For the All-Star Break: Your Team's Quintessential Pitcher

There’s an OP with the hitters here.

So who’s your team’s iconic pitcher, the guy you want pitching in Heaven against Satan’s All-Stars? What follows is a list of each team’s leaders in wins as well as pitching WAR (just for fun and the sake of creating arguments and getting Trevor Hoffman and Mariano on the list). The flaws here are: wins are an imperfect way of judging pitchers, I couldn’t explain WAR coherently if my life depended on it, and both systems favor dead-ball era pitchers to a large degree (and I’m guessing nobody here saw Cy Young pitch). Anyway, who’s missing from this compendium?

Arizona Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson
**Atlanta Braves: **Warren Spahn by wins, the long-ago Kid Nichols by WAR
Chicago Cubs: Fergie Jenkins by WAR, Charlie Root by wins (3-Finger Brown is 2nd)
Cincinnati Reds: Eppa Rixey in wins; Noodles Hahn in WAR (so who’s the Reds best pitcher who was not likely ever to get to a game on a horse?)
Colorado Rockies: Aaron Cook by wins, Ubaldo Jiminez edges him by WAR
Houston Astros: Roy Oswalt by WAR, but Joe Niekro has one more win
Los Angeles Dodgers: Don Sutton, Don Drysdale, and Dazzy Vance by wins; Dazzy Vance over Drysale and Koufax by WAR
Miami Marlins: Ricky Nolasco in wins, Josh Johnson in WAR
Milwaukee Brewers: Teddy Higuera by WAR, Jim Slaton by wins
New York Mets: Tom Seaver
Philadelphia Phillies: Steve Carlton in wins, Robin Roberts in WAR
Pittsburgh Pirates: Babe Adams
St. Louis Cardinals: Bob Gibson by a lot
San Diego Padres: Trevor Hoffman by WAR, and Eric Show (huh?) by wins
San Francisco Giants: Christy Mathewson … would be Juan Marichal for SF-based players
**Washington Nationals: **Steve Rodgers is way over Dennis Martinez in WAR and wins; the first Nat is (sorta) Livan Hernandez

Baltimore Orioles: Jim Palmer
**Boston Red Sox: **Roger Clemens (big WAR leads over Cy Young (no shit) & Pedro Martinez, and he’s tied with Cy in wins)
Chicago White Sox: Ted Lyons and Red Faber are 1-2 in wins and 2-1 in WAR
Cleveland Indians: Bob Feller
Detroit Tigers: Hooks Dauss in wins; Hal Newhouser in WAR (Dauss is ninth in WAR)
Kansas City Royals: Did you know that Paul Splittorff is the KCR franchise leader in wins? I did not. Kevin Appier leads in WAR
Los Angeles Angels: Chuck Finley
Minnesota Twins: Walter Johnson (Bert Blyleven for the Twins era)
New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera in WAR, but Whitey Ford in wins
Oakland A’s: Eddie Plank edges Lefty Grove in both (for west of the Mississippi, Tim Hudson is #6 in WAR … in wins, the closest Oakland player is Catfish at #5)
Seattle Mariners: Jamie Moyers in winds, Randy Johnson in WAR
Tampa Bay Rays: James Shields in wins; Scott Kazmir (hey!) has a slim lead over James Shields in WAR
Texas Rangers: Charlie Hough with a slight lead over Kenny Rogers in WAR and wins (Fergie Jenkins is 3rd and 4th in both, oddly enough)
**Toronto Blue Jays: **Dave Steib

Not my team, but I would say that, regardless of any stat arguing otherwise, Sandy Koufax remains the Dodgers quintessential pitcher.

No slight to Splitt or Appier, but Bret Saberhagen has to be considered the Royals’ Quintessential Pitcher. World Series MVP the only year the team won it all, two Cy Young awards (both well-deserved).

Astros: probably Mike Scott.

Agreed - and you have to give Honorable Mention to Quisenberry, simply because he’s the friggin’ Quiz.

(Speaking of which - do you want a pin or anything from the All
Star Game? I’m scheduled to be going through the turnstile in about an hour.)

Can Bob Feller pitch for the all star team vs Satan? :slight_smile:

This is interesting as a Dodger fan because the answer for that team is Koufax and it doesn’t matter what the numbers say. Even if he wasn’t the best all time by the numbers he was/is THE pitcher. Which makes the question of how we pick much more interesting than it is for hitters. Koufax, for example, is hurt by a short career but (I think) had the best peak.

Wins shouldn’t have anything to do with it though.

Johan Santana is a better choice for the Twins than Blyleven.

Kid Nichols was great, I’m sure, but playing a pretty different game. If you want just one, it’s Spahn, but I’m happy to throw Niekro, Maddux and Smoltz as well.

José Rijo?

Ichbin Dubist:

Tom Seaver, perhaps?

Right, but the Mets are gonna use him.

(so who’s the Reds best pitcher who was not likely ever to get to a game on a horse?)

For one gamne against Satan? Johnny Vandermeer

Astro: J. R. Richard

West Coast A’s: Vida Blue

As a Rangers fan, I take Nolan Ryan and damn the statistics.

The heat he throws is more than enough for Satan’s minions.

For what it’s worth, I’m more interested in the fan’s gut than what the stats say. Nolan Ryan and Koufax make a great deal of sense. As do Saberhagen or Quisenberry for the Royals. It was kind of interesting, though, to see how many times a franchise’s wins leader was a mild surprise, or some guy I’ve never heard of.

The Cardinals are always so boring in these discussions: it’s Gibson and Musial, no questions asked. I doubt more than 1 in 10 fans would say anything different.

Agreed. By the numbers, I’d want Maddux. By the ability to win Big Games, likely Smoltz.

True, Clemens had the better overall career, but if I could limit it to a specific time period, I would take 1999-2000 Pedro in a heartbeat.

Right, do we get one guy at his absolute peak for one game against Satan’s All Stars (which, obviously, is just the current roster of the New York Yankees, but whatever)?

Then the Reds can have Seaver, because the Mets are going with Doc Gooden, 1985 edition.

As long as Satan’s All Stars get to start Ron Guidry, 1978 edition.