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Readers research: Best Giants team ERA in any month

Posted by Andy on September 29, 2010

A reader named Stan wrote in and pointed out that the Giants currently have a 1.85 ERA for the month of September:

Split W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
April/March 13 9 .591 2.75 22 0 0 6 200.0 155 65 61 14 73 4 176 1.140 7.9 2.41
May 14 14 .500 3.80 28 2 1 9 253.1 202 110 107 21 131 16 228 1.314 8.1 1.74
June 13 14 .481 3.69 27 2 1 11 239.0 241 108 98 24 99 4 211 1.423 7.9 2.13
July 20 8 .714 3.41 28 1 1 11 256.1 239 102 97 27 112 10 240 1.369 8.4 2.14
August 13 15 .464 4.55 28 0 0 7 253.0 267 138 128 30 93 16 217 1.423 7.7 2.33
Sept/Oct 16 8 .667 1.85 24 1 0 10 214.1 136 48 44 14 51 6 208 0.872 8.7 4.08
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/29/2010.

Does anybody know which teams (Giants or otherwise) have matched such a good ERA in any month? This is not something we can search for in the Play Index (yet).

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 at 11:06 am and is filed under Splits. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

23 Responses to “Readers research: Best Giants team ERA in any month”

  1. I don't know what your minimum is, but the 1966 Indians had an April ERA of 1.66. However, they only played 11 games that month.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=p&team=CLE&year=1966#month

  2. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Still time for that ERA to creep up over the last few days. Damn impressive nevertheless.

    Checking a few random teams:

    Sept 1965 Dodgers 1.50 over 277 IP
    Aug 1981 Yankees 1.92 over only 188 IP

    Certainly was done in the deadball era and periods of the 19th century, but we don't have the splits handy.

    Very scary -- Google already has this page archived.

  3. '63 Cubs April - 1.63
    '68 Indians May - 1.42

  4. The 1907 Cubs had a 1.73 ERA for the entire season. In 1906 and 1909, it was 1.75. No boxes for these years, so no imformation on monthly splits.

  5. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Not sure how to check it, but I would suspect that the 1906 White Sox -- whose leading home run hitter that year was pitcher Ed Walsh, if I remember correctly having read it -- would probably make a list like this one.

  6. I would suspect that the 1906 White Sox . . . would probably make a list like this one.

    I thought so too, Frank, so I decided to try my hand at estimating the 1906 White Sox' team ERA for what appeared to be the Sox' best pitching month. The Sox' runs-allowed numbers for August were amazing. Since the Retrosheet game logs don't show whether games went more or less than nine innings, I assumed that all games went nine innings, and that the White Sox allowed unearned runs in August 1906 in the same rate as their full-season rate (i.e., 29% of all runs). The Sox played 26 games in August; had three road losses; and allowed 44 runs. That translates into an estimate of 31 earned runs in 231 IP, for an ERA of 1.21. It's just an estimate, of course, but that is one splendid pitching month.

    From August 2 to August 23, 1906, the White Sox played 20 games without a loss — eleven wins, a tie, then eight more wins. Overall they were 21-4-1 for the month.

    During that month, Ed Walsh started nine games for the White Sox and allowed six runs in those starts. Four of those runs were scored by the A's when they defeated Walsh on August 29. For the rest of the month, Walsh allowed two runs in eight starts. Mind-boggling.

  7. "This is not something we can search for in the Play Index (yet)."

    or ever!

    Way too much stuff to handle.

  8. 1906: "On October 4th, the Cubs recorded their one-hundred sixteenth victory of the year. The 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates gave Chicago a 60-15-road record with a .800 percentage mark that has never been equaled. They also became the first team to finish with fewer than two-hundred errors and their pitching staff combined for a league-leading 1.76 ERA."_____ Baseball Almanac

    That 1.76 ERA was for the entire season.

  9. I went to a team that showed up on a recent blog post - the 1981 Oakland A's who did not allow more than 3 runs in any game fr the 1st 16 games of the season. They also did not allow more than 4 runs for the first 21 and 28 of the first 29.

    Anyway, their April ERA was 1.88 and it was 1.78 until they gave up 4 runs to the Angels the last game they played in April. The team ERA was 2.00 after the 2nd game, then didn't climb above 1.60 until game 18 (they were 17-1).

    A couple of other interesting notes. The team did not allow an unearned run until game 18, which is in itself pretty amazing. What's the longest streak without allowing an UER? The longest such streak to start a season?

    They also did not have a game where they pitched fewer than 9 innings until May 12 (game 32). They were 11-0 on the road (13-7 at home) at the point and had played a few extra inning games. Guidry and Goassage beat them 4-1 at Yankee Stadium.

