Tuesday, August 5, 2008
#586 Bob Forsch
Why this card is awesome: Because of the alarmingly teeny-tiny strikeout rate--just 1039 K's in 2550.1 innings. Wow. Amazing Forsch made it that many years in the first place.
Cool stat: Forsch was actually not that great of a pitcher despite sticking around for a long time. He had more seasons with a below-average ERA than above-average ERA and finished with a career ERA+ of 98. Not terrible, but not what you'd expect for a guy who played so many years. What saved Forsch's reputation was his W-L% of .553, as well as the no-hitter he threw. Looking since 1901 at pitchers with at least 2000 career IP and an ERA+ of 100 or less (meaning league average or worse,) Forsch makes the top 10 for W-L%. There are some good pitchers on this list, but mostly it's populated by guys who played on good teams but weren't fantastic pitchers: Dave Stewart (helped tremendously by being on the Athletics at their peak 1988-1990), Scott McGregor, John Burkett, and Bill Gullickson are all good examples.
The most telling stat? His actual W-L record was 168-136 (.553) but his neutralized record was 151-157 (.490), which sounds about right for a guy with a 98 ERA+. Also his 1977 record of 20-7 neutralizes to 13-11--whoa!
Ironically, Bob's brother Ken Forsch had basically the opposite career. He finished 114-113 (.502) but with an ERA+ of 106, a little above average. His neutralized record is 126-106 (.543.)