Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Bert Blyleven

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Bert Blyleven

Bert Blyleven was elected to the Hall of Fame in his fourteenth year of eligibility, 2011, with 79.7% of the vote.

The first table below presents Bert Blyleven's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Bert Blyleven
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1970MIN19
27
10.510.20.5080.5
1.5
10.19.50.5150.61.5
1971MIN20
38
18.215.40.5412.1
3.6
18.315.80.5372.03.5
1972MIN21
39
18.017.00.5151.3
2.9
18.417.40.5131.32.9
1973MIN22
40
18.813.60.5812.9
4.4
19.412.90.6013.55.0
1974MIN23
37
15.912.80.5551.8
3.1
17.513.10.5722.53.8
1975MIN24
35
15.111.80.5611.8
3.1
16.913.60.5551.83.3
25
36
17.614.40.5501.7
3.2
17.714.30.5531.93.3
1977TEX26
30
13.410.70.5561.5
2.8
14.810.80.5782.23.5
1978PIT27
35
15.413.40.5361.6
2.8
15.513.20.5411.83.0
1979PIT28
38
12.912.40.5100.8
1.8
14.115.80.472-0.21.0
1980PIT29
37
11.512.80.474-0.2
0.7
12.213.10.483-0.01.0
1981CLE30
20
8.16.80.5440.8
1.6
9.17.40.5541.11.9
1982CLE31
4
1.31.60.454-0.1
0.0
1.21.20.5080.00.2
1983CLE32
24
8.98.50.5130.4
1.2
9.48.00.5420.91.7
1984CLE33
33
14.39.20.6072.7
3.8
15.010.50.5892.53.6
34
37
17.515.10.5381.5
3.3
17.513.30.5682.44.0
1986MIN35
36
17.616.80.5110.7
2.3
16.315.70.5090.62.1
1987MIN36
37
16.815.80.5150.8
2.5
15.517.20.473-0.51.2
1988MIN37
33
11.514.40.443-1.3
-0.1
11.912.90.479-0.30.8
1989CAL38
33
13.99.40.5972.5
3.6
14.211.60.5511.52.8
1990CAL39
23
6.98.30.454-0.6
0.2
7.98.30.485-0.10.7
1992CAL41
25
7.19.80.423-1.1
-0.2
7.48.70.460-0.50.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
697
291.3260.10.52822.2
47.9
300.5264.30.53224.951.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
8
3.42.10.619 1.02.92.60.527 0.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
705
294.7262.10.528
48.9
303.4266.90.532 51.6


Bert Blyleven: One of the Best Pitchers of the 1970s
Bert Blyleven took a long time to be elected to the Hall of Fame and was a cause celebre among sabermetric baseball fans for much of that time. One of the main weaknesses in Bert Blyleven's Hall-of-Fame case, I think, was that his peak coincided with the peak of a lot of Hall-of-Fame pitchers. Bert Blyleven's best years were probably in the 1970's. The 1970s were something of a golden age for Hall-of-Fame pitchers.

Eight pitchers who are now in the Hall of Fame won thirteen Cy Young awards during the 1970s. Bert Blyleven was not among them.

Six pitchers who pitched during the 1970's won at least 300 games in their careers. All of these pitchers are in the Hall of Fame. Bert Blyleven "only" won 287 career games.
Bert Blyleven's Hall-of-Fame worthiness was, perhaps, more subtle than that of some of his contemporaries. But Bert Blyleven was, in fact, one of the best pitchers of the 1970's. The top 10 pitchers of the 1970's, as measured by pWins over replacement level for the decade, are shown in the table below.

pWins over Replacement Level
Top Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Jim Palmer171.1122.428.0
41.3
2Tom Seaver177.3138.626.6
39.9
3Steve Carlton183.1160.219.4
33.8
4Fergie Jenkins171.1143.318.5
32.6
5Gaylord Perry176.4150.917.7
32.3
6Don Sutton163.1143.616.4
29.4
7Bert Blyleven155.9131.616.1
29.0
8Nolan Ryan170.6153.012.1
27.0
9Catfish Hunter143.8122.514.2
26.2
10Phil Niekro178.6172.210.9
25.8


As measured by pWORL, Blyleven was the 6th-best pitcher of the 1970's. To reinforce the earlier notion that the 1970's were a golden age for pitchers, 9 of the 10 pitchers in the above table have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Bert Blyleven: One of the Best Pitchers of the 1980s
Bert Blyleven started 20 or more games 21 times in his career. While the plurality of these seasons, 10, were in the 1970's, a significant number of these seasons, 8, took place in the 1980's (with the last two taking place in 1990 and 1991).

The next table repeats the previous table, but for the 1980's instead of the 1970's.

pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Dave Stieb138.7117.313.0
25.2
2Bob Welch132.1116.813.0
23.9
3Fernando Valenzuela138.7128.212.3
23.8
4Jack Morris147.3131.610.4
23.7
5Dwight Gooden89.765.816.2
22.9
6Nolan Ryan136.8127.810.4
22.0
7Roger Clemens81.556.613.7
20.4
8Orel Hershiser92.176.811.9
19.4
9Bert Blyleven121.4110.47.8
18.9
10Rick Sutcliffe114.5105.98.7
18.6


Blyleven was one of the top 10 pitchers in major-league baseball for two consecutive decades, which is quite impressive. He is one of only three pitchers to appear in each of the two preceding tables.

The 1980's were a somewhat less impressive time for Hall-of-Fame pitchers, as evidenced by the fact that, whereas in the 1970's, all 10 pitchers are now in the Hall of Fame, in the 1980's, only 3 of the 10 pitchers have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

Bert Blyleven: One of the Best Pitchers of the Past 70+ Years
The next logical step is to extend our look to all of major-league history. The next table shows the top 25 pitchers in career pWORL for all seasons for which I have calculated Player won-lost records (all games since 1939; the majority of games since 1921).

pWins over Replacement Level
Top 25 Pitchers
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Roger Clemens318.2228.251.1
79.6
2Greg Maddux328.5271.444.8
73.5
3Warren Spahn354.2293.643.8
71.8
4Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson281.3221.038.5
64.3
5Lefty Grove248.3169.644.9
63.8
6Tom Seaver309.0256.738.1
62.4
7Steve Carlton338.0304.231.6
58.9
8Nolan Ryan356.9328.124.6
55.8
9Bob Gibson263.9217.334.6
55.5
10Tom Glavine279.5249.629.1
54.5
11Jim Palmer242.7186.033.6
53.3
12Don Sutton320.9295.424.6
51.5
13Pedro J. Martinez193.7137.533.9
51.4
14Mike Mussina224.3173.229.6
51.3
15Gaylord Perry317.9289.323.8
51.3
16John Smoltz239.8201.229.1
51.1
17Fergie Jenkins286.8250.926.8
50.7
18Juan Marichal232.2187.132.3
50.6
19Early Wynn309.3284.324.2
49.7
20Robin Roberts297.0269.824.8
49.5
21Bert Blyleven291.3260.122.2
47.9
22Whitey Ford210.6164.431.1
47.6
23Tommy John278.0247.923.6
47.3
24Bob Feller252.5215.226.1
47.3
25Phil Niekro331.9321.018.2
47.0


Being one of the top 25 pitchers of the past 80 years seems like a strong argument in support of a player's Hall-of-Fame candidacy.



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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