Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Red Sox in Cooperstown Pt. 31: Tom Seaver

Years in Boston: 1986 (5-7, 3.80 ERA, 72 strikeouts, 104.1 innings)
Best Year in Boston: 1986 (5-7, 3.80 ERA, 72 strikeouts, 104.1 innings)
1986 was the final season of Tom Seaver's illustrious career.  "Tom Terrific" was one of the greatest pitchers of all time.  He was a 12-time All Star, a Rookie of the Year, and a three-time Cy Young Award Winner.  He was also 41 years old and was running out of gas.

Seaver started the 1986 season with the Chicago White Sox, his third team in his career.  He had been with the ChiSox since signing as a free agent prior to the 1984 season.  He was coming off of a season in which he had gone 16-11 with a 3.17 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 238.2 innings.  He had also won the 300th game of his career in 1985.  So he still had something left in the tank coming into the 1986 season, but he had a pretty rough start to the season.

Through 12 starts for the White Sox, Seaver was 2-6 with an uncharacteristically high 4.38 ERA in 72 innings.  He was also walking nearly as many (27) as he was striking out (31).  So it looked like age was finally catching up to him.  Nevertheless, the Boston Red Sox, who were contending for the AL East division title, needed some pitching depth after some off-the-field issues with Oil Can Boyd, and swung a deal with the White Sox to acquire Seaver in exchange for young outfielder Steve Lyons.  Seaver turned his season around and finished strong.

Seaver turned in a fairly decent 16 games for the Red Sox to close out his career.  He had a record of 5-7 with a 3.80 ERA but provided valuable innings and improved his strikeout to walk ratio markedly.  He struck out 72 and walked just 29 in 104.1 innings for the Red Sox.  He had his best game in an August outing against the Tigers when he pitched a complete game five-hitter, giving up just one run while striking out nine and walking only one.

Unfortunately, Seaver was unable to pitch in the postseason as he went down with an injury.  He missed a chance to pitch against the team he is most associated with, the New York Mets, in the World Series.  Seaver attempted a final season in 1987 back with the Mets, but ended up retiring.  Though his time with the Red Sox was brief and did not add much to his final numbers, he was reasonably successful.

No comments:

Post a Comment