  10. The 1967 Giants had a 1.76 ERA in 275.2 IP in September. Two HOFers (Perry and Marichal) and Mike McCormick (the Cy Young award winner that year). So the 2010 Giants still have a bit to go. The 1967 version did give up 16 UER in that month though.

    The 1972 Orioles (Palmer, Dobson, Cuellar, and McNally) had a very consistent year, with their monthly ERAs ranging between 2.50 and 2.68 except for July, which was at 2.13.

    On the flip side, the 1999 Rockies and 1996 Tigers never had a month with an ERA below 5 (there may be others, I don't know - ok, the 1930 Phillies are on the list). Unlike the Rockies, the 1996 Tigers just had a bad staff with home AND road ERAs over 6 (the Rockies road ERA in 1999 was 4.84). If I'm reading this correctly, in their 109 losses the pitcher of record for the Tigers had an ERA of 10.20 (449 ER in 396 IP).

  11. @1 @3
    Raphy, very nice hits. How did you think to check those teams in those years? Although I agree that only 11 games probably disqualifies the '68 Indians compared to this year's Giants. (Also curious how they could only play 11 games in April.)
    @2
    JT, Big Brother Google is already looking over our shoulders.

    For modern seasons, there have to be more team ERA months in 1968 that have matched San Francisco's performance, this month.

  12. Can anyone do this with some kind of correction for the effects of era played in?

  13. 1969 NY METS: Sept 1 to Sept 28: 64 er in 272.1 innings (2.11 era); But they gave up 10 er on Sept 1 (in a loss to Senator Bunning). From Sept 5 to Sept 28 they gave up 46 er in 247 innings (1.67 era). In the middle of the month, they threw 3 consecutive shutouts: Gentry, Koosman, Cardwell. Last 4 games in September there were 4 shutouts: Gentry, Koosman, Seaver, and Gentry (again). Total number of shutouts in Sept: 10! There was a HOF-er in the rotation (Seaver) and one in the bullpen (Ryan). The best pitcher at the time may have been…Gentry.

  14. Here are the Sept-Oct stats (W-L, ERA) for the SP on the 69 NYM staff

    Seaver: 6-0, 0.83
    Koosman: 5-1, 2.40
    Cardwell: 3-1, 1.80
    Gentry: 4-1. 2.19
    McAndrew: 0-2, 3.30

    2010 Giants are good, but not close to the 69 Mets

  15. Giants finish September with a 1.78 ERA - 46 ER in 232.3 innings. Beats the 69 Mets and most other teams.

  16. @12 @13 @14
    Paul, you have not addressed Eorns post. One of the main thorns in the side of sabermetrics is the validity of cross-era comparisons. Posters can bring up all the 1960's team pitching months as they want in response to this year's Giants September ERA, but the mound was lowered in the later years of that decade. 1969 should be comparable to this year, but....

    However, your post made me look up Gary Gentry's page. He was a rook in that magical year of 1969. I assume he had a short career due to injuries but I don't remember

  17. according to ESPN Stats and Info, over last 50 years,
    lowest Sept. ERA is held by 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers, who had 1.59 ERA...

    • last time Giants pitchers collectively had an ERA under 2.00 for single month was May
    1989 (1.99 ERA)...

  18. The 2003 Dodgers and the 1990 Oakland A's had some exceptional pitching. I wonder if either of these two teams went through a month with an 1.85 ERA or lower.

  19. 15--Drewo. Agree, this year's Giants beat the 69 Mets. I stand corrected. But if we ignore the loss to the Pirates on Sept 1 1969....
    16-NeilL; Yes, Gentry's career was shortened by injuries, but I don't recall the problem
    As for the interpretation problem that arise due to cross-era comparisons: this issue can be addressed methodologically and imperfectly by transforming all scores to z-scores.

  20. ESPN claimed last night that the Giants ERA for this month is the lowest team ERA since 1968... and I forget which team they said it was... I want to say Cleveland... but that could be wrong. They said the ERA was 1.42.

  21. 20 - Thomas, see post #3 above.

    Tim Kurkjian of ESPN lists the 1969 Cleveland team with the 1.42 ERA.
    He also indicates Giants opponents hit .182 for the month of September - lowest monthly opponent avg. since 1920 (says he).
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=kurkjian_tim&id=5636340

  22. @OP

    This has nothing to do with the ERA, but the chart is incorrect, as you only have 3 Shutouts, when they had 16 through Sept 29. got their 17th on Oct 3.