Oct 6, 2012
Stat Anomaly: 20 Losses in a Season: Al Jackson, 1962
Jackson started 33 games, completing 12 of them with 4 shutouts. Superficially, that line looks good through the prism of today's game. The rest of the stats tell a different story. He finished 8-20 with a team leading 4.40 ERA (94 ERA+, 6% below league average) and a 1.39 WHIP. He struck out 118 and walked 78 and was a pretty good fielding pitcher for what's it worth.
Let's see how much was by his own hand and how much was being a product of the modern team with the most losses ever. I give him a tally of four hard luck losses. There were a lot of games (8) where he went less than 5 innings and allowed 4 or more runs.
Check out this line from August 14th against the Phillies in which he got the loss:
15 !! innings pitched, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned),5 BB, 6 K with a 96 game score. They did not have number of pitches listed, but the estimate was over 200 pitches!! His other hard luck losses all had him pitching at least 7 innings and giving up 3 runs or less, including one other game in which he went 10 innings.
Al Jackson did not have a very good season in 1962, but he wasn't as bad as his record indicates. He was wildly inconsistent as a rookie on an expansion team is expected to be.
Did you know he held the franchise mark for the Mets in wins and shutouts until Tom Seaver came along? He;s also been a part of the Mets organization up until this year.
My favorite part of this card is that he was an all-star rookie with this record. It's just a striking juxtaposition and a measure of respect that he had for toiling away on the 1962 Mets half a century ago.