Frank Tanana, 1974
Stats: 14-19, 3.12 ERA, 12 CG, 268 2⁄3 IP, 180 SO, 110 ERA+, 3.49 FIP, 1.26 WHIP
Awards: Gold Glove Award
Baseball Reference WAR: 4.6
FanGraphs WAR: 3.6
Combined WAR: 4.1
Frank Tanana spent eight seasons with the Angels. We’ll be seeing his name a lot more on this list, but today we’ll be going over his 1974 campaign.
After starting only four games the year before, Tanana started 35 in his second season, and appeared in 39 games. Both of these were career highs for him, even with his career spanning 20 years.
1974 was a tale of two seasons for Tanana. His first half was pretty bad, and his second half was really good. Starting with the first half, he had an ERA of above four and opponents were hitting about .270 off of him. He was 6-14 through the beginning of August, and was nearly walking as many batters as he was striking out.
His season began to turn around on August 9, as he threw a one-run complete-game versus the Yankees. Over his final 13 starts, Tanana would go 8-5 with a 1.34 ERA. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was better than four-to-one, where as earlier in the year it was about 1.5 strikeouts per walk.
Not only was he preventing runs, he was eating innings. During that stretch, Tanana had six complete games, and had another three starts where he went at least eight innings.
Tanana was one of seven pitchers in Angels history to finish a season with at least 14 wins, 180 strikeouts and an ERA of below 3.12.