Pedro Martinez was a better pitcher than Roger Clemens. The basic premise is that the pitcher’s job is to prevent the opposition from scoring. Pedro did that better than Roger.

Pedro Became Baseball’s Best Pitcher in 1997

Originally signed by Los Angeles as an amateur free agent in 1988, Pedro was a young pitcher with great potential, but the Dodgers wouldn’t wait.

In one of the worst trades ever, Los Angeles sent Pedro Martinez to Montreal for second baseman Delino DeShields in 1993.

Pedro became the best pitcher in baseball in 1997, when he won 17, lost eight, and led National League pitchers in ERA (1.90), WHIP (0.932), fewest hits per nine innings (5.89), strikeouts per nine innings (11.37), and complete games (13).

Financially-challenged Montreal could not afford to keep Pedro. In November 1997, they sent him to Boston for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas.

From 1997-2003, Pedro was the most dominating pitcher in baseball.

He won 118 games and lost only 36, for an incredible .766 winning percentage.

Pedro was 23-4 in 1999 and 20-4 in 2002. He had over 300 strikeouts in two different seasons.

During that seven year span, his ERA was 2.20 and his WHIP (Walks Hits Innings Pitched) was an amazing 0.940. Pedro allowed only 1009 hits in 1408 innings.

Roger Clemens’s Best Seven Seasons

Roger Clemens’s best seven-season span occurred from 1986-1992, but let’s tilt the comparison in favor of Roger by selecting the best seven seasons of Roger’s career.

Roger won 20 or more games in all but one of his top seven seasons (’86-’88, ’90, ’98, ’98, and ’01).

His ERA was 2.64, his WHIP was 1.093, and in 1747 innings he allowed only 1415 hits. He won 144 and lost 47 for a .754 percentage.

Pedro Tops Roger

Pedro Martinez allowed fewer hits per inning, fewer walks per inning, fewer runs per nine innings, and recorded more strikeouts per nine innings than Roger Clemens in their best seven seasons.

Lifetime, Pedro has a 2.93 ERA. Roger’s is 3.12.

Pedro allows fewer hits per nine innings (7.10 to7.67), averages more strikeouts (10.00 to 8.56), and yields fewer walks. Pedro’s lifetime WHIP is 1.054 compared to Roger’s 1.173.

Clemens’ Longevity

Whether one compares their best (peak) seven seasons or their lifetime totals, Pedro prevented the opposition from scoring more effectively.

One must be impressed by Clemens’s longevity and by his 354 lifetime wins, but even there, Clemens’s won-loss percentage is .658, compared to Pedro’s .687.

Clemens had a longer career, but Pedro had a better one.


Pedro Martinez at Baseball Reference

Roger Clemens at Baseball Reference

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