In 1986 Sports Illustrated called Roger Craig “the acknowledged maestro of the split-fingered fastball.” In 1985 he taught the split-finger to the Astros Mike Scott, who won the 1986 Cy Young award. Craig had previously managed the 1978-79 Padres and served as a scout and pitching coach, notably in Detroit, where he taught Jack Morris the split-finger. As a manager, Craig is noted for one-run tactics and for calling lots of pitchouts. He won the NL West title in 1987 and the NL pennant in 1989.
With the fledgling Mets in 1962-63, Craig became the first pitcher to lead the NL in losses two straight years (24 in 1962, 22 in 1963). He tied a league record in 1963 by dropping 18 straight decisions. Conversely, he tied for the NL lead with four shutouts for Los Angeles in 1959, and won two World Series games, one each with Brooklyn and St. Louis.