FanDuel - WFBC

May 24, 2007

John Smoltz makes history: Tonight, Smoltz got career win #200, becoming the first pitcher ever to add that figure to 150 career saves. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, to whom Smoltz is frequently compared, was just three wins shy of the same distinction when he retired. Smoltz also broke knuckleballer Charlie Hough's record for most saves by a pitcher with 200 or more wins.

Is this enough to get Smoltz into the Hall?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw to baseball at 10:35 PM - 39 comments

He looked awesome against the sox recently, and I'd vote yes. Having gone from starting to relieving and back to starting will keep him from certain milestones but is impressive in its own right. His post season stats push him in easily for me. He holds the record for postseason wins (15-4) and strikeouts (194). He has pitched 207 innings in 24 postseason series.

posted by justgary at 02:09 AM on May 25

I say you got to vote him into the Hall. Look at the career stats. Winning #200 just secured his legacy.

posted by Dark_Angel at 02:16 AM on May 25

I think Smoltz is one of those "body of work" Hall of Famers where you might never have thought you were viewing a sure-fire Hall of Famer when you saw him pitch, but you look at the numbers (wins, saves, strikeouts, post-season record) and walk away pretty impressed. Maybe like a pitching version of Eddie Murray -- although Eddie hit the magic 3000/500 numbers for hitters and Smoltz will obviously fall short of the magic 300 number for pitchers.

posted by holden at 04:19 AM on May 25

Smoltz by the numbers (taken from your link) 200-139 gives him a very respectable .590 winning percentage and his 2838 strikeouts (while impressive on its own) in in 3234.7 innings gives him 7.9 k/9 ip over the course of his career which is excellent. He has a career 3.26 era which is phenomenal in this day and age. In the last 20 years as the HR becomes more and more common and we become less and less impressed with 500 HR remember era have been creeping up as well. Lastly, while the Hall historically hates closers they love starters and they didn't have any problem (and rightly so) with Eckersley. I think Smoltz is a first ballot invite.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 06:28 AM on May 25

Smoltz is a remarkable pitcher, and I'd vote him into the Hall with absolutely no problem. I can only hope the folks who really get votes feel the same way.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:36 AM on May 25

He is about as consistent as they come. He and Maddux are the reason the Braves won they way they did. First ballot

posted by Debo270 at 07:33 AM on May 25

Oh, he's in. It won't be Ripken/Gwynn-style unanimous, but when he retires, they'll start referring to five years after that as the John Smoltz year. He's just been too good for too long. The Braves' starting rotations of the 90's & 00's are going to go down in history as among the best ever as a group, and Smoltz was the anchor of that rotation that entire time. And 200/150 is a crazy pair of numbers. This adds a couple of percentage points to his final total, but I reckon he was in already.

posted by chicobangs at 07:35 AM on May 25

As much as I loved Smoltzie, I always considered Maddux the anchor during their winning seasons, though I would have rather had Smoltz pitching in the playoffs. He and Maddux are the reason the Braves won they way they did. First ballot Glavine was pretty important for a while there, too.

posted by jmd82 at 07:49 AM on May 25

Well they're all going in. Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. All three possess remarkable numbers - perhaps 2 of the last 300 game winners we'll ever see, and Smoltz is just as compelling a case, albeit with a different slant. I think they're all first ballot getter inners. Of course, only one of the three has tasted human flesh, but I digress.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:06 AM on May 25

That's a lot of HOF pitchers going in. Does Smoltz go in over Schilling? Clemens, Johnson, Maddux, Martinez, Glavine? How about Rivera? He has only one 20 win season, so is he being rewarded for longevity and post-season prowess?

posted by bperk at 08:15 AM on May 25

Yes - but at a supremely high level. That post-season record is all time. And yes - Smoltz goes in ahead of Schilling. The rest are also going in. I'm not convinced Schilling gets in. Why would he? His numbers aren't nearly good enough.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:25 AM on May 25

That's a lot of HOF pitchers going in. Does Smoltz go in over Schilling? Clemens, Johnson, Maddux, Martinez, Glavine? How about Rivera? He has only one 20 win season, so is he being rewarded for longevity and post-season prowess? Smoltz - 75% chance he gets in Schilling - 75% chance he gets in Clemens - 100% chance he gets in Johnson - 100% chance he gets in Maddux - 100% chance he gets in Martinez - 75% chance he gets in (just has to stay healthy) Glavine - 90% chance he gets in Rivera - 90% chance he gets in The reason there seem to be a lot of quality pitchers in the late 90s/00s is because we had a significant drought of HOF-level pitchers in the early 80s. It's cyclical.

posted by grum@work at 09:03 AM on May 25

I always figured Smoltz, Maddux, and Glavine were shoo-ins.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 09:31 AM on May 25

