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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Morosi: Braves’ Hudson wins 200th game

As noted super scout, the amazing Chris Well pointed out…“Will Hudson be the last 200-game winner until the next one? Doubtful.”

Tuesday in Atlanta, Tim Hudson won the 200th game of his marvelous Major League Baseball career.

I hope you were paying attention.

Hudson became only the 110th pitcher in MLB history to accomplish the feat, according to STATS LLC. For context, 236 pitchers have thrown no-hitters. So, Hudson’s new distinction is more than twice as rare as having thrown a no-hitter.

... Now that Hudson has arrived, the focus turns to CC Sabathia (195). After that, the 200 Club will stop processing new applications this year. Derek Lowe is behind Sabathia with 176, but he’s now a 40-year-old middle reliever with the Rangers who’s unlikely to earn membership at all.

So, what does a 200-win career mean? Quite a lot, particularly since only 1.26 percent of pitchers in major league history have made it there. Strict sabermetricians probably disagree, because they fume at the continued existence of wins as a popular statistic. But pitching wins recognize two traits — longevity and, well, winning — that are highly valued among major league players, managers and coaches.

In that way, a 200-win career acts as a lifetime achievement award for many pitchers. And as fewer of them reach 300 and even 250 — as Pettitte, by the way, is about to do — then the 200-victory threshold will assume a greater importance.

Repoz Posted: May 01, 2013 at 05:16 AM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 01, 2013 at 07:36 AM (#4430359)
Looking at the list of active win leaders is a little discouraging.

Mark Buehrle was chugging along, but he;s 34 years old, 175 wins, and at 13 wins a year, not going to accumulate lots of wins very fast.

Cliff Lee is also 34 years old, and has 127 wins.

Verlander is at 127 wins at age 30, and appears to be overwhelming the guy behind Sabathia with the best chance of amassing an impressive career win total. The list of guys with 125 or more wins on the list is filled with guys that are older than you think, or got hurt on the way to greatness...
   2. Honkie Kong Posted: May 01, 2013 at 07:47 AM (#4430360)
Sweet way to get to 200.
Hit a 2B and a HR, plus 7 typical Huddy innings.

Will be a pity if he has to leave the Braves after this season. One of my favourite players.
   3. bunyon Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:07 AM (#4430366)
I think sabermetricians scoff at wins as the "best" indicator of pitching talent, or even value. But over the span of a career, I don't know many who think the stat irrelevant. It may not be the most accurate - a 220 win guy may be better than a 250 win guy - but no one wins 200 without being pretty good.

Someone will probably come along and prove me wrong, but I think most people recognize round numbers in inaccurate stats as still being pretty cool.
   4. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:25 AM (#4430371)
but no one wins 200 without being pretty good.

No doubt. You've got to be a hell of a pitcher to last that long.
   5. pikepredator Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:26 AM (#4430373)
Yeah bunyon I think Morosi is confusing the single game/single season level with career. Morris and Reuschel are for me the two endpoints on the "Wins/value" spectrum, both won over 200 and I think the two factions would fight to the death over who had the better career. There's no convincing a morris fan reuschel was better, and vice versa. but they are outliers, you don't get over 200 without either a high peak or being durable. as more and more great young pitchers get hurt, the value of durability for 15+ seasons goes up in my mind.

Balboni as I looked over that list . . . Johan Santana had 115 wins through his age 29 season. now he's cooked. I'm not a Twins fan and generally don't feel bad for athletes, but that collapse really sucks.
   6. Chris Fluit Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:30 AM (#4430377)
Despite the unnecessary slam, I like the description of 200, 250 and 300 wins as lifetime achievement awards. You have to be good for a long time to get them, even if they're not necessarily the best indicators of excellence.
   7. bobm Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:30 AM (#4430378)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2013, through age 29, (requiring year_min>=1960), sorted by greatest wins

