The 5 greatest seasons for Angels pitchers

December 14th, 2020

ANAHEIM -- After ranking the Top 5 seasons by a position player in Angels history, it’s now time for a look at the Top 5 individual seasons by a pitcher in club history.

The Angels have had two Cy Young Award winners in their history and have seen their pitchers break some memorable records. Here’s the Top 5 individual seasons by a pitcher in club history, according to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.

1. Dean Chance, 1964
Chance had a breakout season as a 23-year-old in 1964, going 20-9 with a 1.65 ERA in 46 appearances, including 35 starts. He led the American League with 15 complete games, 11 shutouts (also an MLB high) and 278 1/3 innings pitched en route to winning the AL Cy Young Award and finishing fifth in the balloting for AL MVP. Chance put up 9.4 WAR, which ranks as the highest total by a pitcher in club history, according to Baseball-Reference.com. He's one of just two Angels pitchers to win a Cy Young, joining Bartolo Colon, who won it in 2005.

2. , 1973
In 1973, Ryan famously set the all-time single-season strikeout total with an incredible 383 strikeouts in 326 innings, topping Sandy Koufax's former record total by one. He threw the first two of his seven career no-hitters that year, on May 15 against the Royals and on July 15 against the Tigers. Ryan also went 21-16 with a 2.87 ERA for an Angels club that finished under .500 on the season. Ryan, who was in his age-25 season, finished second in the balloting for AL Cy Young behind Baltimore's Jim Palmer.

3. , 2008
Rodriguez had several incredible seasons with the Angels, but it's hard to argue with selecting 2008 as his best season, when he set the Major League saves record with 62. Rodriguez posted a 2.24 ERA and struck out 77 batters in 68 1/3 innings. He was an All-Star, and he finished third in the balloting for AL Cy Young and sixth for AL MVP. It was his best-ever finish in Cy Young Award voting, as he also finished fourth in '04 and '06. He was more dominant early in his career with his gaudy strikeout totals, but his single-season saves record still stands.

4. , 1976
It's difficult to pick Tanana's best season with the Angels, as he was consistently great each year from 1975-77. In '75, he led MLB with 269 strikeouts in 257 1/3 innings and was fourth in the balloting for AL Cy Young. In '76, he posted a career-best 2.43 ERA in 288 1/3 innings and was an All-Star for the first time. He also was third in the balloting for AL Cy Young and 15th for AL MVP. The next year, he led the AL with a 2.54 ERA and seven shutouts and finished ninth in the balloting for AL Cy Young. His 1976 season was chosen because he set career bests in innings pitched and ERA.

5. , 2005
It wasn't the most impressive season statistically, but Colon won the AL Cy Young Award in 2005 and was an All-Star while finishing 23rd in the balloting for AL MVP. Colon led the AL with 21 wins, which was a more prominent stat at the time, while posting a 3.48 ERA in 33 starts. He struck out 157 batters in 222 2/3 innings while walking 43 and giving up 26 homers. Colon's win total helped him get the nod for the award over Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and Twins ace Johan Santana.