The Yankees’ 50 best starting pitchers

19 10 2015

As we approach the end of my series on Yankee starting pitchers, I have ranked the pitchers I regard as the 50 best Yankee starters.

I will explain my selection criteria after the list, but I don’t elaborate on the choices individually in the list. Links are to earlier posts in which I address those pitchers (most of them in this series): Read the rest of this entry »

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Yankees who pitched no-hitters: Don Larsen, Allie Reynolds …

14 10 2015

This continues my series on Yankee starting pitchers.

Ten Yankees have pitched 11 no-hitters. I’ll review them here, in order of importance:

Don Larsen

Larsen had a mostly unremarkable career for the Yankees and seven other teams. He never won more than 11 games in a season (but he lost 21). He only made it to double figures in wins twice, though he made it to double figures in losses three times. He finished 14 seasons with a losing record, 81-91.

But for one Monday, October 8, in Game Five of the 1956 World Series, Don Larsen was better than any pitcher ever. In a World Series, you face a team that knows how to get on base, how to score runs. That’s how they make it to the championship level, and no other pitcher has ever pitched a no-hitter in World Series play. But Larsen pitched a perfect game.

Facing a lineup that included four future Hall of Famers — Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider and Pee Wee Reese — Larsen didn’t allow a base runner. Read the rest of this entry »





Yankee starters with 200 wins but no shot at the Hall of Fame

2 10 2015

This continues my series on Yankee starting pitchers.

A few Yankee pitchers are in a zone that mixes pride with frustration. They had distinguished careers, of which they should be proud, ending up tantalizingly close to Hall of Fame consideration.

But they have no shot at Cooperstown.

David WellsCarl MaysSad Sam JonesKenny RogersKevin BrownJoe Niekro, Bobo NewsomRick Reuschel and George Uhle all passed 200 wins but didn’t reach 250, where you get serious Hall of Fame consideration, or 300, where entry is nearly automatic.

With some exceptions, you need special achievements to push you into the Hall of Fame from the low 200s in wins. And these pitchers didn’t have them. They were good and pitched a long time. But not quite long enough or good enough. Most had their best seasons for other teams. I’ll address them in the order of their contributions to the Yankees.

David Wells

Boomer spent four seasons with the Yankees, 1997-98 and 2002-3. His only 20-win season came as a Blue Jay, but his Yankee records were solid: 16-10, 18-4, 19-7 and 15-7. That 1998 season placed him third in the Cy Young Award vote.

He was 6-2 in post-season games for Yankees, and undefeated 4-0 for the 1998 team, including two wins and an MVP Award in the American League Championship Series.

Plus he pitched a perfect game:

Carl Mays

Mays had more 20-win seasons than Wells, including 26- and 27-win seasons for the Yankees in 1920-21. He pitched for the Yankees from 1919-23. I gave the edge to Wells based on post-season performance. Mays was only 1-3 in the 1921-22 World Series. Read the rest of this entry »