We Can Tell Our Grandkids …

A comparison:

  • Player A: 5 starts, 5-0, 0.92 ERA, 44 Ks, 4 BB, 0.72 WHIP, average game score of 76, opponents’ line of .176/.206/.265.
  • Player B: 5 starts, 5-0, 0.80 ERA, 53 Ks, 8 BB, 0.71 WHIP, average game score of 83, opponents’ line of .157/.199/.242.
  • Player C: 5 starts, 4-1, 0.86 ERA, 52 Ks, 8 BB, 0.76 WHIP, average game score of 79, opponents’ line of .170/.213/.444

Player A is Josh Beckett in his last five postseason starts, dating back to his Game 6 shutout of the Yankees in the 2003 World Series. Player B is Bob Gibson in his best stretch of five postseason starts, encompassing the 1967 World Series and his first two starts of the 1968 series. Player C is Sandy Koufax over his five best starts, the entirety of the 1963 and 1965 World Series (Koufax actually had six consecutive starts that were exceptional; I took the best sequence of five).

Now consider that the MLB average OPS in 1968 was .639. In 1965 it was .683. And the average OPS in 2007 was .758.

We will be talking about this performance by Josh Beckett for decades to come.

13 comments… add one
  • I’ll be talking about it for a minute, then I’ll move on and repress it deep inside and hopefully it won’t resurface in a nightmare ever.

    Nick-YF October 25, 2007, 2:45 pm
  • Wow. I never realized how awesome Bob Gibson was.
    Beckett? Ok, I guess. ;-)

    rz-yf October 25, 2007, 3:18 pm
  • Paul, I appreciate the comps but I’d rather see Beckett without 2003 included – both because he wasn’t a member of the Sox then, it artificially leaves out the other 2003 starts, and this post-season should stand on it’s own.
    What’s the list of most dominating post-seasons look like? Becks has to be in the top 3 of the Wild Card Era. His ALCS and Series so far should put him in the top 5 of the LCS Era. And, if he has another Series start like the last, he’d have to be in the discussion of the best WS ever. Of course, the greatest Series pitchers would probably have started three games :)

    Pete October 25, 2007, 3:20 pm
  • Where does Schilling’s post season career with the Sox fall? I really think we have not only one of the best postseason aces of all time, but also the best 1-2 postseason punch in a loooong time. It’s an embarrassment of riches, really. Hee.

    Jackie (SF) October 25, 2007, 3:24 pm
  • I think Curt Schilling’s 2001 would have to be up there (4-1, 1.12 ERA in six starts, no game score below 67).
    Then you have John Smoltz’s 1996 (4-1, 0.95 ERA, no game score below 63).
    Orel Hersheiser’s 1988 (3-0 in six games, five starts, 1.05 ERA, no game score below 57).
    And finally, Kenny Rogers’ 2006 (3-0, 0.00 ERA, no game score below 75.
    Add Josh Beckett, and you’ve got your top five.
    1. Smoltz, 1996
    2. Schilling, 2001
    3. Beckett, 2007
    4. Rogers, 2006
    5. Hersheiser, 1988
    That’s probably how I’d rank them. If Beckett does more of the same in Game 5, he’d have a case to be better than Schilling and Smoltz because he would actually have won all his starts, even with the slightly higher ERA.

    Paul SF October 25, 2007, 3:37 pm
  • I got a little overenthusiastic with that last post. Koufax and Gibson would have alot to say about the Series with a few more folks in their discussion (Matthewson, Drysdale)
    But for the LDS and LCS combo, he’s right up there. Schilling in 2001 was as dominant.

    Pete October 25, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • Ha! Nice.

    Pete October 25, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • Apropos of nothing, Mike Scott’s 1986 NLCS was nasty: 2 GS, 18 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 19 K.

    Pete October 25, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • Also in the discussion for the Wild Card era:
    Unit’s 2001:
    5-1, 41 IP, 25 H, 7 ER, 8 BB, 47 K and that includes his 1.1 IP in relief in Game 7 after throwing 7 IP one day earlier in Game 6.

    Pete October 25, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • We’ll be talking about it for eons… unless something happens in Game 5 akin to what happened when the Rockies were in Fenway in June. Unlikely, but possible.

    Hudson October 25, 2007, 4:43 pm
  • Beckett’s 2003 starts are totally relevant when discussing personal accomplishment in the post.

    attackgerbil October 25, 2007, 4:56 pm
  • The only thing I would amend is that game score isn’t really relevant when talking about post, but it is fascinating to watch a pitcher at the top of his game, in the most demanding situation (at least as far as the fan would describe). Beckett is a marvel.

    attackgerbil October 25, 2007, 5:14 pm
  • the most dominant post-season starter…don larson…how ’bout that paulie….

    dc October 25, 2007, 10:36 pm

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