Orel Hershiser, 1987
Stats: 16-16, 3.06 ERA, 10 CG, 264 2⁄3 IP, 190 SO, 131 ERA+, 3.21 FIP, 1.213 WHIP, 2.57 SO/BB
Baseball Reference WAR: 6.4
FanGraphs WAR: 5.6
Combined WAR: 6.00
Orel Hershiser has been on this list a handful of times, and he likely will be mentioned a few more times before it’s all said and done. Today, we’ll be looking back at Hershiser’s 1987 season.
He led the National League with 264 2⁄3 inning pitched and had an earned run average of just above three. Hershiser was in the top 10 in a lot of categories among NL pitchers, finishing third in ERA, third in wins, fourth in strikeouts, third in complete games and seventh in WHIP.
His best stretch of the season came in June, where he was named the National League Pitcher of the Month. He went 5-1, posting a 0.90 ERA while throwing three complete games. His WHIP was 0.98 and he had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly four-to-one. The crazy part about his June was the fact he didn’t get the win in one of his best starts. On June 19 at Houston, Hershiser went 10 innings and struck out 14. He took home the no-decision that night. Remarkable.
Overall, from the beginning of May through the beginning of July Hershiser was great. He went 8-4 over this 12 starts, posting an ERA of 1.90. 72 batters struck out during those 12 starts, and only 18 walked.
As I mentioned, Hershiser led the National League in innings pitched. He threw at least seven innings in 26 starts in 1989.
Game of the year
June 30 vs San Diego: 9 IP, 0 ER, 7 SO, 1 BB // Gamescore: 79