Fernando Valenzuela, 1982
Stats: 19-13, 2.87 ERA, 285 IP, 199 SO, 122 ERA+, 2.81 FIP, 1.16 WHIP
Awards: All-Star, Cy Young (3rd), MVP (21st)
Baseball Reference WAR: 5.0
FanGraphs WAR: 6.1
Combined WAR: 5.55
In 1981, Fernando Valenzuela took the league by storm. He was named the NL Cy Young Award winner, along with being named the NL Rookie of the Year. Although he didn’t win any awards the following season, Valenzuela had a really good sophomore campaign in 1982.
He’s one of 10 pitchers in franchise history to finish a season with at least 19 wins, 199 strikeouts and an ERA below 2.87. Since doing so in 1982, only Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have put up those numbers during a season.
All year, there were only two games in which Valenzuela’s ERA was above three. Through the first 15 games, he was one of the best pitchers in the National League. He had already won nine games, and his ERA was 2.47. From May 4 through June 19, he had a stretch where he threw eight complete games, including five in six starts.
He finished the season with 18 complete games, including a game in which he threw 10 innings and faced 44 batters. Valenzuela is the last Dodgers pitcher to finish a season with at least 18 of them.
Here’s where his numbers ranked across the National League in 1982:
- 19 wins (2nd)
- 285 innings (2nd)
- 199 strikeouts (4th)
- 37 starts (2nd)
- 18 complete games (2nd)
- 4 shutouts (4th)
Game of the year:
August 20 at Pittsburgh: 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 9 SO