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Gooden vs. Saberhagen

craig44craig44 Posts: 10,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

now that football is over, my mind is turning towards baseball. I love comparing players and was thinking about some greats from the 80s. without looking, I originally thought Gooden would be the clear choice, but I really think Sabes was the better of the 2. other than k's and goodens magical 85 season, I think Saberhagen was better. and he won a world series MVP award.

what do you think?

George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

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    countdouglascountdouglas Posts: 2,280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I certainly loved Saberhagen, but there was something mythological about Doctor K, electric even, when he was on the mound. In my opinion, who do I think was better? That's tough... 🤔

    Give me Saberhagen on the rubber.

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    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @countdougIas I agree about Doc. during the mid 80s he was electric. the only word to describe him. He is one of my all time "what if's" Had he not gotten into drugs, he may have been one of the greatest.

    Sabes is also one of those "what ifs" had he not been so injury prone he also could have been an all timer.

    glad we got to see them when we did though.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

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    1948_Swell_Robinson1948_Swell_Robinson Posts: 1,687 ✭✭✭✭

    Saberhagen.

    Gooden did pitch 400 more innings to close the gap a little, but with Saberhagen behing ahead 126 to 111 in ERA+ is too big to be erased by other factors.

    Then the 3.64 k/bb ratio Saberhagen has seals the deal. Goode was at 2.40.

    Gooden's 1985 is one of the best post war seasons ever though. That will always be special.

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    DarinDarin Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I didn’t appreciate Saberhagen as much as I should have back then. KC’s pitchers today can’t hit the broadside of a barn and Sabe’s pinpoint control sure would be nice.

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    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Darin said:
    I didn’t appreciate Saberhagen as much as I should have back then. KC’s pitchers today can’t hit the broadside of a barn and Sabe’s pinpoint control sure would be nice.

    I am positive you saw more of Sabes than any of us did. I can remember his control. do you remember what his repertoire was? was he an off speed control pitcher or did he have a great fastball and worked off from that?

    either way, i sure wish we could have seen what he could have done if not for the injuries. He was also great in the 85 world series as i recall.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

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    countdouglascountdouglas Posts: 2,280 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember Saberhagen having a mid to low 90s fastball, a really good curveball, and a sweeping breaking pitch that seemed to be his out pitch. I'm sure @dallasactuary could tell you all about it.

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    GroceryRackPackGroceryRackPack Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭✭✭

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    DarinDarin Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with the count, also even at a young age Saberhagen had a great mound presence, he looked very confident out there. I remember at first thinking who is this skinny kid but didn’t take long to realize the guy knew how to get batters out.

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    TabeTabe Posts: 5,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,222 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    I never liked guys who were inconsistent. Saberhagen would be great one year average the next for several years.

    Gooden was a much better pitcher who got hurt and was never quite the same.

    Neither guy excites me, but I think Gooden was the better of the two.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
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    DarinDarin Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    So Bret’s peak appears higher since he has 4 of the top 5.
    Sabe’s career era+ is 1 point behind Tom Seaver. If he hadn’t been injured so much he would have had a really impressive career.

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    1948_Swell_Robinson1948_Swell_Robinson Posts: 1,687 ✭✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    I never liked guys who were inconsistent. Saberhagen would be great one year average the next for several years.

    Gooden was a much better pitcher who got hurt and was never quite the same.

    Neither guy excites me, but I think Gooden was the better of the two.

    Gooden's peak is basically located in one season. After that he fell off a cliff. His next five years after 1985 his ERA+ was 110.
    He didn't get injured until later when he had already fallen off that cliff off of his one year peak.

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,222 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When it gets to guys like this, it's hard to care.

    Personally, it drives me crazy when a guy performs like Saberhagen.

    Gooden, on the other hand had one tremendous year and two more great ones to start his career, then wasn't that great after that.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
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    TabeTabe Posts: 5,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

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    Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 2,268 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

    Other than Ks Saberhagen was right there in 1989.

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    TabeTabe Posts: 5,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

    Other than Ks Saberhagen was right there in 1989.

    His ERA+ was 49 points lower - in fewer innings. It's really not close.

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    Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 2,268 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

    Other than Ks Saberhagen was right there in 1989.

    His ERA+ was 49 points lower - in fewer innings. It's really not close.

    Because of the strikeouts and abnormalities with the park adjustment stuff. ERA+ wasnt even a stat when they played. When youre talking about numbers for it at that level its minute differences not major ones

    2018 deGrom has a significantly lower ERA+ than both those seasons yet he was better, so was 1997 Clemens yet ERA+ says they werent.

    All the numbers are right there other than Ks and some even better including advanced stat numbers. Those two seasons are absolutely close

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    DarinDarin Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

    Other than Ks Saberhagen was right there in 1989.

    His ERA+ was 49 points lower - in fewer innings. It's really not close.

    Because of the strikeouts and abnormalities with the park adjustment stuff. ERA+ wasnt even a stat when they played. When youre talking about numbers for it at that level its minute differences not major ones

    2018 deGrom has a significantly lower ERA+ than both those seasons yet he was better, so was 1997 Clemens yet ERA+ says they werent.

