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UKFlounder
03-31-2010, 05:16 PM
With the Greatest Living Hitter thread going on, this seems like a natural topic. I'm surprised no one has started it yet.

Who is the best pitcher still living today? I'm sure I'll forget some candidates, but a few from the top off my head include:

Koufax
Gibson
Seaver
Maddux
Pedro Martinez
Eckersley (do relievers count? His stint as a closer was awfully good and he had at least a decent career starting as well.)

Koufax was the one I thought of first, but I guess longevity is the question with him. (Actually Warren Spahn was my 2nd thought, but I believe he has passed away.)

Discuss. :)

George Anderson
03-31-2010, 05:21 PM
Maddux...What he has accomplished in this hitter friendly era along with playing in crackerjack size stadiums puts him at the top for me.

bucksfan2
03-31-2010, 05:23 PM
Clemens. A hole with PED implications but guy was flat out dominant for a long, long time.

RedsManRick
03-31-2010, 05:23 PM
I want to say Maddux, as I love his style, personality and his peak, but I think Roger Clemens had the greatest career -- particularly given that he pitched in the AL most of the time.

westofyou
03-31-2010, 05:26 PM
Maddux...What he has accomplished in this hitter friendly era along with playing in crackerjack size stadiums puts him at the top for me.

Yep, Maddux then Seaver/Pedro/Perry/Clemens/Koufax/Perry/carlton/Gibson/Johnson/palmer

Then you have Perry/Sutton/Glavine/Jenkins

WMR
03-31-2010, 05:29 PM
A visitor from the future told me the correct answer is Aroldis Chapman.

:alien:

bucksfan2
03-31-2010, 05:33 PM
Yep, Maddux then Seaver/Pedro/Perry/Clemens/Koufax/Perry/carlton/Gibson/Johnson/palmer

Then you have Perry/Sutton/Glavine/Jenkins

For my money John Smoltz belongs somewhere in the upper half of your list. Where exactly I couldn't say. 200+ wins 150+ saves probably won't even be seen again.

UKFlounder
03-31-2010, 05:36 PM
I didn't include Clemens because of the allegations of drug use, but that was probably my mistake. I can't believe I forgot Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton.

TheNext44
03-31-2010, 05:40 PM
Koufax and it's not even close.

No one was as unhittable as him during his six year dominance.

129-47 W-L 2.19 ERA

156 ERA+ 0.970 WHIP 0.6 HR/9 2.3 BB/9 9.4 K/9 4.16 K/BB

And his career numbers are still great.

165-87 W-L 2.76 ERA

131 ERA+ 1.106 WHIP 0.8 HR/9 3.2 BB/9 9.3 K/9 2.93 K/BB

And this was his final year before he retired due to injury.

27-9 W-L 1.73 ERA 41 GS 27 CG 190 ERA+ 5 Shutouts 317 K's

He also was one of the greatest post season pitchers ever.

What's key is that if you look at anyone else's stats after their first 12 years, they were not as dominant as Koufax was during his 12 year career. If had pitched 5 more years, it wouldn't even be a question, it would be a given.

westofyou
03-31-2010, 05:46 PM
Koufax and it's not even close.

No one was as unhittable as him during his six year dominance.

129-47 W-L 2.19 ERA

156 ERA+ 0.970 WHIP 0.6 HR/9 2.3 BB/9 9.4 K/9 4.16 K/BB

And his career numbers are still great.

165-87 W-L 2.76 ERA

131 ERA+ 1.106 WHIP 0.8 HR/9 3.2 BB/9 9.3 K/9 2.93 K/BB

And this was his final year before he retired due to injury.

27-9 W-L 1.73 ERA 41 GS 27 CG 190 ERA+ 5 Shutouts 317 K's

He also was one of the greatest post season pitchers ever.

What's key is that if you look at anyone else's stats after their first 12 years, they were not as dominant as Koufax was during his 12 year career. If had pitched 5 more years, it wouldn't even be a question, it would be a given.


But he pitched in a pitchers park, in a true pitching era. That is a major factor in his performance. His best ERA plus was still .70 below Maddux's 2 best seasons

dougdirt
03-31-2010, 05:47 PM
Koufax and it's not even close.

No one was as unhittable as him during his six year dominance.

129-47 W-L 2.19 ERA

156 ERA+ 0.970 WHIP 0.6 HR/9 2.3 BB/9 9.4 K/9 4.16 K/BB

And his career numbers are still great.

