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Something For Sabathia To Shoot For

Posted by Steve Lombardi on December 14, 2008

Playing around with Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Pitching Season Finder, I set the controls for "Playing for the NYY, For single seasons, From 1901 to 2008, Throws LH, (requiring GS>=30, ERAp>=120, WLperc>=.600, and SO>=150), sorted by greatest ERAp" in an attempt to find some of the most dominant seasons by a Yankees' left-handed starting pitcher.  Here are the results:

  Cnt Player            ERA+  GS  W-L%  SO Year Age Tm
+----+-----------------+----+---+-----+---+----+---+---+
    1 Ron Guidry         208  35  .893 248 1978  27 NYY
    2 Lefty Gomez        191  34  .656 194 1937  28 NYY
    3 Lefty Gomez        175  33  .839 158 1934  25 NYY
    4 Whitey Ford        170  36  .739 172 1964  35 NYY
    5 Andy Pettitte      155  35  .720 166 1997  25 NYY
    6 Ron Guidry         146  30  .692 201 1979  28 NYY
    7 Jimmy Key          139  34  .750 173 1993  32 NYY
    8 Whitey Ford        130  37  .680 160 1962  33 NYY
    9 Andy Pettitte      129  34  .724 162 1996  24 NYY
   10 Whitey Ford        128  37  .774 189 1963  34 NYY
   11 David Wells        127  30  .818 163 1998  35 NYY
   12 Lefty Gomez        122  30  .615 163 1933  24 NYY

Seasons/Careers found: 12.

What's interesting here, at least to me, is that Lefty Gomez (1933-34), Ron Guidry (1978-79), and Andy Pettitte (1996-97) did this in back-to-back seasons and Whitey Ford (1962-64) did it in back-to-back-to-back seasons.

CC Sabathia will be a Yankee, at least he should be, for the next three seasons - at a minimum.  Can he fashion two "great" seasons in a row, during this time, and join this list?  Time will tell...

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 14th, 2008 at 10:25 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Something For Sabathia To Shoot For”

  1. Whitey really exploded after he stopped being under the protective wizardry of the old professor.

  2. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    I think Stengel tended to match up Ford against the Yankees' major rivals (Chicago, Cleveland), so his performance in the '50s was even better than it first appears. (Chris Jaffe, who contributes here once in a blue moon, has done a lot of research on that, I believe.) A more regular game schedule and the development of a real starting "rotation" put an end to that in the '60s. I also believe Ford had some arm problems during the Stengel years.