                                                                 
Rk                Player   W From   To   Age   G  GS  CG   L W-L%
1         Catfish Hunter 184 1965 1975 19-29 402 379 146 127 .592
2            CC Sabathia 157 2001 2010 20-29 322 322  30  88 .641
3          Dwight Gooden 157 1984 1994 19-29 305 303  67  85 .649
4          Bert Blyleven 156 1970 1980 19-29 387 382 150 141 .525
5              Vida Blue 156 1969 1979 19-29 342 331 124 110 .586
6          Roger Clemens 152 1984 1992 21-29 273 272  89  72 .679
7             Jim Palmer 152 1965 1975 19-29 307 281 123  80 .655
8           Ken Holtzman 151 1965 1975 19-29 348 336 108 124 .549
9            Greg Maddux 150 1986 1995 20-29 301 297  70  93 .617
10          Dave McNally 148 1962 1972 19-29 335 309  90  86 .632
11            Tom Seaver 146 1967 1974 22-29 283 278 133  87 .627
12         Juan Marichal 144 1960 1967 22-29 253 246 140  68 .679
13   Fernando Valenzuela 141 1980 1990 19-29 331 320 107 116 .549
14            Don Sutton 139 1966 1974 21-29 332 318  99 113 .552
15         Larry Dierker 137 1964 1976 17-29 345 320 106 117 .539
16        Fergie Jenkins 135 1965 1972 22-29 304 246 142  93 .592
17      Dennis Eckersley 134 1975 1984 20-29 318 302  93 110 .549
18           Jim Maloney 134 1960 1969 20-29 282 255  74  80 .626
19           Joe Coleman 133 1965 1976 18-29 385 328  92 131 .504
20         Steve Carlton 133 1965 1974 20-29 310 292 131 105 .559
21        Pedro Martinez 132 1992 2001 20-29 296 229  36  59 .691
...
26      Justin Verlander 124 2005 2012 22-29 232 232  20  65 .656
27           Tom Glavine 124 1987 1995 21-29 262 262  33  82 .602
...
30            Nolan Ryan 122 1966 1976 19-29 294 260 116 116 .513
...
33          Mike Mussina 118 1991 1998 22-29 223 223  35  59 .667
...
53         Johan Santana 109 2000 2008 21-29 285 209   9  51 .681
...
56           Jack Morris 107 1977 1984 22-29 232 210  82  75 .588
...
60            Tim Hudson 106 1999 2005 23-29 212 212  18  48 .688


   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:43 AM (#4430387)
good for tim Hudson. congrats to him
   9. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: May 01, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4430433)
Fewest losses when winnning #200, lively ball era:

79: Whitey Ford
83: Lefty Grove
84: Pedro Martinez
97: Juan Marichal
101: Randy Johnson
102: Roy Halladay
105: Tim Hudson
107: Carl Hubbell
108: Jim Palmer
111: Roger Clemens
112: Andy Pettitte
112: Mike Mussina
113: Tom Seaver
114: Greg Maddux
   10. salvomania Posted: May 01, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4430477)
Looking at that list, one key is getting an early start. The guys who don't get established until 24 or 25 are going to have a lot of catching up to do. Not that it can't be done--just ask Jamie Moyer, or Phil Niekro.
   11. ajnrules Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4430509)
Meh, I don't think the 200-win club is close to being dead. Sure, we just went through a drought of almost 4 years between Andy Pettitte and Tim Wakefield, but there's been plenty of longer droughts over the years. There were four full year between Robin Roberts in 1958 and Billy Pierce in 1962, as well as Eddie Cicotte in 1920 and Wilbur Cooper in 1924. I think Mark Buehrle can get to 200 within four years.

Anyways, congrats to Tim Hudson. We'll see if he has another 100 wins left in him to become a true Hall of Fame lock.
   12. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: May 01, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4430539)
Verlander is at 127 wins at age 30, and appears to be overwhelming the guy behind Sabathia with the best chance of amassing an impressive career win total.

He still needs 173 wins to get to 300. That's a lot. He'll need to win 20 games a year until he's 39 to do that.

Does anyone really believe CC will get close to 300 before the wheels come off?
   13. DL from MN Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4430552)
Good point in #9 - 200 wins doesn't look especially impressive historically but 100 more wins than losses gets into some rarer company.

I don't think people adjusted their "win" expectations for the 5 man rotation. It's just harder to get 300 wins with 33 starts a year than it is with 40 starts a year. 250 wins post-1980 is about the same accomplishment as 300 wins pre-1970.
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4430553)
Meh, I don't think the 200-win club is close to being dead.


Wait? Is this a thing? Are people questioning if there will be more 200 game winners? Of course there will be. 300 game winners are rare (but there will be more.) 200 game winners are good pitchers with long careers.
   15. DL from MN Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4430556)
BTW - I haven't seen anyone post an article here discussing that Mariano Rivera came back awesome.
   16. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4430571)
I don't think people adjusted their "win" expectations for the 5 man rotation. It's just harder to get 300 wins with 33 starts a year than it is with 40 starts a year.


