Best 1-2 pitching combos of all-time
Sure, the Mariners' pairing of Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee looks good, but check out these aces.
Seattle Times staff reporter
< Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale
Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
During their time together with the Dodgers, they were a legendarily lethal one-two, left-right punch. Combined, Koufax and Drysdale led the league in wins four times, strikeouts seven times, ERA five times and shutouts four times. Their true dominance was from 1962-65, when Koufax and Drysdale were a combined 169-69 and the Dodgers won two World Series.
< Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine
Atlanta Braves (together: 1993-2002)
Pitching coach Leo Mazzone calls them "the greatest one-two punch in the history of baseball," and it's hard to argue. During 10 seasons together with the Braves, Maddux was 178-77 (.694), Glavine 169-83 (.671). The Braves won their division each year (as well as three pennants and one World Series), and they racked up four Cy Youngs.
< Curt Schilling
and Randy Johnson
Arizona Diamondbacks (together: 2001-03)
They set the modern standard for dual aces in 2001 by finishing one-two in strikeouts (372 for Johnson, 293 for Schilling), ERA (2.49 for Johnson, 2.98 for Schilling) and innings pitched (256.2 for Schilling, 249.2 for Johnson) and one-three in wins (22 for Schilling, 21 for Johnson). They finished one-two in Cy Young balloting (Johnson won) and shared World Series MVP trophy.
Christy Mathewson and "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity
New York Giants (together: 1902-08)
OK, we're going back in history a little — 107 years, to be exact — but these two were ridiculously good in 1903. Mathewson went 30-13 with 37 complete games, 366-1/3 innings pitched, 267 strikeouts, and a 2.26 ERA. McGinnity was 31-20 with 44 complete games (hey, they didn't call him Iron Man for nothing), 434 innings pitched, 171 strikeouts, and a 2.43 ERA. And the Giants ... finished second by 6 ½ games to Honus Wagner's Pirates.
Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain
(together: 1942, '46-51)
The lefty Spahn and righty Sain were together for six full years (Sain was traded to the Yankees in 1951), spawning (or Spahning) the famous saying, "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain." They won just one pennant together, combining to go 39-27 in 1948, but the Braves lost the World Series to the Indians.