Two Cy Young Award winners have never matched up in Game 7 of the World Series before. Zack Greinke and Max Scherzer are unlikely to win that award this season, but they are still at relative high-points in their careers; Scherzer’s 6.5 WAR ranked fourth among pitchers this season, while Greinke’s 5.4 was not that far behind and put him ninth.
This is the 40th Game 7 in history. Here are the best pitchers ever to pitch in a Game 7, by their WAR in the season during which they started that year’s final game.
The only pitcher with a WAR higher than Scherzer’s whose team didn’t win Game 7 was Bob Gibson, who pitched six shutout innings before giving up three runs in the seventh of what would eventually be a 4-1 loss. In terms of matchups, here’s a scatter plot of all 80 starters:
As for how to rank them, I prefer geometric mean so that one extreme number doesn’t outweigh two good ones. Here are all 40 matchups:
Sandy Koufax’s 10-WAR season was amazing, but Jim Kaat’s 4.2 WAR is a decent number, too. The top two matchups were close affairs, though the 1985 clincher was a blowout. We don’t know how badly Scherzer will be physically compromised heading into tonight, but a tight game with good pitching would be most welcome.
Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.
The added bonus of 2001 was getting Mariano Rivera and Randy Johnson pitching the 9th
Think about it, the best relief pitcher of all-time – and Mariano Rivera too