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September 10th, 1999 – Best Game Ever Pitched?



By Mike Silva ~ November 27th, 2011. Filed under: NY Baseball Memories.

I was listening to Joel Sherman last night on MLB Home Plate on Sirius XM. One of the topics discussed was the best game that Sherman has ever seen pitched, and he immediately brought up Pedro Martinez‘s 17-strikeout game versus the Yankees at the Stadium on September 10th, 1999.

Martinez gave up a single run and hit, a second inning home run to Chili Davis, as the Red Sox won the game 3-1. Sherman was in attendance for David Wells and David Cone‘s perfect game, but still think Martinez’s performance that night stands out because of the opponent and venue. Both Wells and Cone faced very weak lineups in their performances. Especially Wells, who shutdown the then lowly Minnesota Twins.

Bill James Game Score has Kerry Wood‘s 20-strikeout game versus Houston in 1998 as the best game pitched in the last 25 years. James formula credits Carl Hubbell with the best pitching performance in baseball history when he threw 18 shutout innings on July 2nd, 1933 for the Giants versus St. Louis.

Obviously, this is a very subjective conversation as Sherman was talking about the best game he’s seen pitched while in attendance. I thought it was interesting he put Pedro’s performance over the two perfect games.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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4 Responses to September 10th, 1999 – Best Game Ever Pitched?

  1. Stu B

    IMO, we should avoid hyperbole like “best game ever xyz,” because there have been so many great games and, as you said, it’s so subjective.

    I attended Yankees 4, Angels 0 at Yankee Stadium on 6/17/78. The Angels lineup included Bobby Grich, Joe Rudi, Don Baylor, and Merv Rettenmund. The Yankees’ starter tossed a 4-hit shutout and walked 2 batters. Remember Ron Guidry? He struck out 18 that night. I thought that was the greatest game I ever saw pitched until 1993, when I was at the Stadium for Jim Abbott’s no-hitter. I then thought that was the greatest game I ever saw pitched until I was at the Stadium until 1999, when I was at the Stadium for Coney’s perfecto vs the Expos.

    All 3 were arguably among the greatest how many games ever pitched – 25? 50? 100? If you were to add together all the perfect games, no-hitters, 1-hitters, 15+ strikeout games, and any other criteria you choose to define a spectacular performance, it would be impossible to single out any one as the best ever with any degree of certainty. Add in that whomever is analyzing this (like Sherman, me, or anyone else) is going to naturally favor the games he saw, it goes beyond impossible.

    An editor of mine once critiqued my work by saying that cliches were creeping in, and that was a trap I should try to avoid. IMO, hyperbole is a trap much like the use of cliches.

  2. Steve

    I agree, best pitched game I’ve ever seen.

  3. trantor

    Juan Marichal vs. Warren Spahn. Best pitched game ever.
    16 innings, a scoreless tie until Mays hits a dinger in the bottom of the 16th.
    Hitters: Compare these to the games mentioned above:
    Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, F. Alou, Kuenn on the Giants
    Maye, Aaron, Matthews on the Braves.
    Statistically, maybe not the best, but there will never be a better pitched game, with a 25 year old (future hall of fame) kid out-pitching a 42 year hall of famer.

  4. Eddie

    Not the best game ever pitched, but best I’ve ever seen pitched in person. Early ’70′s, Tiant & Ryan, Anaheim Stadium. 15 inning game. Tiant went all the way, Ryan came out in the 14th, but not before striking out Cecil Cooper 5 times. And guess what? Both made their next starts without any arm soreness.

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