All-State Tournament: Texas vs. California
The part about Nolan Ryan that has never really made any sense is the won-loss record. Sure, we know better than to put too much stock into pitcher wins and pitcher losses. In 1987, for instance, Nolan Ryan led the league in ERA, strikeouts, hits allowed per nine innings, strikeout-to-walk ratio and FIP.
He went 8-16.
Now, that was an extreme version of the Ryan story — in July that year he gave up just seven earned runs all month, had a 2.36 ERA, held opponents to a .198 batting average, and still lost all five games he started.
But, it must be said, that SOME version of Nolan Ryan’s snakebit nature hounded him his entire career. He went 324-292 — his .526 winning percentage is the second-lowest among starting pitchers in the Hall of Fame (ahead of only Eppa Rixey, who most people have no idea is in the Hall of Fame).
Bill Conlin rather famously did not vote for Ryan on his Hall of Fame ballot because he wouldn’t start basically a .500 pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series.
How did Ryan — the most unhittable pitcher who ever lived — lose all those games?