Clemens and Maddux both pitched entire careers in a five man rotation and won over 350 games...
   17. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4430575)
but no one wins 200 without being pretty good.

No doubt. You've got to be a hell of a pitcher to last that long.


Yup. Plus if you're pretty good you also probably don't get two bad years and out, which is a lot more likely if your true talent ERA+ is 96.

Funny, though. You'd think there'd be one or two guys who were averagey, durable, and could go out year after year and go 12-12, 13-15, 13-12... Maybe those guys just have nowhere to fall, and the almost inevitable aging curve means you have to start out with an ERA+ of 120 to hang on at the end with an ERA+ of 90 to get to 200...

Still--I'd like to see a completely average, very durable pitcher chug along and get to 200 wins with a career ERA of 93. It might be like Tom Brunansky hanging on long enough to hit 500 home runs.
   18. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4430585)
Still--I'd like to see a completely average, very durable pitcher chug along and get to 200 wins with a career ERA of 93. It might be like Tom Brunansky hanging on long enough to hit 500 home runs.

Hell, the Royals will probably stick with Hochevar until he gets to 200 wins.
   19. Chris Fluit Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4430589)
Do you mean like Joe Niekro? (224 wins with a career ERA+ of 98)
Or do you mean like Barry Zito? (163 wins and counting)
   20. Danny Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4430601)
Clemens and Maddux both pitched entire careers in a five man rotation and won over 350 games...

True, though it seems more teams are now going with strict rotations rather than skipping the 5th starter when possible. Maddux started 35+ games 9 times in his career. No one has started 35+ games since 2010, and no pitcher has multiple 25+ GS seasons from 2005 to the present.

It's not a huge difference, but it does make it tougher to stack wins.
   21. Cowboy Popup Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4430614)
Does anyone really believe CC will get close to 300 before the wheels come off?

105 left to go, he's 32 and he's on the Yanks for another 3 or 4 seasons (which, presumably will help him win games after this year). He's lost a decent amount of velocity the last couple of years and he's still missing bats and keeping runs off the board. I'm not really sure why you think his wheels will come off in the next 6-7 years. He's got the command, control and breaking pitches to be worth a spot in a rotation even if he is throwing 87. I think he's as close to a lock as you can be at 195 wins.
   22. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 01, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4430617)
Funny, though. You'd think there'd be one or two guys who were averagey, durable, and could go out year after year and go 12-12, 13-15, 13-12... Maybe those guys just have nowhere to fall, and the almost inevitable aging curve means you have to start out with an ERA+ of 120 to hang on at the end with an ERA+ of 90 to get to 200...

Still--I'd like to see a completely average, very durable pitcher chug along and get to 200 wins with a career ERA of 93.


Chris gives a couple of OK examples. I think the problem with what you are suggesting is that getting to 200 wins while averaging 13 wins a year requires 14 years. Guys just don't linger at such a level. Buehrle is perceived as such but he's really been much better than I think most people realize.

An averagish pitcher who gets to 200 wins is still going to have to have a couple years of 18-19 wins (I like the Zito comp on that front). It's kind of like the Johnny Damon/Edgar Renteria 3000 hit stories in recent years. You need to great year to get to that level and you need to be high enough to avoid getting to a point where you aren't getting jobs anymore (as Jack noted).
   23. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4430621)

Does anyone really believe CC will get close to 300 before the wheels come off?


If forced to make a prediction I'd say no because I find taking the under on pitcher career totals is usually the right call. Having said that Sabathia is pitcher I'd rank first in the likelihood of getting to 300 for all the reasons Cowboy Popup noted.

Now if Wieters pitched, he'd probably have 300 already.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4430629)
He still needs 173 wins to get to 300. That's a lot. He'll need to win 20 games a year until he's 39 to do that.

Does anyone really believe CC will get close to 300 before the wheels come off?


As someone usually points out in these threads, the guys who get to 300 usually don't do it by averaging a high number of wins until their late 30's, they do it by pitching into their mid-forties. Glavine pitched until 42, The Unit 45, Nolan Ryan 46, etc etc....
   25. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4430630)
Really happy for Huddy, he was my favorite of the Big Three back in Oakland and I was crushed when we traded him (even more so after we got to see the results!)
   26. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4430652)
How's Chucky Thomas doing for you guys these days?
   27. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4430661)
How's Chucky Thomas doing for you guys these days?

Why you gotta be like that?
   28. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4430664)
Why you gotta be like that?


Don't gotta. Just enjoy it.
   29. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4430676)
Don't gotta. Just enjoy it.

