In case you haven’t noticed, Matt Harvey has a problem. Too many no-decisions. It’s the same problem Felix Hernandez had in 2012 when he nevertheless won the AL Cy Young award with a pedestrian 13 wins. Harvey, who is leading the NL in strikeouts, is locked in a battle for this year’s NL Cy Young Award with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who is leading the league in ERA. Harvey has nine wins (to Kershaw’s 11) but has 11 no-decisions. Not a good ratio. (Kershaw has but seven no-decisions). When King Felix won the AL Cy Young in 2012, he had 11 no-decisions, but fortunately Cy Young voters seem to be putting less and less emphasis on victories. Because the game has changed so much over the past 20 years, with so much more emphasis on specialized late-inning relief pitching, starting pitchers are getting fewer and fewer wins. We are almost certain to never see another 300-game winner and it is a wonder if perhaps even the 200-win plateau will soon become extinct. Of the active pitchers with less than 200 wins, Bartolo Colon, with 185, is the closest, followed by Mark Buehrle at 183 and, after that, Barry Zito at 164. Tigers workhorse Justin Verlander would figure to be the most likely active pitcher to sail past the 200-win plateau, but he’s only at 137.
But getting back to Harvey: Overall, the Mets ace has 12 wins and 13 no-decisions. A lot of this also has to do with the decrease in runs. According to the Elias Bureau, the 8.39 runs-per-game this year is the lowest since 8.23 in 1992. Fewer runs lead to more close games in the late innings and more reason, especially in the National League, for managers to lift their starters. Because of baseball’s ban on amphetamines, runs per game figure to remain at this low level, or drop even further, and more and more we’re going to see pitchers racking up as many or more no-decisions as victiories, leading one to wonder if there will come a time when the Baseball Writers Association will be voting pitchers into the Hall of Fame with more no-decisions than victories. For the record, Tommy John, with 288 wins, has the most lifetime no-decisions, with 188, but in the years to come we are likely to see, for the first time, pitchers with 100 or more wins with even more no-decisions.
Posted: August 18, 2013 at 06:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
Login to Bookmark