Sunday, November 1, 2015

Countdown: #1 Pitcher In Major Leagues History

#1 - Chris Nen

One minute he's random molecules floating around, the next he's zapped into existence as a 32 year-old digital baseball player with a combination rocket launcher and rubber hose for a right arm.

Nen was one of the original players in the formation of Major Leagues - maybe the best player in its history, and certainly its best pitcher.

Among his many accomplishments:
  • Won the first 6 AL Cy Young's
  • Averaged 20 wins a season
  • Single-season records for the lowest ERA (1.15, Season 4), Innings Pitched (320.3, Season 3 - Seasons 1 and 2 are #'s 2 and 5), OBA Allowed (.223 - Season 3), Shutouts (9, Season 3), WHIP (.80, Season 3)
  • 37 Quality Starts in Season 3 (#1 All-time), 36 in Season 4 (#2 All-time)
  • Won 31 games in his Age-40 season (admittedly as a middle reliever); his Season 3 28 wins and Season 4 26 wins are #'s 2 and 3 all-time
  • Did all this in the most explosive hitting era in our history, and half of it after age 36 and in decline.
There were a few "anomalies" in the early days of HBD...remember the "triples" bug (in the first couple of HBD seasons there were players in most leagues who had 40-50 triples).  The creation of a super-player like Nen may have been one of them.  In recent years I've only seen 1 other player rival the dominance of a Nen (an he was a hitter, so has less influence on the outcome of a single game than a SP).  In any event, he's the #1 hurler in Major Leagues history.

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