    All the numbers are right there other than Ks and some even better including advanced stat numbers. Those two seasons are absolutely close

    Personally I think you’re arguing the wrong point. Tabe says Gooden was way, way better at his peak than Saberhagen and then points to one season. My question is since when does one solitary season define a players peak?
    Stretch that peak to even two years and Bret’s peak is better. I think Tabe knows he was wrong when he said goodens peak was better and is trying to redefine peak as only one season.

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    Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 2,268 ✭✭✭✭

    @Darin said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

    Other than Ks Saberhagen was right there in 1989.

    His ERA+ was 49 points lower - in fewer innings. It's really not close.

    Because of the strikeouts and abnormalities with the park adjustment stuff. ERA+ wasnt even a stat when they played. When youre talking about numbers for it at that level its minute differences not major ones

    2018 deGrom has a significantly lower ERA+ than both those seasons yet he was better, so was 1997 Clemens yet ERA+ says they werent.

    All the numbers are right there other than Ks and some even better including advanced stat numbers. Those two seasons are absolutely close

    Personally I think you’re arguing the wrong point. Tabe says Gooden was way, way better at his peak than Saberhagen and then points to one season. My question is since when does one solitary season define a players peak?
    Stretch that peak to even two years and Bret’s peak is better. I think Tabe knows he was wrong when he said goodens peak was better and is trying to redefine peak as only one season.

    I wouldnt call one season a peak either. Peak to me should have to be 3 years or more. I'm okay with two if some major injury happens, but 1 season should just be best season vs best season. I'm fine saying Gooden had the best season, its definitely not some huge gap though

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    TabeTabe Posts: 5,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Darin said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

    Other than Ks Saberhagen was right there in 1989.

    His ERA+ was 49 points lower - in fewer innings. It's really not close.

    Because of the strikeouts and abnormalities with the park adjustment stuff. ERA+ wasnt even a stat when they played. When youre talking about numbers for it at that level its minute differences not major ones

    2018 deGrom has a significantly lower ERA+ than both those seasons yet he was better, so was 1997 Clemens yet ERA+ says they werent.

    All the numbers are right there other than Ks and some even better including advanced stat numbers. Those two seasons are absolutely close

    Personally I think you’re arguing the wrong point. Tabe says Gooden was way, way better at his peak than Saberhagen and then points to one season. My question is since when does one solitary season define a players peak?
    Stretch that peak to even two years and Bret’s peak is better. I think Tabe knows he was wrong when he said goodens peak was better and is trying to redefine peak as only one season.

    I think you're confusing prime with peak. Peak is the absolute top of someone's career. Somebody's 5th-best season isn't their "peak".

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    TabeTabe Posts: 5,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

    Other than Ks Saberhagen was right there in 1989.

    His ERA+ was 49 points lower - in fewer innings. It's really not close.

    Because of the strikeouts and abnormalities with the park adjustment stuff. ERA+ wasnt even a stat when they played. When youre talking about numbers for it at that level its minute differences not major ones

    Fine. More CGs (33% more), more innings (6%), more shutouts (100%), fewer hits/9 (11%), more Ks (39%), lower ERA (29% lower).

    C'mon.

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    Basebal21Basebal21 Posts: 2,268 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 25, 2024 9:48PM

    @Tabe said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Basebal21 said:

    @Tabe said:

    @Darin said:

    @Tabe said:
    Saberhagen had the rep as a guy who was only good in odd-numbered years. And then, after 1989, he missed a ton of time. Gooden was able to string together good years and his peak was way, way higher.

    How was Goodens’ peak way, way higher?
    In 1985 his era+ was 229, and then his next 4 highest are 137,127,126 and 119.
    Saberhagen… 180,153,143,136,135

    His peak is 1985. Saberhagen never approached that stratosphere.

    Other than Ks Saberhagen was right there in 1989.

    His ERA+ was 49 points lower - in fewer innings. It's really not close.

    Because of the strikeouts and abnormalities with the park adjustment stuff. ERA+ wasnt even a stat when they played. When youre talking about numbers for it at that level its minute differences not major ones

    Fine. More CGs (33% more), more innings (6%), more shutouts (100%), fewer hits/9 (11%), more Ks (39%), lower ERA (29% lower).

    C'mon.

    Saberhagen better Whip, less walks, better FIP, lead the league in more categories his season than Gooden did, better K to walk rate as some examples.

    I never said Saberhagens 1989 was better than Goodens 1985, all I said was that its close and it is

    Gooden had the best single season, Saberhagen had the better career

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    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 26, 2024 6:51AM

    I dont think anyone would consider one season to be peak. at least none that i have heard.

    I mean, if we extrapolate that point out, we could narrow it down to one single game. I suppose that would mean that Kerry Wood has the highest peak, because last I knew, his 20 K game in 1998 was the single highest scored game in history.

    I dont think anyone believes Kerry Wood had the highest peak.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

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    TabeTabe Posts: 5,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Basebal21 said:

    Gooden had the best single season, Saberhagen had the better career

    I can agree with this.

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