Goddammit. Stop leading me into these argumentative cul-de-sacs today. Jerk.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: May 01, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4430696)
So, what does a 200-win career mean? Quite a lot, particularly since only 1.26 percent of pitchers in major league history have made it there. Strict sabermetricians probably disagree, because they fume at the continued existence of wins as a popular statistic. But pitching wins recognize two traits — longevity and, well, winning — that are highly valued among major league players, managers and coaches.


Strawman, thy name is Morosi.

They fume at the usage of wins without context. Or improper context. They fume at looking at wins ahead of other stats. They fume at attaching more significance to the stat without understanding how the player got there.


I don't think people adjusted their "win" expectations for the 5 man rotation. It's just harder to get 300 wins with 33 starts a year than it is with 40 starts a year. 250 wins post-1980 is about the same accomplishment as 300 wins pre-1970.


Who was getting 40 starts a year? One or two guys maybe a season. Lefty Grove never had 40, and had 3 only seasons with more than 33, Early Wynn never had more than 37 in a year, Seaver never had more than 36... Sure you have your Perry, Niekro's who did get a couple of seasons of 40, but for the most part the difference between the true five man rotation(which they are using now) and in the past, the 4 1/2 man rotation comes out to on average about 3-5 starts... Yes over the course of a career that comes out to be about a full season of extra starts(pretty much nobody had more than 10 seasons with more than 33 starts), but players careers are also lasting longer, so it's a wash. The problem is not the number of starts, as there has not really been a drop in that for an all star career, the problem is that the number of decisions per season(which is a direct result of innings pitched per start) is hampering their numbers.

I'm fairly certain that there has been a slight improvement in a pitchers ability to keep the win when leaving a game with the lead than there was in the past, but it doesn't wash out the lack of innings pitched.
   31. DL from MN Posted: May 01, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4430729)
Clemens and Maddux both pitched entire careers in a five man rotation and won over 350 games...


Which is one reason why they're two of the top 10 pitchers in the history of baseball.
   32. DL from MN Posted: May 01, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4430740)
Who was getting 40 starts a year? One or two guys maybe a season.


Who is getting 34 starts a year now? 10 or fewer a season.
   33. DanG Posted: May 01, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4430774)
Active in 2013, 150-199 wins

Player               W   L ERAPitchW Born     IP   SO  ERA
       CC Sabathia 195 104  125  25.21 1980 2607.1 2250 3.50
        Derek Lowe 176 157  110   9.60 1973 2667.2 1720 4.00
      Mark Buehrle 175 133  118  19.06 1979 2707.1 1540 3.85
     Bartolo Colon 174 122  112  12.99 1973 2425.1 1853 4.04
        Barry Zito 163 133  109   9.79 1978 2463.2 1818 3.92 


Others born in the 80's with 90+ wins

Player               W   L ERAPitchW Born     IP   SO  ERA
      Josh Beckett 132  98  112  10.32 1980 1922.1 1778 3.92
  Justin Verlander 127  67  130  18.36 1983 1593.0 1495 3.36
        Jake Peavy 123  94  116  14.19 1981 1832.1 1787 3.46
         Dan Haren 121 100  114  11.11 1980 1901.0 1605 3.69
      Jered Weaver 102  53  128  15.17 1982 1331.1 1125 3.25
   Felix Hernandez 101  78  128  17.28 1986 1663.0 1531 3.18
       Brett Myers  97  96   99   0.21 1980 1710.0 1379 4.25
      Zack Greinke  92  78  115   9.88 1983 1503.1 1342 3.75
       Cole Hamels  92  63  125  14.05 1983 1414.1 1341 3.38 
   34. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 01, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4430775)
Who is getting 34 starts a year now? 10 or fewer a season.


I'm going with "not Stephen Strasburg."
   35. BDC Posted: May 01, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4430780)
As always, career milestones correlate pretty well with peak achievement. Somewhat less so for pitchers than hitters, because lots of guys have a great pitching year or two and then disappear completely. Even so, if a guy wins 200 games you figure that he'd won 20 a few times, been a star, a Cy Young candidate (or equivalent) at least. Even Joe Niekro had a couple of 20-win seasons in the midst of being an ordinary regular, even a journeyman, much of his career.

Charlie Hough had a lot of seasons on the way to 216-216 when he went 15-13 or thereabouts, with ungreat ERAs. His best career W-L record was just 17-10. Between his team and his park, most people did think of him as a pretty darn good pitcher, though. I sense his rep used to be "Why do we have to face that tough SOB," not "meh, he's just some plugger who's been around forever."
   36. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 01, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4430781)
I'm going with "not Stephen Strasburg."

