The 20 worst A-Braves pitchers: #11, Bob Walk

The acquisition of Bob Walk from the Phillies ranked 6th on our list of the 10 worst trades in A-Braves history, and for those of us who loved Gary Matthews the deal was an even tougher pill to swallow. Sarge had been a force in the Braves line-up during the late 1970s but was coming off his worst season in Atlanta, though it wasn’t bad (.278 BA, .325 OBP, .419 slugging).

The 23-year-old Walk, six years younger than Matthews, got the win in Game 1 of the ’80 World Series despite allowing 8 hits and 6 earned in 7 innings. The right-hander won 11 games that season but posted a pedestrian 4.57 ERA and 1.543 WHIP, numbers in line with Kyle Davies’ rookie season.

Nonetheless he barely cracked the ’81 rotation, slotting behind Knucksie, Gaylord Perry, Tommy Boggs and John Montefusco. He won once in 8 starts, walking 22 and striking out just 13 in 35 IP. His ERA and WHIP: 5.66 and 1.686. On top of that he lost more than half the season to injury.

Meanwhile, Sarge rebounded to hit .301 with an .849 OPS for the Phils.

Walk got off to a decent start in ’82 but his numbers declined each month. He pitched his way out of the rotation with a 6.64 ERA and 1.709 WHIP in the second half. He spent all but one game of the ’83 season in Richmond, where he struggled mightily with his control, finishing with a 5.21 ERA. He was released the following March.

That same year Matthews helped lead the Cubs to a division title and was 5th in MVP voting.


8 thoughts on “The 20 worst A-Braves pitchers: #11, Bob Walk

  1. I had a bat and baseball card signed by him when I was 12. Murph wasn’t available.

  2. Don’t forget that he later sold his soul to Satan in order to beat us in the ’92 NLCS.

    You might find 10 worse guys but you won’t find 10 more hateable ones.

  3. I think his surname was appropriate only because Threerundinger is much too cumbersome.

  4. This is a good inclusion. That was a classic ’70’s Braves buy high/sell low trade. Walk was goddamned awful and he was also an asshole.

  5. i think sarge had to be moved to clear up playing time and they finally dumped burroughs for it seemed like the 4th time ( this time he finally agreed to go,,yippy) but on paper i liked it ,, young for old and they were turning the page on the eddie robinson regime . He did stink as a brave and had his chances to shine and failed most times. it took him a couple more years to latch on to pittsburgh where he is still connected to this day

  6. I think they moved Gary to make room for Ted’s answer to George Steinbrenner: Claudell.

    I liked CW but we’d have been much better off staying with Gary.

  7. I seem to remember that Ted, for whatever reason, soured on Sarge and ordered that he benched or traded. And because Ted was so public about it, the best trade the Braves could arrange was for Bob effin Walk.

  8. I liked Gary “Sarge” Matthews too. Not a superstar, but Mr. Dependable, year after year after year. Before Claudell came to Atlanta, fans elsewhere were displeased with him and unveiled one of the funniest signs I ever saw: “Washington Slept Here”.

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