I didn't want to belabor this, but I really don't understand your approach to the comparison between Ryan and Mussina.
(I acknowledge your general support for Ryan)
It seems like in the 'new' metrics era we choose to parse things down and as you are doing in several spots look at per game or per season numbers in comparison. That totaly ignores the totallity of what Ryan accomplished.
You glossed over the fact that he was the hardest pitcher to get a hit off of OF ALL TIME...
...and it's not like he did that in some limited scope of innings.....he's 5th ALL TIME in innings Pitched
.....and he struck out A LOT more batters than any other pitcher EVER.
How do you look at those 3 stats and pretend that Mussina accomplished anything even remotely close.
Ryan (as Matt point out) had 7 no-hitters covering 3 decades (4-70s, 1-80s, 2-90s) including his last one at 44 years old.....Mussina was retired for 5 years and Ryan was throwing a no hitter.......and it wasn't just random, he dominated that season with 173 innings over 27 starts, a 2.91 ERA, and struck out over 200 guys.
1st All-Time in no-hitters with 7 (next is Koufax with 4)
T-1st All-Time 1-hitters with 12
Threw 18 2-hitters.
He threw a more than a whole season of 0-1-2 hitters (37)
The guy was an absolute workhorse. He started 41 games one year and pitched 333 innings striking out 367. The year before he pitched 326 innings and struck out 383. He struck out more than 300 guys 6 times.
He completed 222 games which was 1 out of every 3.5 starts, Mussina completed 57 games about one every 9 starts.
He threw 61 shutouts, Mussina 23.
....and when people say 'well he just did that because of his innings'......ok.....but you have to be good enough to keep getting the innings and be effective in those innings. Could M8ussina pitched effectively for another 5-6-7 seasons or would he be getting crushed and Killing all his other numbers.
If you get out (for whatever reasons) you can't really dog the other guy for sticking around and continuing to dominate when you don't have to take your other hand out of your pocket to count the number of guys in MLB HISTORY that could do it.
Ryan's longevity was unbelievable and he's at the top of the chart in being able to dominate a game.
Mussina can't touch either of those credentials and those are the ones that matter most.
Mussina was a really, really good pitcher and I think he gets voted into the HoF (I'll guess 3rd ballot) and their plaques will be the same size, but Mussina can't touch Ryan in their career accomplishments which IS what makes your HoF case.
You may be asked to turn in your Ryan gear.
also.....you said Mussina's ERA was better, I'm guessing you meant ERA+ (MM 123, NY 112), because Ryan is 245th all-time at 3.19 and MM is 575th all-time at 3.68. Between the ages of 20 and 45, Ryan never posted an ERA over 4.00, MM ewas over 4.00 6 times.
1. I didn't gloss over anything. I stated that he had the lowest H/9 rate in history. However, you're falling into the trap that hits are all that matters.
He's not in the top-1000 of MLB pitchers in career walk rate. And for all those hits he didn't give up, his career WHIP is 276th. Mussina is 127. While a walk and a hit are not equal, a baserunner is a baserunner, and allowing baserunners is not a good thing.
2. On that same track, Ryan's K/BB rate is 271 overall. Mussina is 15.
3. I look at more than just those three stats. Declaring that those three are all that matters would be like declaring that WAR is all that matters.
4. You are not taking those inning numbers in context. He did pitch 300+ innings a season...when there were 4-man rotations. Once baseball moved to a five-man rotation (which he worked in for about 2/3 of his career) he offered innings totals much closer to today's numbers. That's why his yearly average is still very close to what Mussina did (since Mussina was also a workhorse).
5. If you are going to wonder about hypotheticals, look at Ryan's numbers through 18 seasons. Even taking out his first, bonus-baby year in 1966, his overall numbers through the 1985 season (18 years) aren't necessarily impressive for a pitcher of his era. He may have made the Hall based on the strikeouts and the five no-hitters, but he wouldn't have been first-ballot.
6. Finally, I didn't say that Mussina's ERA was better. I said that he has an ERA advantage. They pitched in two different eras, so you have to take those into context.
I didn't think it was necessary to point that out.