St. Louis Cardinals’ Top Ten Starting Pitchers of All-Time
#9 Bob Forsch
This leads us to the second to last guy on the list, who is no slouch in terms of his career. Bob was a lot like Jesse Haines without the playoff success. He was Mr. Reliable for the Cardinals over his 15 years with the club, as he finished with a respectable record of 168-127 and an ERA of 3.67 (3.82). While Forsch’s numbers don’t jump off the screen at you like some of these others do, He was a reliable member of the Cardinals’ staff in the 70s and 80s.
Forsch’s best season came in just his second big league season and first full season as a starting pitcher. That year he went 15-10 with an ERA of 2.86 (3.39 FIP) and an ERA+ of 132. With his peripherals being where they were, this is where I would prefer the WAR formula of Baseball Reference instead of Fangraphs. As the fWAR formula as him at a 3.0 behind his 1980 season of a 3.5f fWAR, whereas B-R’s formula has him rated at 5.7 WAR in 1975, a number he never came close to again in his career.
One could make the argument that without his 1975 season, this is a rather lackluster career, as Forsch never once posted a FIP under 3.19. When you couple that with his disappointing postseason line of 3-4 with an ERA of 5.79, which includes his poor World Series’ performances in 1982, 1985, and 1987 where he went 1-3 in his seven appearances (three starts) and had an ERA of 7.36. Had Bob had a little better numbers, we could have seen him a little higher on this list, but his consistency is what gets him here as he didn’t post an ERA over 3.94 until his tenth big league season in 1983.
Next: Bill Doak