Great pitchers and their miniscule road ERAs
By Jacob Luft, CNNSI.com
The game's truly great pitchers thrive in pressure situations, at home and especially on the road.
Nothing illustrates this more than the road records of baseball's elite hurlers.
On Wednesday night, Pedro Martinez shut down the Mariners at Safeco Field to improve his record to 9-0 away from Fenway Park this season. His ERA in those games is a miniscule 1.21.
As untouchable as Martinez is on the road, he will have a tough time matching Greg Maddux's 1995 season. Maddux went 13-0 with a 1.12 ERA on the road in 1995. The most unbelievable stat to come from that performance? Maddux had more starts (15) than walks (11) in those games.
Martinez has already walked 16 in his 11 road starts this season, and his ERA rose from 1.11 to 1.21 when he allowed two runs to the Mariners on Wednesday night. Despite those two runs, Martinez still has pulled ahead of Maddux for the best road ERA since the start of the 1995 season.
Maddux's 1995 home stats were a little more human: 6-2, 2.23 ERA, 12 walks in 13 starts. Martinez has followed a similar pattern this year, pitching slightly less dominant at home. At Fenway Park this year, Martinez is 4-3 with a 1.69 ERA.
A possible explanation might be the home ballparks of these two pitchers. In 1995, Maddux pitched his home games at The Launching Pad, Fulton-County Stadium. Martinez's Red Sox play at hitter-friendly Fenway Park.
Toronto's David Wells has won more road games than Martinez this year without posting a miniscule ERA. Wells is 10-1 with a 2.96 ERA on the road this season, only 6-3, 4.64 at home. The Blue Jays are scoring 5.91 runs a game for him in those away games, not an obscene amount of runs by any means but respectable nonetheless.
Texas' Rick Helling also is having an impressive season away from home, going 6-3 with a 2.81 ERA and a 12-7 overall record.