Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Red Sox 1-36: 16 is for…

16 games pitched for the Red Sox by Tom Seaver

If you’re looking to put together an all-time team of players who wore the Red Sox uniform at some point in their careers, Tom Terrific is probably in that rotation. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t say “probably” with a player elected to the Hall of Fame with the highest percentage ever. But, a ton of great pitchers wore the Sox uniform at some point. So, I’m giving myself some leeway.

That’s really not the point. (Although, it would be fun to make it the point at some later date.) The point is that for the stretch run in 1986, the Sox added one of the best pitchers ever to put on a uniform. Sure, they weren’t getting the Tom Seaver of the seventies. Sure, those sixteen games with Boston would be the last sixteen he’d ever pitch. But, it was still a great pick-up. His record with the Sox was a bit misleading, standing at 5-7. But, his ERA and WHIP with the Sox (3.80/1.38) almost match those of Oil Can Boyd in 1986 (3.78/1.25), and are better than Al Nipper (5.38/1.47). Boyd and Nipper ended up starting World Series games for the Sox that year. With all the talk of Bill Bucker’s error, and Roger Clemens asking out of the game, Seaver gets lost a bit in the shuffle. What if he was healthy? (Are you allowed to ask “what if” when you’re talking about the health of a 43 year-old pitcher?) Would game six have even mattered?

You can wonder about things like that until the cows come home. Every team can do it, every season. But, it’s still interesting. For half a season, the Sox grabbed an all-time great to bolster their staff. What a great idea.

16 is for 16 games pitched by Tom Seaver for Boston.

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