March 27, 2008

Gibby’s 1.12 ERA: 40 years later.: Hold teams down he did, unlike any other modern pitcher before and since. This season is the 40th anniversary of Gibson's 1.12 earned-run average, a number that defied logic and led to a rule change that altered how the game is played.

posted by BoKnows to baseball at 10:17 AM - 9 comments

there are two ways to look at someones carreer and tell if they were the best at what they do. One is if they name an award after you. The other is if they change the rules to make what you did impossible.

posted by elijahin24 at 10:28 AM on March 27, 2008

Which pitchers since the rule change do you all think would have benefitted most from the higher mound? Personally, I think it would have been amazing to see Randy Johnson an extra five inches above the field. Talk about intimidating. And nine losses with a 1.12 ERA?! Were the Cardinals really that bad offensively, or was the higher mound really that much of an aid even for lesser pitchers?

posted by Chargdres at 11:27 AM on March 27, 2008

I was talking the other day with a friend about modern pitchers compared to the old school pitchers and we saying Rand with how tall he is would have terrified anyone, even more than he already did. But, I remember seeing an article a few years back that compared Gibby and the other pitchers of the same era to Maddux in terms of ERA relative to the average and mean of the league they were in and Maddux was in some great company during the great run he had in the '90s, but take nothing away from Gibby he was great. Consider this: "In his first 10 starts that season, Gibson was 3-5 despite a 1.52 ERA, mainly because opposing starting pitchers had a 1.34 ERA against the Cardinals." That is amazing. Another WOW stat: "A few starts after facing Drysdale, Gibson began what's considered a feat that eclipses the longest consecutive scoreless streaks. He allowed two earned runs over 99 innings, a span that included five consecutive shutouts and produced an ERA of 0.18. One run scored on a wild pitch. "Well, it wasn't a wild pitch," Gibson said. "It was called a wild pitch. ... It was a passed ball." The other came on a bloop double." Those kind of feats are rarely seen in a sport driven by numbers. Even Hershiser's scoreless streak, to me, didn't mean as much because he pitched against expanded rosters. Long live old school baseball.

posted by kookykrazee at 11:59 AM on March 27, 2008

Gibby is a baseball God. Mike Shannon asked him a couple of years ago what he would have done if he was facing Babe Ruth and Ruth pointed to the stands. Gibson said that the next pitch would have been in his ear. That's baseball.

posted by budman13 at 01:25 PM on March 27, 2008

Record may be broken as far as ERA, but with 13 shutouts ad 300 innings pitched-no way.

posted by giveuptheghost at 04:14 PM on March 27, 2008

Were the Cardinals really that bad offensively, They were good enough to make it the World Series in 1968. But they lost in 7 games after building a 3-1 game lead. My guess is that when Gibson was on the mound, the Cards just couldn't produce any runs.

posted by BoKnows at 05:29 PM on March 27, 2008

Personally, I think it would have been amazing to see Randy Johnson an extra five inches above the field. Talk about intimidating. Randy Johnson was a sidearm pitcher who took advantage of the length of his arms to bring the ball across the plate at an extreme horizontal angle. He would not have benefitted greatly from an elevated mound, and might even have suffered from it. The elevated mound is of most benefit to a tall overhand to 3/4 pitcher. His release from an elevated mound will cause even a fastball to be descending sharply. The effect is exaggerated when the pitcher can throw a sinker. Bob Gibson was incredible. As the anecdote that budman13 related above points out, he did not have a high tolerance level for being shown up. On the mound he was all professionalism, brilliance, and purpose. I hated him when the Cards beat Boston in the '67 Series, but you certainly can't argue with how good the man was.

posted by Howard_T at 06:30 PM on March 27, 2008

As a Cardinal fan, I of course loved to see him pitch. It was, however, very sad to see him in the mid 70's when his skills were diminishing. I cannot think of another player who took over a World Series the way he did in '64 and '67, talk about performing well under pressure.

posted by wdminott at 09:51 AM on March 28, 2008

Your right he stayed in the game too long., it's sad to see some one retire in mid season. I worked for the St. Louis Usher Service and was working the game where he officially retired and was honored at. Gussie gave him a new Winnebago.

posted by budman13 at 09:31 AM on March 29, 2008

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