1997 v. 2003: Staff Ace

Now that we have completed everything with the position players, here is a look at the Marlins All-World Series Team:

Here is then how the optimized starting lineup would look:

  1. Luis Castillo
  2. Derrick Lee
  3. Ivan Rodriguez
  4. Mike Lowell
  5. Gary Sheffield
  6. Juan Pierre
  7. Miguel Cabrera
  8. Edgar Renteria
  9. Pitcher/Jeff Conine

A major motto for both Marlins World Series teams have preached pitching. The Marlins have talented young staffs that have led them to each of their World Championship bids. Today we are going to look at the staff aces of the 1997 and 2003 teams.

Kevin Brown was the ace of the 1997 team for the Marlins. Brown had signed with the Marlins after the 1995 season. Brown went 17-11 in his first season with the Fish. Brown posted an MLB best and still a Marlins record today ERA of 1.89. Unfortunately for Brown, he finished second in CY Young Award voting, behind John Smoltz. Brown threw a one hitter vs the Los Angeles Dodgers and a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants that season. In the National League Championship Series that season, Brown, with a flu, pitched a complete game in Game Six, defeating the Atlanta Braves, helping the Marlins reach their first World Series. Immediately after the Marlins won the World Series, Brown was traded to the San Diego Padres for Derrick Lee and prospects. Lee of course is the Marlins starting first baseman in the All-World Series team.

Josh Beckett was the ace of the 2003 World Series team. Beckett was a Marlins product all the way. The Marlins drafted Beckett with the number 2 pick in 1999, behind the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays selecting Josh Hamilton. Beckett went on to make his MLB debut for the Fish in 2001 versus the Chicago Cubs. Injuries (most frequently blister problems) limited him to only 99 starts (102 appearances) from 2002 to 2005. Josh Beckett behind his stellar postseason won the World Series MVP in 2003. One of the most underrated starts in MLB postseason has to be Game 5 of the NLCS. Beckett shut down the Cubs in order to keep the Marlins alive, before Steve Bartman gave them all the life they needed. Beckett pitched two more seasons for the Marlins after the World Series. Beckett and Lowell were then traded to the Boston Red Sox for current Marlins Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez.

Here is a comparison of stats between the two. We will look at both stats from their respective World Series seasons and their playoff stats.

 

Pitcher  IP ERA FIP BABIP K% BB%  WAR
Kevin Brown 237.1 2.69 2.94 .300 21.0%  6.8% 6.4
Josh Beckett 142 3.04 2.94 .322 25.3%  9.3% 3.9

 

Brown’s innings pitched and durability certainly give him an advantage over Beckett and his lack of ability to stay healthy. Here are a look at both pitchers post season numbers.

 

Pitcher  IP ERA FIP BABIP K% BB%  GS
Kevin Brown 33.0 4.91 4.35 .307 15.9%  7.2% 5
Josh Beckett 42.2 2.11 2.66 .186 29.4%  7.5% 5

 

Beckett had a strong campaign in 2003 before posting even stronger numbers in the post season. Brown pitched amazingly in 1997, but in the post season, he was not the same pitcher. He did however have a key complete game shutout to get the Marlins to the World Series.

Who do you guys think was the better staff ace for the Marlins All-World Series team? Unlike with the position players, the losing pitcher will be on the staff regardless, at least for the ace.

Sep 16, 2011; Boston, MA, USA; Former Marlins starting pitcher Josh Beckett (19) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Who was the better World Series Ace?

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Topics: Anibal Sanchez, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Derrick Lee, Edgar Renteria, Gary Sheffield, Hanley Ramirez, Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Conine, John Smoltz, Josh Hamilton, Juan Pierre, Kevin Brown, Los Angeles Dodgers, Luis Castillo, Marlins, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Lowell, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

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