Next year he'll be the world's first 35 start 36 innings pitched pitcher...
   37. bobm Posted: May 01, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4430831)
For single seasons, From 1901 to 2013, For players in the saved report : (250+ Wins), (requiring W>=20), sorted by greatest Seasons matching criteria

                                                       
Rk                     Yrs From   To                Age
1         Warren Spahn  13 1947 1963 26-42 Ind. Seasons
2    Christy Mathewson  13 1901 1914 20-33 Ind. Seasons
3       Walter Johnson  12 1910 1925 22-37 Ind. Seasons
4       Pete Alexander   9 1911 1927 24-40 Ind. Seasons
5           Jim Palmer   8 1970 1978 24-32 Ind. Seasons
6          Lefty Grove   8 1927 1935 27-35 Ind. Seasons
7          Eddie Plank   8 1902 1915 26-39 Ind. Seasons
8       Fergie Jenkins   7 1967 1974 24-31 Ind. Seasons
9        Roger Clemens   6 1986 2001 23-38 Ind. Seasons
10       Steve Carlton   6 1971 1982 26-37 Ind. Seasons
11       Robin Roberts   6 1950 1955 23-28 Ind. Seasons
12          Bob Feller   6 1939 1951 20-32 Ind. Seasons
13         Tom Glavine   5 1991 2000 25-34 Ind. Seasons
14          Tom Seaver   5 1969 1977 24-32 Ind. Seasons
15       Gaylord Perry   5 1966 1978 27-39 Ind. Seasons
16          Bob Gibson   5 1965 1970 29-34 Ind. Seasons
17          Early Wynn   5 1951 1959 31-39 Ind. Seasons
18        Carl Hubbell   5 1933 1937 30-34 Ind. Seasons
19     Burleigh Grimes   5 1920 1928 26-34 Ind. Seasons
20         Red Ruffing   4 1936 1939 31-34 Ind. Seasons
21          Eppa Rixey   4 1916 1925 25-34 Ind. Seasons
22           Red Faber   4 1915 1922 26-33 Ind. Seasons
23       Randy Johnson   3 1997 2002 33-38 Ind. Seasons
24         Jack Morris   3 1983 1992 28-37 Ind. Seasons
25          Tommy John   3 1977 1980 34-37 Ind. Seasons
Rk                     Yrs From   To                Age
26         Phil Niekro   3 1969 1979 30-40 Ind. Seasons
27            Jim Kaat   3 1966 1975 27-36 Ind. Seasons
28           Ted Lyons   3 1925 1930 24-29 Ind. Seasons
29         Jamie Moyer   2 2001 2003 38-40 Ind. Seasons
30         Greg Maddux   2 1992 1993 26-27 Ind. Seasons
31          Nolan Ryan   2 1973 1974 26-27 Ind. Seasons
32        Mike Mussina   1 2008 2008 39-39 Ind. Seasons
33          Don Sutton   1 1976 1976 31-31 Ind. Seasons
34       Bert Blyleven   1 1973 1973 22-22 Ind. Seasons


   38. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: May 01, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4430832)
Do you mean like Joe Niekro? (224 wins with a career ERA+ of 98)

...
Even Joe Niekro had a couple of 20-win seasons in the midst of being an ordinary regular, even a journeyman, much of his career.

I think what people forget now is that Joe Niekro was the greatest clutch pitcher of his generation.
   39. DA Baracus Posted: May 01, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4430843)
Next year he'll be the world's first 35 start 36 innings pitched pitcher...


Great, the media will fall over themselves praising the Nationals when they accidentally fall into successfully starting games with a reliever and then going to a long man as some work of genius.
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: May 01, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4430846)
Who is getting 34 starts a year now? 10 or fewer a season.


Correct, but the point is that historically pitchers didn't get 40 or even 37 starts in a season. The point is that getting to 300 wins isn't about starts per season, but about being healthy for 15+ seasons regardless of era.(post 1920 at least)

Maddux had 19 seasons with 33 or more starts...that is tied with Cy Young for the most times.... Glavine did it 15 times, that is more often than Niekro, Seaver and other 300 game winners. Pitchers who went 40 starts in a season, were either knuckleballers or didn't do it often.