165-87 W-L 2.76 ERA

131 ERA+ 1.106 WHIP 0.8 HR/9 3.2 BB/9 9.3 K/9 2.93 K/BB

And this was his final year before he retired due to injury.

27-9 W-L 1.73 ERA 41 GS 27 CG 190 ERA+ 5 Shutouts 317 K's

He also was one of the greatest post season pitchers ever.

What's key is that if you look at anyone else's stats after their first 12 years, they were not as dominant as Koufax was during his 12 year career. If had pitched 5 more years, it wouldn't even be a question, it would be a given.
Pedro Martinez laughs at Sandy Koufax. From 1997-2003 he posted this line:


Year W L ERA IP H BB SO BF ERA+ WHIP B% K% SO/BB
97-03 118 36 2.20 1408 1009 315 1761 5542 213 0.94 5.68% 31.78% 5.59


Pedro isn't the best pitcher ever because some guys had better careers. But no one dominated the game like he did from 1997-2003. That stretch is the best anyone has ever done in the game to my knowledge. Toss in that it came in a hitters era while in the AL (6 of those 7 came in Boston, 1 in Montreal).

TheNext44
03-31-2010, 05:49 PM
I can't consider any pitcher from the mid 70's on the greatest pitcher ever. 5 man rotations, relievers and closers have changed the game where it simply is easier to be a starter these days. Yeah, there are better hitters, but that can't make up the grind that earlier pitchers had to endure.

dougdirt
03-31-2010, 05:50 PM
I can't consider any pitcher from the mid 70's on the greatest pitcher ever. 5 man rotations, relievers and closers have changed the game where it simply is easier to be a starter these days. Yeah, there are better hitters, but that can't make up the grind that earlier pitchers had to endure.

Pedro put up better numbers in the steroids era than Koufax did in a pitchers era. I don't care what a bullpen or 5 man rotation does, what Pedro did was more impressive than Koufax did. Without an ounce of doubt in my mind.

Screwball
03-31-2010, 05:51 PM
Yeah I was gonna say Pedro Martinez as well. Randy Johnson deserves strong consideration too, IMO.

savafan
03-31-2010, 05:52 PM
For my money, the best pitcher I ever saw was Nolan Ryan.

westofyou
03-31-2010, 05:52 PM
Pedro put up better numbers in the steroids era than Koufax did in a pitchers era. I don't care what a bullpen or 5 man rotation does, what Pedro did was more impressive than Koufax did. Without an ounce of doubt in my mind.

Yep, imagine if Pedro played on the left coast before mass media, he'd have been mythical too.

westofyou
03-31-2010, 05:54 PM
For my money, the most overrated I ever saw was Nolan Ryan.

Fixed that

TRF
03-31-2010, 05:54 PM
5 Cy Youngs, 4800+ K's and no mention of Randy Johnson, the single most intimidating pitcher of the last three decades?

TheNext44
03-31-2010, 05:55 PM
Pedro put up better numbers in the steroids era than Koufax did in a pitchers era. I don't care what a bullpen or 5 man rotation does, what Pedro did was more impressive than Koufax did. Without an ounce of doubt in my mind.

I'll admit I was wrong. Pedro was better.

But I would say that Pedro was the greatest living pitcher, then.

No one else had a better career, just a longer one.

TRF
03-31-2010, 05:59 PM
Fixed that

oy vey. 9.5 K/9 for his career, All time K leader, a record that won't be broken in our lifetimes.

He may not be the greatest living pitcher, but he was throwing 95 at age 45. Not overrated in the least.

westofyou
03-31-2010, 06:01 PM
oy vey. 9.5 K/9 for his career, All time K leader, a record that won't be broken in our lifetimes.

He may not be the greatest living pitcher, but he was throwing 95 at age 45. Not overrated in the least.

More walks than Seaver and Palmer combined, greatest thrower maybe, pitcher, nah.

Screwball
03-31-2010, 06:03 PM
5 Cy Youngs, 4800+ K's and no mention of Randy Johnson, the single most intimidating pitcher of the last three decades?

Ahem...



Yeah I was gonna say Pedro Martinez as well. Randy Johnson deserves strong consideration too, IMO.

Take me off ignore dude. ;)

TRF
03-31-2010, 06:03 PM
Randy Johnson 1999-2004, excluding 2003 due to injury, is as dominant a run as any pitcher in history.

TRF
03-31-2010, 06:09 PM
More walks than Seaver and Palmer combined, greatest thrower maybe, pitcher, nah.

effectively wild. different styles, similar results, though in a big game I'd prefer Seaver. I'd still take any rotation that featured Ryan on it.

