13 walks resulted in the highest strike-out to walk ratio since the year the Mets began play. Actually, that’s not accurate. Further research indicates that his 11.00 K/BB ratio is actually the highest of all-time, dating back to 1871. I had no idea.

Injuries ended his career with the Mets, and he’ll always be remembered for his boorish behavior/poor judgment (1993’s bleach incident), but for one year, there was no one who commanded the strike zone better. Yet another among the infinite reasons why the 1994-’95 strike totally sucked.

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