Pitcher in the past got 2-5 more starts on the season, but couldn't repeat healthy years as frequently as pitchers of today... Livan Hernandez has more seasons where he got 30 starts than Jim Kaat, Fergie Jenkins, Jack Morris, Jim Palmer, Bob Gibson..etc.
   41. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 01, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4430850)
Next year he'll be the world's first 35 start 36 innings pitched pitcher...


John Van Benschoten was on his way to that title, but got demoted for some reason.
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: May 01, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4430853)
For players in the saved report


How do you save a report?
   43. BDC Posted: May 01, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4430951)
Pitchers who went 40 starts in a season, were either knuckleballers or didn't do it often

There were 72 40-start seasons in the 1960s and 70s, by 41 different pitchers (and by my rough count). There were two 40-start seasons in the 1950s and two in the 1980s (and none since).

Fully 15 of those seasons were by Dodgers (five for Drysdale, three for Koufax).

I have no particular point, except to strongly agree that 40-start seasons were a feature of a given era and a handful of pitchers. Wilbur Wood and Stan Bahnsen account for another seven of them; Joe Coleman and Mickey Lolich for six. They were a feature of an era when fewer games were being rained out, travel was faster, and a few pitching coaches thought way outside the box.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: May 01, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4430972)
They were a feature of an era when fewer games were being rained out, travel was faster, and a few pitching coaches thought way outside the box.


...and the schedule was expanded to 162 games.

38 starts in 154 games is roughly the same % as 40 in 162, and there were several times in the 50's that this threshold was met, but not 40 (although probably not as many times as we might think).
   45. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 01, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4430978)
I have no particular point, except to strongly agree that 40-start seasons were a feature of a given era and a handful of pitchers.


There were also a feature of the era in which the vast majority of today's sportswriters and commentators first started following baseball, and thus it was the way they perceived the world to be, and always to have been.
   46. RJ in TO Posted: May 01, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4431008)
and two in the 1980s.

Jim Clancy, and Charlie Hough. Not exactly who you would expect.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: May 01, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4431099)
That was a great list in #7 Bob and nobody seemed to notice.

First, Catfish at the top. I never knew that. That's why he's in the HoF, i.e. why he was viewed as an HoFer in real-time.

Second, look at those names at the top. Those are not 300 game winners. The 300 game winners come at 6, 9, 11, 14, 20. The list doesn't even mention Randy Johnson who had 68 wins through age 29.

300 wins is about being good, a bit of luck and getting to 650 starts. Sure, getting to 650 starts these days means having 20 healthy seasons but, possibly, it's easier to have 20 healthy seasons if you're only making 32 starts a year. Right, Verlander has no chance to make it to 300 by the time he reaches 39. Well, the post-war record for wins through age 39 is Maddux at 318 and then Carlton at 313 then Clemens at 293. Perry was at 267, Ryan at 253, Johnson at 230.

Through age 29, Seaver had 146 wins and 278 starts. Through age 39, he had 288 wins and 586 starts. Through 29, Verlander was at 124 wins and 232 starts. He's going to have to last longer in seasons than Seaver but he's winning at a higher rate than Seaver so far (that picks him up 2-3 wins, not a lot).

Looking at wins through age 29 is almost useless. The ones who prove durable will push 300, the others won't and we don't have much of a clue who's in what group. Even if CC's stuff is fading, are we sure he can't transform into Glavine?

If CC and Verlander don't last until 42, they won't make it. But that was pretty much true for everybody who did it.

Fewest losses when winnning #200, lively ball era:

79: Whitey Ford
83: Lefty Grove
84: Pedro Martinez
97: Juan Marichal
101: Randy Johnson
102: Roy Halladay
105: Tim Hudson
107: Carl Hubbell
108: Jim Palmer
111: Roger Clemens
112: Andy Pettitte
112: Mike Mussina
113: Tom Seaver
114: Greg Maddux


Finally a list that supports my impression that elite starter win% is higher these days (compared to the larger amount of evidence that I was wrong :-). 14 names in that list and I think of 7 of them as "recent". If the 5-man rotation leads to more seasons and more wins/start then 300 wins may be just as viable now as ever ... which is to say not very viable at all.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: May 01, 2013 at 06:45 PM (#4431134)
Finally a list that supports my impression that elite starter win% is higher these days (compared to the larger amount of evidence that I was wrong :-). 14 names in that list and I think of 7 of them as "recent". If the 5-man rotation leads to more seasons and more wins/start then 300 wins may be just as viable now as ever ... which is to say not very viable at all.


