Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2003 Topps Record Breakers John Smoltz

" He's [John Smoltz] survived trade rumors and fortunately they [Braves organization] didn't take him up on his offer at the beginning of the 1995 season to move to the bull pen to be a closer. I don't know what kind of a closer he'd be. He's a nervous wreck at times. Being put in a tough spot every day, I don't know if he could live with that." ~ from 'None but the Braves', Tom Glavine's 1996 autobiography.

2003 Topps Record Breakers #JS John Smoltz
As good as Smoltzie was in 2002, when he set the N.L. record for saves in a season, his 2003 campaign was even more dominant in certain areas. Sure, he appeared in fewer innings (64.1 vs. 80.1) in 13 fewer games, with 10 fewer saves, but topped his '02s numbers in WHIP  (0.870 vs. 1.033), BB/9 (1.6 per 9 fewer), SO/9 (10.2 vs. 9.5), SO/BB ratio (9.13 vs. 3.54), ERA (1.12 vs. 3.25). Two other stats, however, reveal he wasn't as effective in other areas: his '02 save percentage topped the '03 campaign (93% -to-92%), and his IS% (inherited score) dropped significantly from 20% to 37% . Still, over the course of four seasons, Smoltzie proved Glavine was completely wrong in his assessment of John's mentality.

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