How did someone that was only 30 games over .500 make it so high and make it to the baseball hall of fame. One of the things everyone says about Ted Lyons (like one writer said to Jim Kaat) is that he pitched for bad teams and that is why is won-loss record wasn’t that good. It helps that my formula doesn’t have a lot of pitchers won lost records in it. I did a comparison for Lyons like I did for Jim Kaat. Here are the results:
|1923||69||85||0.448||2||1||0.667||Only 3 decisions|
|1924||66||87||0.431||12||11||0.522||Better than team|
|1925||79||75||0.513||21||11||0.656||Took team over .500|
|1926||81||72||0.529||18||16||0.529||Same, Lost opportunity|
|1928||72||82||0.468||15||14||0.517||Better than team|
|1931||56||97||0.366||4||6||0.400||Only 10 decisions|
|1933||67||83||0.447||10||21||0.323||Worse than team|
|1934||53||99||0.349||11||13||0.458||Better than team|
|1936||81||70||0.536||10||13||0.435||Worse than team|
|1937||86||68||0.558||12||7||0.632||Better than team|
|1939||85||69||0.552||14||6||0.700||Better than good team|
I subtracted Lyon’s won-loss record from the White Sox’s. The Twins had a .460 win-loss record without Lyon’s for the 15 years. If Lyon had the same as the team his record would have been 219-171. So, he did 41 games better than the team. Kaat was only 9 games with the Twins. There is some argument there. If the team was as good as Lyon’s he might have had 300 victories in his career.
The big thing that Lyon’s was in his last few years he pitched once a week, usually on Sunday, in the second game of double header. From 1937 to 1942 he made from 20 to 23 starts every year during that project. He didn’t have any relief performances. In 1942 it worked out perfectly. He started 20 games and completed all 20. He led the league in earned run average also, quite a performance for a 41-year-old. Then he went off and fought a war for three years. When he came back he was 45 and even though he had a decent earned run average he didn’t have a great won loss record. After the season he retired leaving a great career behind him.