And I'd say the list of pitchers that pitched well after 40 years of age would have him near the top. He was as durable as any player in the history of the game. He had an era over 4.00 only once in his career, his last year at age 46.

Not overrated.

writerdan33
03-31-2010, 06:09 PM
Gentlemen:

Bob Feller says hello.

Have a pleasant evening.

TRF
03-31-2010, 06:10 PM
Ahem...



Take me off ignore dude. ;)

as i was typing my post i was distracted by something shiny. actually i was looking up Johnson's career stats.

thppt!

Chip R
03-31-2010, 06:13 PM
Gentlemen:

Bob Feller says hello.



and "Get off my lawn!"

George Anderson
03-31-2010, 06:16 PM
Gentlemen:

Bob Feller says hello.

Have a pleasant evening.

Sincerely,

Bob Feller



Fixed it.

GADawg
03-31-2010, 06:17 PM
Gentlemen:

Bob Feller says hello.

Have a pleasant evening.

yep just ask Bob Feller, he'll tell you.

Gimme the Rocket and all his baggage

writerdan33
03-31-2010, 06:18 PM
I didn't say Feller said hello nicely. I just said he said hello...:cool:

westofyou
03-31-2010, 06:23 PM
I didn't say Feller said hello nicely. I just said he said hello...:cool:

Did you let him know his K numbers were bloated due to his workload? :p:

GADawg
03-31-2010, 06:56 PM
I didn't say Feller said hello nicely. I just said he said hello...:cool:

funny stuff...I hope I live long enough to be that crotchetty(is that how you spell crotchetty?)and arrogant

TheNext44
03-31-2010, 07:28 PM
funny stuff...I hope I live long enough to be that crotchetty(is that how you spell crotchetty?)and arrogant

I met Feller 25 years ago at a card show. He was exactly the same then as he is now. Age has very little to do with it.

BCubb2003
03-31-2010, 08:19 PM
Bob Feller says hi, or he would if he weren't so grumpy all the time.

George Anderson
03-31-2010, 08:38 PM
But he pitched in a pitchers park, in a true pitching era. That is a major factor in his performance. His best ERA plus was still .70 below Maddux's 2 best seasons

Plus Sandy played during an era when the mound was much higher.

Put Greg Maddux on a raised mound against 1960's hitters in 1960 caliber parks and the "Cy Young Award" would have been renamed to the "Greg Maddux Award"

RFS62
03-31-2010, 09:49 PM
Pedro in his prime, Sandy in his. Unhittable stuff.

mth123
03-31-2010, 09:53 PM
I'd say Feller, Maddux, Gibson, Clemens and Carlton would be my 5 man rotation.

savafan
03-31-2010, 10:07 PM
Fixed that

I watched the man pitch live when he was with the Astros, and I've never seen anything like it before or since. 7 No Hitters. 12 One Hitters. 18 Two Hitters. 27 seasons. 6.56 hits allowed per 9 innings (1st all-time). 5,386 IP (5th all-time). 773 games started (2nd all-time). 61 shutouts (7th all-time). 324 wins (14th all-time). Opposing hitters hit .204 against Ryan for his career. 15 or more strikeouts in a game 27 times (2nd to Randy Johnson's 29).

BoydsOfSummer
03-31-2010, 10:24 PM
I always thought Sandy KOufax was a tad over rated. Maddux was a master, hard not to go with him.

BCubb2003
03-31-2010, 10:31 PM
Does Maddux get to bring his umps?

westofyou
03-31-2010, 10:33 PM
I watched the man pitch live when he was with the Astros, and I've never seen anything like it before or since. 7 No Hitters. 12 One Hitters. 18 Two Hitters. 27 seasons. 6.56 hits allowed per 9 innings (1st all-time). 5,386 IP (5th all-time). 773 games started (2nd all-time). 61 shutouts (7th all-time). 324 wins (14th all-time). Opposing hitters hit .204 against Ryan for his career. 15 or more strikeouts in a game 27 times (2nd to Randy Johnson's 29).
I saw him with the Angels and Mets myself.

FYI all time leader in walks too.

Jpup
03-31-2010, 10:33 PM
Roger Clemens.

savafan
03-31-2010, 10:44 PM
I saw him with the Angels and Mets myself.

FYI all time leader in walks too.