I don't think it leads to more wins per start, I think it leads to fewer losses per start. Let's see if I can explain this where it makes sense(it makes sense in my head, but maybe not typed.)

Pitchers are getting pulled in the 6th, 7th inning more frequently. If a pitcher is pulled while having a loss, I think it's easier for a team to come back and earn a team win(or tie) erasing the possible loss for that pitcher. I understand that having the lead and leaving the game early also has the same possibility, but I also think teams have slightly longer leashes with a pitcher with the lead(yes I understand that could allow them to turn a W into a tie, but I think overall it's a wash).

I do see other ways to look at it, as pitchers who leave with the possible W today, due to strong bullpens have a better chance than in the past to keep it(although at the same point in time, you are handing the game over to lesser pitchers usually...I mean I think I prefer to have Carlton or Gibson pitching the 7th and 8th inning than Keith Foulke or whoever.)

Ultimately I think quality pitchers today are recording fewer losses per start(obviously that should be fairly easy to check up on) (or more accurately better winning percentage per start... I'm almost 100% positive that they are receiving fewer wins and fewer losses per start)


Edit:I guess we could just look at the w/l percentage of relief pitching over the course of an entire season to check that out.
   49. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: May 01, 2013 at 07:22 PM (#4431176)
I'm not really sure why you think his wheels will come off in the next 6-7 years.

Really? The man's one cheeseburger away from being harpooned by Greenpeace.
   50. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 01, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4431185)
Really? The man's one cheeseburger away from being harpooned by Greenpeace.

If Sabathia equals the post-age-31 career of David Wells, he'll finish with 367 wins, good for 5th all-time.
   51. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 01, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4431199)
Pitchers are getting pulled in the 6th, 7th inning more frequently. If a pitcher is pulled while having a loss, I think it's easier for a team to come back and earn a team win(or tie) erasing the possible loss for that pitcher. I understand that having the lead and leaving the game early also has the same possibility, but I also think teams have slightly longer leashes with a pitcher with the lead(yes I understand that could allow them to turn a W into a tie, but I think overall it's a wash).

I think this is backward, actually. Starters are picking up fewer losses because they're not being allowed to blow leads in the late innings. The bullpen might blow the lead instead, but the starter doesn't get the loss in that case.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: May 01, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4431211)
I think this is backward, actually. Starters are picking up fewer losses because they're not being allowed to blow leads in the late innings. The bullpen might blow the lead instead, but the starter doesn't get the loss in that case.


I agree with that also.
   53. bobm Posted: May 01, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4431242)
[42]

When you save a report using the "link url" option under the SHARE link (and you can use this anywhere on the site).  This saved report will now appear as an option on the very bottom of the season finders. [...]

This feature will give you a lot of flexibility.   You could save reports like 2000 first round draft picks, or 1999 Chicago Cubs, or anything else on the site.  I think this will have a lot of power, but I expect you'll have some ideas I haven't thought of.  You will also be limited to 200 players total, so very broad searches may not work.

This is limited also to your last 20 saved reports.  Also note that if you use the season finder to save a report and then want to use that report, that will require a page reload to get that widget populated with the new report.

This is live only on the season finders at the moment and you can only filter on players. 


Www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10708
   54. zachtoma Posted: May 01, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4431301)
The man's one cheeseburger away from being harpooned by Greenpeace.


Harpooned by Greenpeace?
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: May 01, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4431340)
Thank you. I had some saved reports and couldn't remember how I did that.
   56. bobm Posted: May 01, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4431358)
[48] I don't think it leads to more wins per start, I think it leads to fewer losses per start.

MLB Starting Pitching
Year Wgs/GS Lgs/GS
2012    36%    37%
2002    35%    36%
1992    35%    36%
1982    35%    37%
1972    39%    40%
1962    37%    38%
1952    38%    41%


[51] Starters are picking up fewer losses because they're not being allowed to blow leads in the late innings. The bullpen might blow the lead instead, but the starter doesn't get the loss in that case

MLB Starting Pitching
                               Wins Lost        Losses Saved       Decision -> ND
Year {Wlst / Lsv}  {Wlst / (Wlst + Wgs)}   {Lsv / (Lsv+Lgs)}      {(Wlst+Lsv) / ND}
2012          73%                   19%               24%               71%
2002          76%                   21%               25%               72%
1992          78%                   21%               24%               70%
1982          73%                   19%               23%               70%
1972          49%                   12%               21%               74%
1962          45%                   14%               26%               79%
1952          32%                    7%               19%               62%


Bullpen, etc. effects on starter decisions in aggregate appears to have stabilized decades ago.