I agree with all of grum's odds (assuming those are his and not someone else's) with the exception of Pedro, who I would put in the 100% camp. His peak was just that good. I actually think all the guys on grum's list get into the HoF, and I would agree with the percentages in grum's list as denoting "inner circle" (the hundred percenters) v. next rung down (90 percenters) v. the next one after that (75 percenters -- with the exception of Pedro, who for purposes of "rungs" I would put in with the 90 percenters). While Schilling, Rivera and Smoltz are maybe borderline Hall of Famers based on regular season accomplishments, I think post-season success will push them over the top.

posted by holden at 09:31 AM on May 25

The cyclical nature of HOF pitchers is weird, since the principle measuring stick (unfortunately) for pitchers is wins and teams as a whole win the same number of games every year (notwithstanding the few changes in schedule length over the years). Without doing a careful study, I would guess that the good pitchers of the early '80s were on bad teams, and those that were on good teams had short careers (Guidry, Gullet, etc.). Smoltz is another guy who broke away from his early peccadillos and straightened out. I don't think anyone was thinking "Hall of Famer" when the porn thing ran him out of Detroit. The media never really grabbed hold of any individual event -- even the deal with Ripken's wife at the All-Star Game -- and I wonder, when the voters look at the whole package together, if collectively these things won't come back to bite him.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:04 AM on May 25

when the porn thing ran him out of Detroit. The media never really grabbed hold of any individual event -- even the deal with Ripken's wife at the All-Star Game What am I missing here? Neither is ringing a bell.

posted by louisville_slugger at 10:42 AM on May 25

He's no Doyle Alexander.

posted by tommytrump at 11:27 AM on May 25

"...when the porn thing ran him out of Detroit. The media never really grabbed hold of any individual event -- even the deal with Ripken's wife at the All-Star Game." I'm missing whatever each of these is, too, louisvilleslug. What's up, Sousepaw?

posted by tater at 12:07 PM on May 25

Was that Smoltzy's guest starring appearance in the classic film "Cy Hung: The Anal Adventures of Cindy Cocksocket"? Not that I've seen it. I've just heard things is all. No really.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:41 PM on May 25

I agree with all of grum's odds (assuming those are his and not someone else's) with the exception of Pedro, who I would put in the 100% camp. If he comes back healthy and pitches for about 3 more years, then he's a 100% nominee. However, if he can never get back to form from his current injury (or reinjures himself), I can see where (shortsighted) writers would leave him off the ballot. His best way for getting on the ballot at that time would be to keep invoking the name "Sandy Koufax".

posted by grum@work at 12:41 PM on May 25

Not that I've seen it. I've just heard things is all. No really. Sure Weedy, I believe you. /wink-wink

posted by BornIcon at 01:32 PM on May 25

Do you think Smoltz fits in the category of dominating at his position for the majority of his career? I think that he has and I have heard that that may be one of the criteria used by voters to the hall for induction. Not that that's any guarantee. (I thought it was "I'm the pitcher, you're the catcher, and I'll bring my bagful of balls")

posted by THX-1138 at 01:40 PM on May 25

I'd say the "porn thing" adds to his credentials. How many HoF's have been in a porno?

posted by yay-yo at 02:26 PM on May 25

Seven. Try to guess them. I think you'll be surprised.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:35 PM on May 25

Did they all have mustaches?

posted by yay-yo at 02:57 PM on May 25

What's up, Sousepaw? Oh, I just couldn't resist a not-so-subtle parallel to this old nugget (which started an enduring running gag around here, for those who may not be in on it). Like Maddux, I think Smoltz is such a slam-dunk HOFer that you would have to make stuff up about him to bring even the slightest doubt to his candidacy. I think he was (and is) a more dominant starter than Eckersley and he was, like Eck, the most dominant closer in his league when he took on that role. Tack on the run of years he got his team into the post-season, plus his post-season success... first ballot, without a question.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:25 PM on May 25

Martinez - 75% chance he gets in (just has to stay healthy) I understand the reasons, but a Hall of Fame without Pedro is a joke to me, and hopefully the writers can look beyond the numbers to realize that. In his prime I've never seen a better pitcher, not clemens, not johnson, no one. His best years were absolutely sick. He simply didn't have Clemens body. His top years were like a shooting star, and he belongs in the hall.

posted by justgary at 03:28 PM on May 25

Pedro is in, though maybe not first ballot. The Hall voters put great stock in Cy Young Awards. I have always maintained that the only reason Dave Stewart failed to make it is that he never won the Cy Young. Pedro did. He's in. Smoltz is a no brainer. There was a little inerlude in his career when the team needed him to go to the bullpen. He responded by becoming the best closer in the majors. If he had never gone to that role he might be borderline, but doing both roles at the level he did is unique. The HOF likes unique.

posted by gradioc at 06:25 PM on May 25

I wonder if we'd be talking about this had he never been traded by Detroit for a guy named...oh, what was his name? Oh, yeah, Alexander, Doyle Alexander. ?????????

posted by sydney2006 at 11:04 PM on May 25

Smoltz is in the HOF without a doubt. The porn only "enhances" his image, and isn't male enhancement what it's all about anyway? As to Doyle Alexander...great guy, I golf at a course he plays a lot, and he does some charity outings for the Rangers every now and then too. He can smack the ball!