Yeah, I was aware of the walks stat too. :p:

GADawg
03-31-2010, 11:09 PM
Does Maddux get to bring his umps?

thank you! Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz might just have been Smoltz with umpires calling a rule book strike zone

George Anderson
03-31-2010, 11:19 PM
Here is a good article by Rob Neyer going into detail why Nolan Ryan was overrated.




"That said, I do believe Ryan belongs in the Hall of Fame, because he won 324 games and he did a lot of things that nobody else has done, or likely will do. A Hall of Fame without Ryan would be like a lake without water.

But to suggest that Ryan is, say, one of baseball's nine greatest pitchers is, in a word, indefensible".


http://static.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/neyer_rob/1383697.html

westofyou
03-31-2010, 11:22 PM
Here is a good article by Rob Neyer going into detail why Nolan Ryan was overrated.




"That said, I do believe Ryan belongs in the Hall of Fame, because he won 324 games and he did a lot of things that nobody else has done, or likely will do. A Hall of Fame without Ryan would be like a lake without water.

But to suggest that Ryan is, say, one of baseball's nine greatest pitchers is, in a word, indefensible".


http://static.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/neyer_rob/1383697.html
My neighbor is correct.

RFS62
03-31-2010, 11:28 PM
My neighbor is correct.

Indeed

savafan
03-31-2010, 11:35 PM
Hey, it's only my opinion. He's the best pitcher I ever saw. I think if I had to choose the greatest pitcher alive, I'd go with Bob Gibson.

RBA
03-31-2010, 11:38 PM
Jenny Finch

http://www.exposay.com/celebrity-photos/jennie-finch-56th-annual-primetime-emmy-awards-arrivals-17Od8Y.jpg

George Anderson
03-31-2010, 11:39 PM
Jenny Finch


I second that!!

savafan
04-01-2010, 12:29 AM
Jenny Finch

http://www.exposay.com/celebrity-photos/jennie-finch-56th-annual-primetime-emmy-awards-arrivals-17Od8Y.jpg

Well, she did strike out Albert Pujols.

Ron Madden
04-01-2010, 05:11 AM
I've seen Koufax, Gibson, Carlton, Seaver, Ryan, Clemens and Maddux all pitch in person.

I have no idea who the greatest living pitcher is but I'll bet he was pretty good.

RedsBaron
04-01-2010, 07:44 AM
Pedro put up better numbers in the steroids era than Koufax did in a pitchers era. I don't care what a bullpen or 5 man rotation does, what Pedro did was more impressive than Koufax did. Without an ounce of doubt in my mind.

I know all about the respective numbers put up by Sandy Koufax and Pedro Martinez during their prime. When adjustments are made for Koufax having pitched in a more pitcher friendly era with a more pitcher friendly ballpark, Martinez gets the edge on a per-inning basis.
However, Martinez was pitching roughly 2/3s as many innings than was Koufax during their respective peak seasons. From 1997 through 2003 Martinez pitched 241, 233, 213, 217, 116, 199 and 186 innings. In the six peak seasons Koufax had form 1961 through 1966 (the last four years are the real basis of his legend), Koufax pitched 255, 184, 311, 223, 335 and 323 innings. BAsically, with Sandy you were getting an additonal 100 innings a season as compared to Pedro. Koufax had 115 complete games during is six peak seasons, while Martinez had 34 complete games from 1997 through 2003; Sandy had 27 complete games in both the 1965 and 1966 seasons.
I do know this: if I could have one pitcher in the history of baseball to start just one game that I absolutely HAD to win, that my very life depended upon, I would pick Sandy Koufax. Without an ounce of doubt in my mind.

bucksfan2
04-01-2010, 10:09 AM
Does Maddux get to bring his umps?

I think Maddux and Glavine for that matter were huge benefactors from perception. They got more boarder line strike calls than I have ever seen. I think if questec was in action during the prime of their careers, and ups were judged based upon their "correct" calls they wouldn't have gotten as many strike calls in their favor.

TRF
04-01-2010, 10:37 AM
I don't believe Pedro in his prime, his best years, was better than Randy Johnson in his best years.

vaticanplum
04-01-2010, 12:01 PM
I don't believe Pedro in his prime, his best years, was better than Randy Johnson in his best years.

I give Pedro one year above everybody else. 1999.

Kc61
04-01-2010, 12:08 PM
I do know this: if I could have one pitcher in the history of baseball to start just one game that I absolutely HAD to win, that my very life depended upon, I would pick Sandy Koufax. Without an ounce of doubt in my mind.

Nice post. Agree completely.

