Starting Pitcher #2 – Mickey Lolich
Mickey Lolich’s statistics fit better in the modern day than they did in his own time. In an era in which the average pitcher struck out roughly 15% of the batters he faced, Lolich consistently put up strikeout rates of 20% and above (even peaking at 23.1% in 1969). He currently holds the franchise record for strikeouts at 2,679.
Lolich never won a Cy Young Award, but he did make three American League All-Star teams as a member of the Tigers and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1968 World Series. Teammate Denny McLain had the better regular season and was named the Game 1 starting pitcher for the Tigers, but it was Lolich’s dominance that helped to secure the World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Each of his three World Series starts that year (the postseason consisted of only the World Series in that day) were complete game victories. He allowed a total of five runs (1.67 ERA) and struck out 21 batters (20% of the batters he faced).
For his regular season career in Detroit Lolich pitched a total of 3361.2 innings (fourth most in franchise history) with 207 wins (third most) and a 3.45 ERA.
Next: Starting Pitcher #3