The Twins finished with a 66-96 record in 2012 and the teams starting pitching was blamed for the teams poor play. The teams starting pitching had a league worst 5.40 ERA and the starters posted a 39-75 record. As a whole the entire pitching staff posted a 4.77 ERA which is the seventh worst in team history. Previous Twins teams that had higher ERA’s than the 2012 Twins were –
The 1995 team had a 5.76 ERA and finished with a 56-88 mark.
The 1994 team had a 5.68 ERA and finished with a 53-60 mark.
The 1996 team had a 5.28 ERA and finished with a 78-84 mark.
The 2000 team had a 5.14 ERA and finished with a 69-93 mark.
The 1999 team had a 5.00 ERA and finished with a 63-97 mark.
The 1997 team had a 5.00 ERA and finished with a 68-94 mark.
It is easy to forget some of the horrendous pitching staffs that Tom Kelly managed in the mid to late 90’s. But this article is not about how bad the Twins pitching has been over the years but instead is just laying some ground work to highlite some of the Twins best pitching performances over the years based simply on ERA. I know that ERA is not necessarily the best way to determine pitching quality but ERA has been around for a long time and provides us with a measurement tool of sort. The Twins have used many pitchers since the team moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season but I can only find 12 Twins pitchers, barely enough to comprise a pitching staff that have thrown 100 or more innings and posted an ERA of 2.50 or under in a single season. So lets take a look at who these pitchers were and the dominating season that they had.
1. Doug Corbett in his first season in the big leagues in 1980 pitched in 63 games, all in relief and posted a 1.98 ERA in 136.1 innings and had 23 saves to go along with his 8-6 record. Corbett was acquired by the Twins in December 1979 as a Rule 5 draftee from the Cincinnati Reds.
2. Bill Dailey in his first season in Minnesota and third in the big leagues in 1963 pitched in 66 games, all in relief and posted a 1.99 ERA in 108.2 innings and had 21 saves to go along with his 6-3 record.
3. Stan Williams in his 12 big league season and first as a Twin in 1970 pitched in 68 games, all in relief and posted a 1.99 ERA in 113.1 innings and had 15 saves to go along with his 10-1 record.
4. Jim Kaat was in his 12th season for the Twins and in 1972 had started 15 games before getting hurt in early July and sitting out the rest of the season. In this 15 games he pitched 113.1 innings and posted a 2.06 ERA to go along with his 10-2 record.
5. Ron Perranoski in his second season in Minnesota in 1969 appeared in 75 games, all in relief and posted a 2.11 ERA in 119.2 innings and had a league leading 31 saves to go along with his 9-10 record.
6. Francisco Liriano in his first full season as a Twin in 2006 appeared in 28 games starting 16 of them and posted a 2.16 ERA in 121 innings. Liriano put up a 12-3 record to go along with his first big league save.
7. Jim Perry in his 10th big league season and his 6th in Minnesota in 1968 appeared in 32 games starting 18 of them and posted a 2.27 ERA in 139 innings while notching 1 save to go along with his 8-6 record. Perry went on to win 20 games in 1969 and a league leading 24 wins in 1970 when he won the Cy Young award.
8. Ron Perranoski is the only pitcher to make this list twice. In 1970 Perranoski had a 2.43 ERA when appeared in 67 games throwing 111 innings and once again led the league in saves with 34 to go with his 7-8 won/lost record.
9. Allan Anderson had a breakout season in 1988 when he started 30 games throwing 202.1 innings and putting up a league leading 2.45 ERA to go along with his 16-9 record.
10. Camilo Pascual was in his 10th season with the Senators/Twins in 1963 when he started 31 games throwing 248.1 innings with a league leading 18 complete games and posted a nifty 2.46 ERA that went well with his 21-9 record.
11. Dave Goltz made the list in 1978 which was his 7th big league season with Minnesota when he had a 2.49 ERA when he started 29 games and pitched 220.1 innings going 15-10 and that was a season after he had won 20 games.
12. Tom Burgmeier was in his 9th big league season and third with the Twins in 1976 when he appeared in relief in 57 games when he pitched 115.1 innings posting a 2.50 ERA to go along with his 8-1 record.
So what kind of ERA did the Twins World Series teams have? The 1965 Twins pitching staff had a 3.14 ERA, the 1991 Twins put up a 3.69 ERA and the 1987 world champs had a 4.63 ERA.