TRF
04-01-2010, 12:47 PM
I give Pedro one year above everybody else. 1999.

I think Johnson's 1999 was just as good, and in some ways better. Johnson walked twice as many batters, but he did pitch almost 60 more innings. Pedro had the edge in K/9 13.2 to 12.1. Johnson started 6 more games, K'd 51 more batters and threw 12 complete games to Pedro's 5. Their H/9 were almost identical. The only area where Pedro was clearly better was walks, but because Johnson was such a horse that year, the IP, the complete games... I don't think either is the wrong choice in 1999, but I'd take Johnson.

Pedro was far and away the best pitcher in the AL in 1999, Johnson the best in the NL.

westofyou
04-01-2010, 12:53 PM
Rank Player ERA+ Th
1. Mariano Rivera 202 R
2. Pedro Martinez 154 R
3. Jim Devlin 151 R
4. Lefty Grove+ 148 L
Trevor Hoffman 148 R
6. Walter Johnson+ 147 R
Dan Quisenberry 147 R
Hoyt Wilhelm+ 147 R
9. Ed Walsh+ 146 R
Smoky Joe Wood 146 R
11. Roger Clemens 143 R
Johan Santana 143 L
13. Addie Joss+ 142 R
Brandon Webb 142 R
15. Kid Nichols+ 140 R
16. Mordecai Brown+ 139 R
17. John Franco 138 L
Cy Young+ 138 R
19. Randy Johnson 136 L
Christy Mathewson+ 136 R
Bruce Sutter+ 136 R
22. Pete Alexander+ 135 R
Roy Oswalt 135 R
Rube Waddell+ 135 L
25. Harry Brecheen 134 L
John Clarkson+ 134 R
John Hiller 134 L

TRF
04-01-2010, 12:57 PM
is era+ relative to league or all of MLB?

westofyou
04-01-2010, 12:57 PM
I think Johnson's 1999 was just as good, and in some ways better. Johnson walked twice as many batters, but he did pitch almost 60 more innings. Pedro had the edge in K/9 13.2 to 12.1. Johnson started 6 more games, K'd 51 more batters and threw 12 complete games to Pedro's 5. Their H/9 were almost identical. The only area where Pedro was clearly better was walks, but because Johnson was such a horse that year, the IP, the complete games... I don't think either is the wrong choice in 1999, but I'd take Johnson.

Pedro was far and away the best pitcher in the AL in 1999, Johnson the best in the NL.

Pedro got there faster, Johnson took off the older he got, two different paths, both had alot to do wth their body types.



ank Player (age that year) Adjusted ERA+ Year Throws
1. Tim Keefe+ (23) 295 1880 R
2. Pedro Martinez (28) 291 2000 R
3. Dutch Leonard (22) 279 1914 L
4. Greg Maddux (28) 271 1994 R
5. Greg Maddux (29) 262 1995 R
6. Walter Johnson+ (25) 259 1913 R
7. Bob Gibson+ (32) 258 1968 R
8. Mordecai Brown+ (29) 253 1906 R
9. Walter Johnson+ (24) 243 1912 R
Pedro Martinez (27) 243 1999 R
11. Christy Mathewson+ (24) 230 1905 R
12. Dwight Gooden (20) 229 1985 R
13. Roger Clemens (42) 226 2005 R
14. Pete Alexander+ (28) 225 1915 R
15. Roger Clemens (34) 222 1997 R
Christy Mathewson+ (28) 222 1909 R
17. Denny Driscoll (26) 220 1882 L
Lefty Grove+ (31) 220 1931 L
19. Pedro Martinez (25) 219 1997 R
20. Kevin Brown (31) 217 1996 R
Cy Young+ (34) 217 1901 R
22. Jack Pfiester (29) 216 1907 L
23. Walter Johnson+ (31) 215 1919 R
24. Walter Johnson+ (30) 214 1918 R
25. Roger Clemens (27) 213 1990 R
Carl Lundgren (27) 213 1907 R
27. Pedro Martinez (31) 211 2003 R
28. Ed Reulbach (22) 209 1905 R
Jack Taylor (28) 209 1902 R
30. Ron Guidry (27) 208 1978 L
31. Old Hoss Radbourn+ (29) 207 1884 R
32. Addie Joss+ (28) 206 1908 R
33. Zack Greinke (25) 205 2009 R
34. Pedro Martinez (30) 202 2002 R
35. Dolf Luque (32) 201 1923 R
36. Billy Pierce (28) 200 1955 L
37. Silver King (20) 199 1888 R
38. Dean Chance (23) 198 1964 R
Spud Chandler (35) 198 1943 R
40. Randy Johnson (33) 197 1997 L
Randy Johnson (38) 197 2002 L
Al Maul (29) 197 1895 R
Ed Siever (27) 197 1902 L
44. Hal Newhouser+ (24) 195 1945 L
Nolan Ryan+ (34) 195 1981 R
Cy Young+ (41) 195 1908 R
47. Mort Cooper (29) 194 1942 R
Tom Seaver+ (26) 194 1971 R
49. Mordecai Brown+ (32) 193 1909 R
Guy Hecker (26) 193 1882 R
Rank Player (age that year) Adjusted ERA+ Year Throws
Carl Hubbell+ (30) 193 1933 L
Randy Johnson (31) 193 1995

