Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Best Starting Pitchers Since 1940

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PITTSBURGH, PA – 1986: Pitcher Doug Drabek #15 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1986 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – 1986: Pitcher Doug Drabek #15 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1986 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Number Five – Doug Drabek

Doug Drabek is only number five because he only pitched 1362.2 innings with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has the fewest innings pitched among all the names we are going to talk about today.

But make no mistake, Drabek was really good in these 1362.2 innings. Drabek owned a 3.02 ERA, 3.46 FIP, and 1.14 WHIP. Although he was not a big strikeout pitcher with a 14.9 K%, he had a strong 6.1% walk rate. He also had a 0.7 HR/9 with the Pirates.

Drabek is best known for his 1990 season when he won the NL Cy Young Award. During that season, Drabek had a 2.76 ERA, 3.28 FIP, and 1.06 WHIP. He also allowed just 15 home runs in 231.1 innings while walking just 56 batters. But this wasn’t his best year. In 1992, Drabek may have had an ever so slightly higher ERA at 2.77, he issued fewer walks with 54 in 256.2 innings, more strikeouts (177 to 131), and kept up the same home run rate of 0.6 per 9.

Overall, the last Pirate pitcher to start the All-Star Game has the lowest ERA- of all Pirates pitchers at 84, and tied with another name I’ll bring up later. He also has a strong 118 ERA+. While it’s not as impressive, his 94 FIP- is still a solid number.

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