The Terminator

Bill James (and Sabermetricians everywhere) will tell you that the strikeout-to-walk ratio is the best statistic to use when judging a pitcher’s effectiveness. They’ve got no argument here. After all, Toronto’s current ace — Roy Halladay — has posted excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios in each of the last six seasons, including a mark of 6.38 during his Cy Young-winning 2003 campaign. For his career, the right-hander has posted a 2.86 (996 K, 347 BB) strikeout-to-walk ratio as a Toronto Blue Jay. That, of course, includes his performance during Friday night’s 7-2 win against the Nationals, in which he struck out six and walked one.


Still, it was another pitcher in attendance at the Rogers Centre on Friday night who owns the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in Toronto Blue Jays franchise history. That honour belongs to Tom Henke, who was on hand for the Jays’ win as part of ‘Flashback Fridays’. During his eight seasons (1985-92) as Toronto’s closer, Henke posted a 3.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio, including a career-best 5.12 in 1987, the year in which he led the American League with 34 saves. Here’s the Top 10:
1. Tom Henke – 3.88
2. Roger Clemens – 3.61
3. Josh Towers – 3.27 (huh?)
4. Roy Halladay – 2.87
5. David Wells – 2.67
6. Esteban Loaiza – 2.49
7. Duane Ward – 2.41
8. Jimmy Key – 2.34
9. Paul Quantrill – 2.32
10. Doyle Alexander – 2.28
Note: This list includes only those pitchers with 400-plus innings pitched with Toronto.
Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail’s Robert MacLeod caught up with Henke on Friday night …

One Response to “The Terminator”

  1. Says:

    Tower’s really shouldn’t be a huh? Because throwing strikes never has been his problem. He doesn’t strikeout many batters, but balls leave the park almost as often as he walks people.

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