TRF
04-01-2010, 12:58 PM
Nice post. Agree completely.

Bob Gibson in 1968 wouldn't have been a bad choice either.

RedsBaron
04-01-2010, 02:34 PM
Every pitcher we are seriously considering as the "greatest living pitcher" was obviously a very great pitcher; there are no Eric Miltons here. Therefore what I am about to post should not be taken as a criticism of anyone. That said, one thing that has always kept me from calling Pedro or Maddux or Clemens the best ever, at least with regard to peak value, is that I don't know if any of them would be classified as their era's best clutch pitcher.
Yes, I know it has been questioned whether or not "clutch" is even a valid concept. I also recognize that a small sample size can lead to misleading conclusions.
However, when I think of Pedro Martinez, while I recall his magnificent six innings of hitless relief in game five of the 1999 ALDS against Cleveland, I also recall how the Yankees successfully used a strategy of working the count, because Pedro's effectiveness tended to drop like a rock once he passed 100 pitches thrown, and I can recall Grady Little blowing the deciding game of the 2003 ALCS by leaving Pedro in the game too long. Pedro was essentially a seven inning superman.
While Roger Clemens has at times been terrific in the post season, especially in his game seven duel with Curt Schilling in the 7th game of the 2001 World Series, I can also recall the Rocket going nuts at times, getting thrown out early in the 1990 ALCs, and throwing a broken bat at Mike Piazza a decade later.
The two greatest clutch pitchers, at least in the post season, during the Martinez-Clemens-Maddux-Randy Johnson era were not anyone in that esteemed quartet. That honor goes to John Smoltz and Schilling. Here are some of their post season numbers:
Martinez: 6-4, 3.46 ERA, 1.080 WHIP, 96 innings, 0 CG, 0 Sho, 96 Ks
Clemens: 12-8, 3.75 ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 199 IP, 1 CG, 1 Sho, 173 Ks
Maddux: 11-14, 3.27 ERA, 1.242 WHIP, 198 IP, 2 CG, 0 Sho, 125 Ks
Johnson: 7-9, 3.50 ERA, 1.140 WHIP, 121 IP, 3 CG, 2 Sho, 132 Ks
Schilling: 11-2, 2.23 ERA, 0.968 WHIP, 133 IP, 4 CG, 2 Sho, 120 Ks
Smoltz: 15-4, 2.67 ERA, 1.144 WHIP, 209 IP, 2 CG, 1 Sho, 199 Ks
It is difficult to compare players from different eras, but if I do not believe that a pitcher was the best clutch pitcher of his era I have a harder time proclaiming that same pitcher to be the best pitcher alive.
With Koufax and Bob Gibson we have a smaller sample size, but at least those two have no true rivals for the title of the best clutch pitcher of their era. Also, while the sample size is smaller, since all of their post season games were World Series contests they arguably spent all of their post seasons facing the very highest caliber of opposition possible. Their post season numbers:
Koufax: 4-3, 0.95 ERA, 0.825 WHIP, 57 IP, 4 CG, 2 Sho, 61 Ks
Gibson: 7-2, 1.89 ERA, 0.889 WHIP, 81 IP, 8 CG, 2 Sho, 92 Ks

Koufax lost one World Series game in 1959, before he became SANDY KOUFAX, 1-0, when the only run scored on a doubleplay. He also lost his final World Series game when the late Willie Davis made three errors in one inning of game two of the 1966 Fall Classic. I still remember the headline the next day, when, in reference to Davis's errors the paper said: "Not even Sandy can survive."
Gibson made nine World Series starts and threw eight complete games. Like Koufax, he lost his final World Series (1968) start when his centerfielder, in this case Curt Flood, misplayed a flyball.