Here's another good tidbit about Blyleven...

"Blyleven had six seasons in which he allowed at least 30 fewer runs than the average pitcher. That's as many seasons like that as Tom Seaver -- and more than Steve Carlton, Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal or Jim Palmer."

Speaking only of games with 7+ IP and 2 or fewer ER:

Tommy John pitched 219 such games that his team won, with John himself earning the win in 198 of those games. He pitched in 67 such games that his team lost, with John himself earning the loss in 39 of them.

So basically, in those games his team went 219-67 (.766 WP) while John himself went 198-39 (.835)

Meanwhile Blyleven pitched 215 such games that his team won, with Blyleven himself winning 193 of those games. He pitched in 60 such games that his team lost, with Blyleven himself earning the loss in 40 of them.

So Blyleven's team went 215-60 (.781) and Blyleven himself went 193-40 (.828)

The numbers for those two players are pretty similar, but let's look at Sutton, for example.

Team wins: 258, Sutton wins 227. Team losses 73, Sutton losses 41.

Team: 258-73, .779, Sutton: 227-41, .847

Compare Blyleven and Sutton. Blyleven pitched 265 such games, Sutton pitched 331. But Blyleven ended up with 40 losses while Sutton got just 41. Sutton was greatly favored by offensive support from his own team. If he had the same support as Blyleven and had an .828 WP in these games, he would have lost 5 or 6 wins from just that pool. And who knows how many games he gave up 3 or 4 runs but still got the win as well.

]]>Is that really staggering? Don Sutton had 73 such games. 67 for Tommy John. 78 for Gaylord Perry. 59 for Fergie Jenkins. (those are Blyleven's 4 most similar pitchers, according to baseball-reference)

BTW, I'm not saying that he doesn't belong in the HOF.

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