#1: Randy Johnson: Innings Pitched: 1838.1, Earned Runs: 698, 3.417226 ERA
Talk about a candidate for What-if Wednesdays. Can you imagine what could’ve been if Randy Johnson would’ve stayed with the Mariners and put together something similar to what he did with the Diamondbacks?
I’m not saying he would’ve won a title with the Mariners (again, maybe we could cover it in a what-if article) but The Big Unit turned into an entirely different animal once he left Seattle.
He got to Seattle back in 1989 during the Langston trade. He was a menace on the mound, but was pretty wild. From his first full season in 1990-1992, Johnson led the league in walks with 416 in 631.1 innings, for a rate of 5.9/9. He still had just a 3.79 ERA over that span, but starting in 1993, things would change and you would see him start to turn into the truly dominant presence we remember him to be.
He never had over 100 walks in a season again, dropping his rate from 1993-1997 to 3.3/9. He would also strikeout over 290 hitters three different times in that span, and post a K rate of 11.6/9. His ERA (2.86), FIP (2.82), and WHIP (1.102) were all incredible during that stretch and saw him turn into a true Ace on the mound.
If not for a rough start to 1998, where he had a 4.33 ERA (but just a 3.35 FIP), Randy easily would’ve had the best team ERA in history at 3.33. Alas, we can only cut stats when we are trying to prove a point, not when it comes to the record book. If he would’ve given up one more run, he would actually fall back to 3rd. For now, and the foreseeable future, Randy Johnson takes the rightful title as the Mariners all-time ERA leader in their history.
Regardless of which one of these four pitchers are your favorite, or which one you would prefer to see on the mound, the Mariners were lucky to have all of them. Now, you have a random bit of sports knowledge as well to try and stump people when it comes to trivia.