Thursday, February 21, 2008

Remembering 1.12

An article by Jonah Keri on reminded me just what an incredible year 1968 was. 1968 is remembered as "The Year of the Pitcher" and without a doubt, Bob Gibson was the pitcher of the year.

Rather than rehash everything Keri wrote, below are a few of the most mindnumbing stats for Gibson that year:
  • His 1.12 ERA was the lowest figure in a season not played in the Deadball era
  • Gibson completed 28 of his 34 starts, 13 of them for shutouts
  • 268 strikeouts
  • From June 2 through July 30, Gibson threw 99 innings -- and gave up two runs. According to baseball researcher Bill Deane, the two runs Gibson allowed were the result of bad luck more than anything. One came on a catchable wild pitch, the other on a bloop double that landed inches fair. Earlier that season, Don Drysdale set the record for most consecutive scoreless innings with 58 2/3. Orel Hershiser would break that record 20 years later with 59. Yet Gibson's streak is regarded by many as the most dominant stretch of pitching in major league history.
  • Denny McLain, who won 31 games in 1968, faced Gibson in Game 1 of the World Series that year and McLain's 1.96 ERA ranked fourth in the AL, behind Dave McNally (1.95), Sudden Sam McDowell (1.81), and Luis Tiant (1.60)
  • His 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series set a World Series record that still stands.
Take a look at his game log to the right. Note that he went PAST 9 innings 5 times. Can you imagine the fall-out if today's pitchers were used the same way? Joba Rules? Ha!!!
And the aftermath of 1968:

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