posted by dviking at 11:43 AM on May 26

all the stats speak for themselves....If you hadn't been in the ballpen he most certainly would have gotten 300 wins by now. Just look at the time in the majors and what he has done in all these years. Third man with the braves and now with the mets if the voters don't vote him in in 4th or 5th year or before than there is something wrong with the voters. Congrats to him and more good luck in the future..

posted by The Old Man at 02:46 PM on May 26

I think Smoltz is definitely in. ALthough i have to say i thought that Glavine was the best for much of the 90's in the Braves rotation. Except of course Sean Avery (laughs inside).

posted by brainofdtrain at 03:41 PM on May 26

ALthough i have to say i thought that Glavine was the best for much of the 90's in the Braves rotation. I can't fathom that idea. During the regular season, it was easily Maddux over Glavine. Watching the Braves daily during the 90s, it's not even close.

posted by jmd82 at 08:15 PM on May 26

ALthough i have to say i thought that Glavine was the best for much of the 90's in the Braves rotation. Between 1993 and 1999 (the times when Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz pitched for the Braves in the "90s"), the pitchers produced the following numbers: ERA Maddux - 2.34 Glavine - 3.23 Smoltz - 3.24 K/9 Smoltz - 8.53 Maddux - 6.77 Glavine - 5.92 BB/9 Maddux - 1.31 Smoltz - 2.65 Glavine - 3.19 HR/9 Maddux - 0.41 Glavine - 0.58 Smoltz - 0.73 WHIP Maddux - 1.01 Smoltz - 1.16 Glavine - 1.31 IP Maddux - 1626.2 Glavine - 1542 Smoltz - 1434.2 Wins Maddux - 126 Glavine - 114 Smoltz - 100 Losses Maddux - 51 Glavine - 56 Smoltz - 59 Winning % Maddux - .712 Glavine - .671 Smoltz - .629 Complete Games Maddux - 51 Smoltz - 22 Glavine - 21 Shutouts Maddux - 15 Smoltz - 9 Glavine - 8 There isn't any measurable pitching statistic that would suggest that Glavine was better than Maddux during the "90s". Not one.

posted by grum@work at 08:48 PM on May 26

Sounds good to me guys, i guess it is just that "kid nostalgia," b/c as a kid i think i liked Glavine the best, although obviously he wasn't the best.

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:59 AM on May 27

Sounds good to me guys, i guess it is just that "kid nostalgia," b/c as a kid i think i liked Glavine the best, although obviously he wasn't the best. When I was compiling those numbers, I didn't realize how amazing all three were for such a long time (7 seasons). I'm pretty sure there isn't another team in MLB history that had 3 top-notch pitchers in their rotation for 7 consecutive years. I'm pretty sure that when history looks back, it won't be "Maddux and the other two guys", but "Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz". So determining one pitcher was better than the other two is strictly a numerical exercise, because they'll be remembered as the set (like Tinkers to Evers to Chance, or Mays/Mantle/Snider). I'm pretty sure that all three pitchers will make the HOF, and it would be pretty damn cool if they lined up all three plaques beside each other.

posted by grum@work at 10:59 AM on May 27

I'm pretty sure that all three pitchers will make the HOF, and it would be pretty damn cool if they lined up all three plaques beside each other. Agreed. I think that part of how each of them were so dominant was partially the fact that they were all in the same rotation.

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:57 AM on May 28

I find it rather incredible that with a rotation of that caliber the Braves only managed to win one World Series. I would imagine the rotation would become even more deadly in the playoffs where top pitchers pitch more often but apparently that wasn't the case.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:16 PM on May 28

Post-season records for the Big Three from 1996-1999: Greg Maddux: 14 starts, 100 IP, 6-7, 1.89 ERA John Smoltz: 13 starts, 97 IP, 7-3, 2.69 ERA Tom Glavine: 13 starts, 84.3 IP, 5-5, 2.78 ERA I picked these years because it was really the collective peak of the three players. Maddux joined the team in '93, there was no post-season in '94 and the Braves won in '95, so picking a meaningful block of time to analyze why these three guys didn't win more post-seasons during their peak years together really comes down to this period. Glavine and Smoltz each won a Cy Young Award during these years, and Maddux, coming off his four consecutive Cy's was still at the top of his game. Obviously, these guys didn't choke in the post-season during these years. The team was 3-4 in their no-decisions, so while their bullpen didn't do them great favors, it didn't absolutely kill them either. The Braves were designed around pitching and defense. The casualty of this design were that they had an average (at best) offensive lineup. With so many Mark Lemkes, Jeff Blausers, Walt Weisses, Keith Lockharts, Michael Tuckers -- they were giving up three full innings of offense a game against teams like the '99 Marlins who didn't have nearly as many automatic outs. The Braves relied on getting one or two big innings and holding on -- they weren't a club that could pepper teams every inning and keep them on the ropes. If they didn't get the big inning (which is a lot harder against other post-season pitching staffs), they didn't win.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:57 AM on May 29

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