1. Bob Gibson
I said this piece was about the best starting pitchers since 1967, and Gibson’s career started prior to that year. In fact, Gibson had a pretty impressive career up to 1967. However, I will focus on his career from 1967 on, and still say he was easily the best.
Let’s start with his career year of 1968. Gibson had a 22-9 record, with an MLB-best 1.12 ERA. He had 28 complete games, threw for 304 innings, led the National League in shutouts (13), strikeouts (268), ERA+ (258), WHIP (.853) and H9 (5.8).
In 1968, he threw 47 consecutive scoreless innings and in the 1968 World Series struck out 17 Detroit Tigers in Game 1. He not only won the NL Cy Young Award, but he also was the NL MVP. Add an All Star appearance and a Gold Glove, and that’s Bob Gibson’s incredible and historic 1968 season.
After 1968, he won 20 games in 1969, 23 games in 1970, and 19 games in 1972. He also threw 28 complete games in 1969, 23 in 1970, 20 in 1971, 23 in 1972, and 13 in 1973. He added another Cy Young Award in 1970, 5 more Gold Gloves, and made three more All Star appearances.
His career stats from 1967 to 1975 was 139-93, a 2.74 ERA, 155 complete games, 33 shutouts, an ERA+ of 129, HR9 of .5, BB9 of 2.8, and SO9 of 7.0.
Gibson was known to be a aggressive competitor on the mound. Even though he had good control, he was known for his brush back pitches. Hank Aaron once said of Gibson, “Don’t dig in against Bob Gibson, he’ll knock you down. He’d knock down his own grandmother if she dared challenge him.”
Bob Gibson retired after the 1975 season and was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1981.