Myth: Maddux & Glavine struggled in postseason

I just heard Mike Lupica repeat the popular myth that Mad Dog was not very effective in October, that only hard throwers dominate in the postseason.

Oh really? Maddux had a 3.27 ERA in 198 playoff innings, a half-run better than Roger Clemens posted in 199 October frames. And Mad Dog’s postseason ERA would’ve been nearly identical to his 3.16 career ERA if not for two horrible starts (11 ER, 7.1 IP) for the Cubs versus the Giants in the 1989 NLCS.

The best pitcher of his generation saved his finest work for the biggest stage. Maddux had a 2.09 ERA and 0.905 WHIP in 5 World Series starts.

Fellow Hall of Famer Tom Glavine was even better in the playoffs: a 3.30 ERA in 218 IP compared to a 3.54 regular season ERA. And, like Mad Dog, he was dominant in the World Series, allowing just 33 hits in 58 IP, good for a 2.16 ERA.

The facts don’t support the myth — not even close.

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4 comments

  1. A lack of timely, nay, any hitting doomed the Braves several times in post season play. In 1991, Rafael Belliard managed to scratch out a .391 batting average in the World Series against the Twins. When the “Little Pac Man” manages to scratch out some hits, the other guys gotta’ come through. The moment the Braves dynasty crumbled for me was in 2003. In the big playoff game, Keith Lockhart hit a three run home run while Chipper Jones struck out on a belt high, down the middle fastball with the bases loaded and two out and the game was eventually lost. One could go on in this vein for awhile.

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