I received a few guesses for the four pitchers named in the Sports Illustrated list of 15 best pitching seasons.
Everyone nailed down the four pitchers names, but only one person correctly identified the year picked out by SI. Half-congrats to Andrew Fletcher of Scott Proctor's Arm.
The pitchers, and the years they had their best season are:
Tom Seaver, 1971.
Dwight Gooden, 1985.
Pedro Martinez, 2000.
Johan Santana, 2005.
Here are the blurbs:
Seaver won three Cy Youngs, but his best season may have been in a year in which he didn't win the award. In 1971, "Tom Terrific" validated his nickname by leading the league in ERA (1.76) and strikeouts (289) while going 20-10 for the Mets.
Few pitchers have burst onto the scene with as much promise and dominance as Dwight Gooden. "Doc" was a mere 20 years old and in just his second big-league season when he cut through the National League in 1985, going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA, eight shutouts and 268 strikeouts.
Pedro Martinez's power pitching style was on full display during the 2000 season in which he won 18 games, posted a 1.74 ERA, hurled seven complete games, and whiffed 284 hitters. He also set a number of marks. His WHIP was 0.74, breaking a 77-year-old record set by Walter Johnson, and he also became the only starting pitcher to have more than twice as many strikeouts in a season (284) as hits allowed (128). The only question: How did he lose six times?
During his first full season as a starter in 2004, Johan Santana enjoyed one of the best second halves of a season for a pitcher. He went 13-0 and achieved a 1.21 ERA to finish the season with a 20-6 record, 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts on the way to his first of two AL Cy Young awards.
I'm predicting John Maine being added to this list after this season.
Also, I left off a player who completed the task with another team, and later pitched on the Mets for one season. Orel Hershiser's 1988 season was recognized, which he pitched over 10 years before coming to the Mets.