No. 193 Ted Lyons (Number 44 Pitcher)

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:

Ted LyonsWinsLossesPercentageWinLossPercentage
192369850.448210.667Only 3 decisions
192466870.43112110.522Better than team
192579750.51321110.656Took team over .500
192681720.52918160.529Same, Lost opportunity
192770830.45822140.611Way Better
192872820.46815140.517Better than team
192959930.38814200.412Slightly Better
193062920.40322150.595Way Better
193156970.366460.400Only 10 decisions
1932491020.32510150.400Little Better
193367830.44710210.323Worse than team 
193453990.34911130.458Better than team
193574780.4871580.652Way Better
193681700.53610130.435Worse than team
193786680.5581270.632Better than team
193865830.4399110.450About same.
193985690.5521460.700Better than good team
194082720.5321280.600Slightly Better
194177770.50012100.545About same.
194266820.4461460.700Way Better
194671780.477140.200Retired
147017270.4602602300.531
      

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.

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