Top 50 Sox Seasons #25: Lefty Grove, 1936

17-12, 2.81/1.192/.249, 253.1 IP, 237 H, 130 K, 65 BB, 4.6 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 6 SHO, 188 ERA+

Grove followed his 1935 bounce-back year with one even better, featuring the second-best ERA+ ever in his career. Along with his league-leading ERA, WHIP, K/BB and shutouts, Grove finished second in fewest hits-per-nine and fewest walks-per-nine and added Top 10 finishes in wins, strikeouts, K/9, innings and complete games.

A notorious sore loser described in press reports of the day as “lean and dour,” Grove was the only AL pitcher to post an ERA under 3.00, an accomplishment labeled “a successful climax to his come-back climb” by the New York Times.

Key game: April 17. “The game Bob Grove pitched against the Yankees in the opener at Yankee Stadium reminded the critics of the same old Robert Mose before he injured his arm two years ago,” writes the Sporting News on its front page April 23. Grove throws a two-hit shutout, with Lou Gehrig collecting both hits. No Yankee reaches third base. The start is Grove’s first of the season, and “his showing was most reassuring,” as he strikes out four and walks one. The 8-0 win is Grove’s third shutout in four starts against the Yankees – all wins.

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