Another great Dodger laid to rest. Although he won 324 games, as many as Nolan Ryan, he was rarely the first starter for any club (he made the All-Star team only four times in 23 seasons in MLB). He did have a great run in the early 70s, but for most of his career I guess you can argue that he was the greatest “second starter” of all time. Even in the twilight of his career, he was still a dependable guy in the rotation:

Age 39: 14-12
Age 40: 15-10
Age 41: 13-8
Age 42: 15-11

For a Hall of Fame pitcher, he had an odd run of bad luck in World Series action. He made it into the Series four times, three with LA and one with the Brewers, but those teams lost all four.

The Brewers held a 3-2 series lead in 1982 (the “Harvey’s Wallbangers” year) when Sutton got the nod to start game six of the World Series against the Cardinals. He was hammered hard in a 13-1 shellacking which allowed the Cards to tie the series and knock all the wind out of the Brewers’ sails.

The 1978 Series was even more embarrassing. After Burt Hooton and Tommy John staked the Dodgers to a 2-0 lead, Sutton dropped game three, then came back to lose the final game as well, allowing the hated Yankees to win the whole magilla.

4 thoughts on “RIP Don Sutton

  1. They’re a strong #3 in my rooting heart, a little behind my local Nats (2), and my beloved Tribe. Vin Scully introduced me to baseball. In 1959 they almost had to do a transistorectomy to take the radio out of my ear. Haven’t lived there since mid ’61. NE Ohio & DC area.

  2. Still not happy about his choice of when and when not to stink in big games.
    Stunk for the Dodgers (bad) and did not stink for the Brewers in the last ’82 game against the O’s (worse) which caused the last good Weaver team not to make the playoffs. Always thought they would have killed the Cards in the WS (mainly due to better catching and pitching). God I hated that St. Louis carpetball crap.
    But then he was the #4 in the not half bad LA 66 rotation. Koufax, Drysdale, Osteen, Sutton. An Alston man, not a Tommy man.
    RIP Don

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