There’s been some back and forth about whether or not, at their peak, that Roy Halladay or Greg Maddux was the better pitcher. I came down on the side of Maddux, while most others seemed to favor Halladay. Here are a few thoughts about their peak value, as well as their career long exploits.
Maddux: 8 All-Star Games, 4 Cy Young Awards (1992-95), 18 Gold Gloves
Halladay: 8 All-Star Games, 2 Cy Young Awards (2003, 2010), 0 Gold Gloves
Maddux: Top-5 in ERA 10 times, Top-5 in WHIP 10 times
Halladay: Top-5 in ERA 7 times, Top-5 in WHIP 6 times
Maddux: Top-5 in IP 11 times, Top-5 in WAR 11 times
Halladay: Top-5 in IP 8 times, 6 times
Who had the best four year span of pitching? Come on now.
Maddux (1992-95): 75-29, 1.98 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 6.97 K/9, 4.16 K/BB, ERA+ 200
Not only did Maddux win 4-straight Cy Young awards, he posted a 4-year ERA under 2.00. Oh, and that ERA+ mark points out that his ERA was, literally, 100 percent better than the league average (If you had a 3.00 ERA, and the league ERA was 3.00 it would be 3.00/3.00 = 1.00). His ERA was 1.98 while the leagues mark was 3.96.
Halladay (2006-10): 90-43, 2.96 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 6.89 K/9, 4.86 K/BB, ERA+148
Halladay won 15 more games, but he also lost 14 more. His ERA was nearly a full run higher, and in a surprise to most I would bet, Maddux produced a better K/9 mark in our four year comparison.
Maddux was a more durable pitcher. Think about this. As great as Halladay is, for all those innings he eats up, he hasn’t even tossed half as many innings as Maddux did in his career and he’s already 34 years old (2,482 innings compared to 5008.1). How many more elite seasons does Doc have left in his body?
I just can’t see how anyone could side with Halladay here.
ODDS AND ENDS
J.J. Hardy continues to impress. Since June 1st he has 21 homers, tied with Albert Pujols for the major league lead. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. On the the year his 23 homers are 13 more than Orioles’ shortstops hit the last three years. Wow. He also leads AL shortstops with a .988 fielding percentage.
Zack Greinke might be 3-4 with a 5.01 ERA and 1.33 WHIP on the road, but in 10 starts at home with the Brewers he has gone 8-0 with a 3.36 ERA an a 1.03 WHIP. Toss in a stupendous 11.89 K/9 mark and 9.44 K/BB ratio and you can make an argument that he has been the best “home” pitcher in baseball this year.
Casper Wells has only 250 big league at-bats, but he’s hit .296 with 13 homers, 41 RBI and 39 runs scored in that time. Dealt to the Mariners from the Tigers in the Doug Fister deal, Wells has taken off hitting .341 with five homers, 12 RBI, two steals an a 1.102 OPS in just 12 games. For those of you looking for a waiver-wire boost there aren’t likely to be many options performing better right now.
Finally, don’t forget to sign up for this weeks fantasy baseball contest that will be held on Friday. You can sign up to play me in the one day contest, it’s FREE, and you can win real money. For more see Win $100 FREE Taking on BBGuys.
By Ray Flowers