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No. 85: Greatest seasons in Dodgers history: Bob Welch, 1987

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His best season with LA

Dodgers Bob Welch Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Bob Welch, 1987

Stats: 15-9, 3.22 ERA, 6 CG, 4 SHO, 251 23 IP, 196 SO, 125 ERA+, 3.47 FIP, 1.15 WHIP

Awards: Cy Young (8th in voting)

Baseball Reference WAR: 7.1

FanGraphs WAR: 4.5

Combined WAR: 5.8


Bob Welch was a Dodger for the first 10 seasons of his career. He had a number of good seasons, but none better than his final year in Los Angeles.

During his 1987 campaign, Welch finished near the top of almost every pitching category in the National League. Here’s where he season ranked that year.

  • 7.1 rWAR (1st)
  • 3.22 ERA (6th)
  • 15 wins (5th)
  • 1.15 WHIP (4th)
  • 251 innings (2nd)
  • 196 strikeouts (3rd)
  • 4 shutouts (1st)

After a rough first start to begin his season, Welch was really good for the Dodgers over the next month and a half. From April 14 through May 27, Welch went 6-1 and owned a 2.14 ERA. Opponents were hitting only .194 off him during that time.

June and July were not too good for Welch, as he won only three of his 12 starts. His ERA sat just below four, and opponents were hitting about .250 off of him. He really turned things around for the final two months of the season.

Welch had an absolute blowup start in September where he allowed eight runs, so we’ll just forget about that. If you were to take that start out of the mix, he had a 2.17 ERA over his final 12 starts, with opponents hitting only .178 against him. He closed the year out on a bang, too, going 4-0 over his final four starts with a 1.64 ERA. Welch threw two complete games, with the other two starts being eight innings and seven innings, respectively.

Game of the year

October 1 vs. Giants: 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 7 SO, 1 BB // Gamescore: 91


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