MLB ERA Leaders By Year—2000s
Sure, wins and strikeouts are important statistics for a pitcher. But there is no stat more telling than earned run average, or ERA. That's the one that is a pitcher's average of earned runs allowed per nine innings. It's pretty rare for a pitcher to have an ERA under 2.00, but it has happened a few times recently. Here is a complete list of those MLB leaders in the current decade:
2007-Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres (2.54)
Since coming into the league in 2001, Jake Peavy has slowly become one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. The Padres star has led the majors in ERA twice in the last four years. In 2007, Peavy had a career high 19 wins against six losses with a league low ERA of 2.54. He also struck out 240 with just 68 walks in 223 innings of work on his way to winning his first NL Cy Young Award.
2006-Johan Santana, Minnesota Twins (2.77)
On his way to winning his second AL Cy Young Award in three years, Twins' lefty Johan Santana was again dominant in 2006. That season, he went 19-6 with a 2.77 ERA, an amazing feat for an American League pitcher, where DH's roam the batter's boxes. Santana struck out 245 with just 47 walks in 233 innings of work.
2005-Roger Clemens, Houston Astros (1.87)
In helping the Astros reach their first World Series ever in 2005, Roger Clemens also led the majors with a stunning low 1.87 earned run average. Clemens went 13-8 with 185 strikeouts to only 62 walks in 211 innings of work, all at the age of 42.
2004-Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres (2.27)
2004 was officially the year Jake Peavy started to become dominant. He went 15-6 with a major league best 2.27 ERA and 173 strikeouts to just 53 walks in 166 innings pitched.
2003-Pedro Martinez, Boston Red Sox (2.22)
Talk about dominance. In the early part of the decade, Boston's Pedro Martinez was about as dominant as any pitcher in baseball history. In 2003, Martinez led the majors in ERA for the third time in four years, an even more amazing feat when you consider he pitched in the less-friendly-for-pitchers American League. Martinez went 14-4 that season with a 2.22 ERA and 206 strikeouts to just 47 walks in 186 innings of work.
2002-Pedro Martinez, Boston Red Sox (2.26)
For as great a career as Martinez had, 2002 was only one of two seasons that he had 20 or more wins. That year, Martinez went 20-4 with a 2.26 ERA (to lead the majors again) with 239 strikeouts to just 40 walks in 199 innings pitched.
2001-Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks (2.49)
At the age of 37, lefty Randy Johnson had perhaps his best overall season in helping the D-backs to a World Series title. That season, Johnson went 21-6 with a league low 2.49 earned run average. He also struck out a career high 372 batters with just 71 walks in 249 innings pitched. Johnson also won his third of four straight NL Cy Young Awards.
2000-Pedro Martinez, Boston Red Sox (1.74)
In winning his third AL Cy Young Award in four seasons, Boston pitcher Pedro Martinez had an incredible year in 2000. His season was highlighted by a league-best and career-low 1.74 ERA, and Martinez went 18-6 with 284 strikeouts and only 32 walks in 217 innings of work.