Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Jack Morris: The results are in
By David Schoenfield
Bill James has published the final article of his 10-part series on Big Game pitchers and takes a look at everybody's favorite Hall of Fame candidate, Jack Morris. Was Morris a Big Game pitcher? James writes,
He was not.
He had the one brilliant post-season, of course, but other than that one three-week period he absolutely was not; it is not questionable, it is not debatable, it is not unclear. It does not seem likely that the conclusion could be altered by studying the question in a different way. Jack Morris did not have a great or even good record in Big Games, and the people who believe that he did believe that because they believe that, but not because there is any actual evidence for it.
In the games that our system has designated as regular season Big Games, Jack Morris made 46 starts, won 18 games, lost 19, 3.79 ERA. His teams were 24-22.
So there you go. Using a higher standard for Big Games, James reports that Morris was 10-14 with a 3.51 ERA. Morris still had the great postseason in 1991. He went 3-0 in the 1984 postseason with five runs allowed (for some reason, James failed to mention that postseason). As James concludes, "If you want to advocate for a pitcher being in the Hall of Fame based on his performance in Big Games, advocate for Ron Guidry, or Jim Kaat, or Mickey Lolich, or Mike Mussina."