Post-Season Career Pitching Leaders


Andy Pettitte's 19 Post-Season Wins Leads Pack!


The fact that active New York Yankees lead the field in career post-season pitching wins and best earned run average should come as no small surprise. Andy Pettitte’s 19 career wins through today, 10/12/10, is now 4 better than John Smoltz with room to grow as the Yankees wait on the winner of this evening’s game between Tampa Bay and Texas to see who they will be facing in the 2010 ALCS. Either way, Andy is virtually guaranteed a shot at becoming the first “20-game winner” in post-season career total win history.

Except for one contaminating win by Pettitte  as a Houston Astro int 2005 NLDS, Andy’s career win record is all the rest – pure Yankee in its achievement alloy. Some feel that Andy Pettitte may be pitching himself into serious Hall of Fame consideration by his longevity success in the post-season, but it’s hard for me to see how he could get there and pass over several peers and one particular predecessor who built comparable or better records on the season stat career level.

Pettitte has 240 career regular season wins through 2010. Retirees Greg Maddux (355 wins), Roger Clemens (254 ip), Tom Glavine (305 wins), Randy Johnson (303 wins), Tommy John (288 wins), Bert Blyleven (287 wins), Jim Kaat (283 wins), Mike Mussina (270 wins), Jamie Moyer (267 wins), Jim McCormick (265 wins), Gus Weyhing (264 wins), Jack Morris (254 wins), Jack Quinn (247 wins), Dennis Martinez (245 wins), and Jack Powell (245 wins) are the others not currently in the Hall of Fame who have more career regular season wins than Andy Pettitte. (The last time anyone poked him with a stick, Jamie Moyers also remained an active player.)

Making a Hall of Fame case for Andy Pettitte above most of these others would be a long shot in my book. I’m still unhappy that Bert Blyleven has been passed over as long he so far has.

At any rate, the career leaders in post-season wins and lowest post-season ERA are as follows:


1. Andy Pettitte (19 wins in 256.0 ip)

2. John Smoltz (15 wins in 209 ip)

3. Tom Glavine (14 wins in 218.1 ip)

4. Roger Clemens (12 wins in 199.0 ip)

5t. Greg Maddux (11 wins in 198.0 ip)

5t. Curt Schilling (11 wins in 133.1 ip)

7t. Whitey Ford (10 wins in 146.0 ip)

7t. Dave Stewart (10 wins in 133.0 ip)

7t. David Wells (10 wins in 125 ip)

10t. Catfish Hunter (9 wins in 132.1 ip)

10t. Orlando Hernandez (9 wins in 106 ip)


Mariano Rivera's 0.72 ERA may fall lower very soon!



1. Mariano Rivera (0.72 ERA in 136.2 ip)

2. Harry Brecheen (0.83 ERA in 32.2 ip)

3. Babe Ruth (0.87 ERA in 31.0 ip)

4. Sherry Smith (0.89 ERA in 30.1 ip)

5. Sandy Koufax (0.95 ERA in 57.0 ip)

6. Christy Mathewson (0.97 ERA in 101.2 ip)

7. Monte Pearson (1.01 ERA in 35.2 ip)

8. Blue Moon Odom (1.13 ERA in 39.2 ip)

9. Eddie Plank (1.32 ERA in 54.2 ip)

10. Bill Hallahan (1.36 ERA in 39.2 ip)

The fact that post-season leadership in both categories is controlled by active members of the current New York Yankee pitching staff should come as no small surprise. The better you are, no more you win, the more chances you get to even see the post-season. I know it doesn’t always work out that way, but it seems to work that way in The Bronx more often than it does anyplace else – and that winning history goes all the way back to Col. Jacob Ruppert, the early 20th century owner of the New York Yankees who put up the money and attitude that made “The House That Ruth Built” even possible in the first place. One of his legacies is that the record books are now crowded in 2010 with the accomplishments of Yankee players over time.

Like ’em or not, the “Damn Yankees” understand championship totals on a whole other higher level from everyone else. While we hold on to the hope for “one in Houston someday,” the Yankees are looking for another one, possibly as early as November 2010.

So, when we look at the individual accomplishments of both Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera in the post-season, we are forced to remember too that winners produce championships – and championship teams produce record-breakers and holders.

We don’t have to be as big as New York to succeed in Houston, but our vision and our planning needs to be every ounce and inch as large as the state of mind and action that has placed these two active Yankee pitchers on the leader board as mere by-products of their Yankee team success.

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3 Responses to “Post-Season Career Pitching Leaders”

  1. Wayne Williams Says:

    Bill: Interesting statistics but they mix apples and oranges. That is, you have combined pennant playoff statistics with post season (world series) statistics). Whitey Ford’s 10 wins are all in the World Series. All but two of your era leaders were in the world series. Pennant playoff games are really part of the regular season. They should be counted as part of the regular season (see the 3-game playoff in 1951) or at least separately. Mixing playoff statistics with world series statistics cheapens the world series.

  2. Al Doyle Says:

    If I had to pick a pitcher for Game 7 of the World Series, it would be an easy choice. Give me Bob Gibson. Here’s his WS record: 9 starts, 8 complete games, 80 IP. 7-2, 1.80 ERA. Gibson also hit 2 homers in those 9 games.

  3. David Munger Says:

    Mariano Rivera’s numbers are interesting. He has to have good stuff every inning he pitches. I would be intrerested to see how many games
    he’s pitched in during this ERA run.

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