MLB Playoffs: The Top 5 Most Dominant Postseason Pitchers of All Time

Pitching within the playoffs may be one of many hardest endeavors in all of sports activities. You’re on their own on the mound, ball in your hand, with a few of the MLB’s finest staring you down, trying to smash a house run.

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Many proficient gamers have faltered in these conditions. However for a choose few, when the bases had been loaded and the world was watching, they didn’t simply get it completed—they dominated their opponents and helped their groups win the World Sequence.

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Listed below are essentially the most dominant postseason pitchers of all time:

1. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

The 6’5″, 250-pound wood-chopping farm boy from North Carolina has made the case that he’s the very best postseason pitcher of all time. Regardless of the scenario, the sport, how a lot relaxation he has, Bumgarner will take the ball and put up zeros—we requested catcher Buster Posey about it and he is aware of how good Bumgarner is. “MadBum” put up a record-breaking efficiency for the Giants throughout the 2014 playoffs, serving to the group win the World Sequence over the Kansas Metropolis Royals by posting a 4-1 document with a 1.03 ERA (third-lowest ever in a single postseason), 45 strikeouts in 52.2 innings (essentially the most ever). Over 5 World Sequence video games in his profession, Bumgarner has a ridiculous 0.25 ERA for his group.

Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park on August 28, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Bumgarner was dominant in Video games 1 and 5 of the World Sequence towards the Royals earlier than coming in on brief relaxation in Recreation 7 for a herculean effort, pitching 5 innings of aid, closing issues out to clinch the championship. The Giants star did it once more in 2016 towards the New York Mets, pitching a four-hit full sport shutout to place San Francisco into the NLDS. That victory gave Bumgarner an otherworldly 1.94 ERA over 97 1/3 innings in his postseason profession.

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2. Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees

Enter Sandman.

For those who wanted one pitcher to pitch one inning of an necessary playoff sport, you’d be hard-pressed to seek out somebody higher than Mariano Rivera. Certain, anybody on this record can be nice, however “Mo” was on one other degree. Armed with a near-unhittable splitter that was probably despatched from God (no, actually) Rivera dominated within the playoffs and holds a number of MLB data, together with the bottom postseason ERA (0.70) and essentially the most saves (42, which additionally was his uniform quantity).

Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees poses next to his retired number in Monument Park before the interleague game against the San Francisco Giants on September 22, 2013 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Rivera was honored by the New York Yankees today with Mariano Rivera Day. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Rivera helped the Yankees win 5 World Championships, taking residence the World Sequence MVP award in 1999 and the ALCS MVP in 2003. The splitter was his signature pitch—even when most hitters knew it was coming, they nonetheless couldn’t hit it. Certain, Rivera has blown saves within the playoffs—don’t point out the Diamondbacks to any Yankees fan—however his total resume is not like something baseball has ever seen. And it might by no means be seen once more.

3. Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees

By advantage of the Yankees making the playoffs so many instances throughout his profession, Andy Pettitte had a ton of probabilities to pitch within the postseason and he certain made essentially the most of them. With a mixture of laborious fastballs and dastardly off-speed pitches just like the slider, curveball, and changeup, the veteran flummoxed hitters for almost 20 years.

Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees in action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on August 22, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 5-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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No pitcher in historical past has extra wins within the playoffs (19) than the Baton Rouge native, and his document of 276 innings pitched within the postseason is 50 greater than the second-place spot. Pettitte ranks second all-time with 183 strikeouts, and his pitching unquestionably helped the Yankee win 5 World Championships.

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4. John Smoltz, Atlanta Braves

Smoltz’s two-decade profession introduced him to the playoffs loads of instances—profitable 14 straight division titles with the Braves will try this—and he delivered by profitable 15 postseason video games, the second-most all-time amongst pitchers. Certainly one of Smoltz’s most memorable moments got here in Recreation 7 of the 1991 World Sequence, when he Smoltz threw seven shutout innings towards the Minnesota Twins and went toe-to-toe together with his childhood hero Jack Morris.

John Smoltz #29 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 9, 2006 in San Francisco, California. The Giants defeated the Braves 6-5. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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Smoltz helped pitch the Braves to that World Sequence with an entire sport shutout of the Pittsburgh Pirates in Recreation 7 of the 1991 Nationwide League Championship Sequence—so yeah, Smoltz knew the right way to convey it when the video games mattered most. It marked the primary time the Braves made the championship since shifting to Atlanta from Milwaukee in 1965, making it a historic second for the franchise. The righty pitcher labored as a starter and reliever within the playoffs, serving to the Braves win the 1995 World Sequence, and he sits in first place amongst all pitchers with 199 profession strikeouts within the postseason. Smoltz was elected to the Baseball Corridor of Fame in 2015.

5. Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers

Despite the fact that accidents lower his profession brief, Sanford “Sandy” Koufax left his mark on baseball as top-of-the-line “large sport” pitchers in historical past. His postseason ERA sits at 0.95—rating within the all-time-top 10—by his two shutouts throughout the 1965 World Sequence. A type of shutouts is taken into account to be top-of-the-line pitching performances ever. After profitable Recreation 5 with an entire sport shutout of the Minnesota Twins, Koufax began on simply two days relaxation in Recreation 7. The Brooklyn native gutted his manner by means of fixed elbow ache—he stopped throwing his curveball as a result of it damage a lot—and nonetheless managed to surrender simply three complete hits within the full sport shutout.

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9/9/1965-Los Angeles, CA: In the dressing room late 9/9, Dodgers
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Koufax received a slew of awards, together with World Sequence MVP and the Sports activities Illustrated Sportsman of the 12 months award. He additionally took residence the “Hickok Belt, ” an award which was given out to the very best athlete in america from 1950 to 1976 earlier than fading away. It has since been revived, with gamers like LeBron James, Madison Bumgarner, and Stephen Curry profitable the award. Discuss some robust firm.

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