Top 50 Sox Seasons #43: Lefty Grove, 1939

15-4, 2.54/1.246/.250, 191 IP, 81 K, 58 BB, 3.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.4 K/BB, 185 ERA+
All-Star, MVP – 15

Grove, one of the most dominant pitchers of all time, had one last top-shelf season in 1939. His stuff was failing him, as evidenced by his fading strikeout and walk numbers – significantly down for the second straight season. This would be the last of the nine seasons in which Grove led the AL in ERA, but it was his lowest since 1930, and his ERA+ was the third-best of his amazing career.

Grove finished 1939 just 14 wins short of 300. It would take two more years of declining health and declining results to reach that milestone. When he retired, his ERA+ in 1939 was sixth-best in Red Sox history, behind only himself and the Leonard-Young-Wood trio of deadballers. Now, after a pair of aces named Clemens and Martinez, it still ranks 11th.

Key game: Amazingly, I can’t find one!

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