Bob Gibson’s 1968 Season is Overrated
The 1968 MLB season featured the greatest pitching statistics in the live ball era (since 1920). However, thanks to the Factor12 (F12) Rating, baseball fans can delve deeper into the statistical minutia and uncover the real truth.
Is it possible that Bob Gibson’s season is overrated considering the elements favoring pitchers…. 15-inch mound, no DH, the strike zone increased from the top of the batter’s shoulders to the bottom of his knees, and 4-team expansion a season later?
The breakdown of every MLB pitcher during the 1968 season:
As shown above, the 1968 season produced theonlyseason in the live ball era with a sub-3.00 MLB ERA. In fact, of the 76 qualifying pitchers,7 pitchers produced a sub-2.00 ERA, 49 posted a sub-3.00 ERA, andonly 2posted an ERA above 4.00!
In contrast, the 2000 season produced the second highest ERA since 1920 and the legendary Pedro Martinez season. Of the 88 qualifying pitchers,only4 posted a sub-3.00 ERA, 46 posted an plus-4.00 ERA and 20 posted a plus-5.00 ERA.
During the 1960s, there were 14 sub-2.00 ERA seasons. Meanwhile, in the subsequent 44 years, there have been only 18 sub-2.00 ERA campaigns
There’s no denying that Bob Gibson had a great season in 1968. However, considering all of the factors aiding pitchers, his season compared to the league average pitching performance ratesonly 39th best since 1960. Believe it or not, ’68 Gibson is overrated.