GS -- Games Started
Wgs -- Wins in games started
Lgs -- Losses in games started
ND -- No Decisions in Games Started

Wlst -- Wins Lost

At the time the pitcher faced his final batter
the pitcher was in position for a win,
but game was blown by bullpen.

Lsv -- Losses Saved
At the time of his last batter
the pitcher was in position for a loss,
but team came back to tie or take lead.

   57. jdennis Posted: May 01, 2013 at 10:20 PM (#4431372)
I think Hudson will end up in the same perception range as Mussina, Pettitte, and several others of the last two decades. Yes to HOM, no to HOF.
   58. Bourbon Samurai Posted: May 01, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4431379)
Congrats to Huddy. Certainly one of my 10 favorite players ever.
   59. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 01, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4431381)
@38: FLNRSA: Good point about Niekro. For some reason he slipped my mind. Holy canoli, but Joe was not someone you would have picked through age 29 to win 200 or get close to it. Even 100 wins would have been a stretch. Heck, even through age 31 he was 68-75, more an emergency starter than anything else. He'd averaged 5 starts a year for the previous five years. Career ERA+ of 92. It was easy to see one bad year and a poor spring and he'd be selling cars in Bridgeport.

I don't remember the details of Joe's resurgence, but by the numbers he was only a very average pitcher over 13 starts in 36 appearances at age 31. At 32 he pitched very well, but still only got 14 starts in 44 appearances. Maybe that's why Bill Virdon set Niekro out for 29 starts in 1978, Niekro's age 33 season, but it's easy to make the case that that experiment failed, when Niekro posted an ERA+ of 85.

Still, the Astros stuck with him and he gave them two 20 win seasons in a row, and with the knuckler dancing won 109 games between the ages of 34 and 40. One of the unlikeliest careers in baseball history. I can't even think right now of what might be comparable... How about Jeff Francouer hanging on as a part timer until 2018, then turning into a 100 BB a year guy while nearly winning a couple of MVPs?
   60. bobm Posted: May 02, 2013 at 12:11 AM (#4431445)
Elite starting pitchers:

Top 20% IP qualifiers by ERA

                          Wlst/       Wlst /     Lsv / (Wlst+Lsv) /
Year Wgs Lgs  GS Wlst Lsv   Lsv (Wlst + Wgs) (Lsv+Lgs)           ND
2012 272 131 541   41  59   69%          13%       31%          72%
2002 283 119 526   42  47   89%          13%       28%          72%
1992 245 145 505   40  44   91%          14%       23%          73%
1982 234 153 506   41  49   84%          15%       24%          76%
1972 277 153 508   20  31   65%           7%       17%          65%
1962 176 101 347   15  45   33%           8%       31%          86%
1952 172  87 289    7  15   47%           4%       15%          73%
   61. Walt Davis Posted: May 02, 2013 at 02:26 AM (#4431489)
I said all the other evidence was against me, I was saying this is why I had the impression. But at least I was right when I said that while the decision rate was down, I bet the win rate hadn't changed much.

Some simple math gives us different win/start rates necessary for 300 wins in a range of career starts (GS, rate)

600 .5
625 .48
650 .46
675 .44
700 .43

Glavine is the bottom of the recent 300-win guys with .447 win/start. It is very hard to get to 700 starts these days (22 healthy seasons).

Someone mentioned CC and Wells. CC needs 109 wins from age 32 on to hit 300. Since just 1980 there have been 15 pitchers to win at least that many (Jack Morris at 110). Not just the fatso Wells but also the skinny guys Dennis Martinez and Kenny Rogers blew way past that mark. Hershiser won 105, Lowe 104 and even Woody Williams won 104. Williams won his 104 while averaging only about .4 win/start (CC averaging .5 throughout his career).

Buehrle needs 125 from age 34 on. That's a good bit tougher but he's got Moyer and Wells who did it and Dennis Martinez missed by just 2 wins. Glavine won 118, Rogers 115, John made it to 96. Rogers got there winning 40% of his starts, Glavine 42 and Matinez 44 (and probably some relief wins). A win total closer to 80 is probably more likely but that still puts him on a solid 250+.

Hudson's harder -- 103 wins from age 36 on. That's 5 guys and only Moyer is sorta Hudson-esque. But Wells 98, John 96, Rogers 87, Sutton 83, Martinez 82. Hudson looks better than all those guys right now but 260-270 is a better bet.

It's not just elite pitchers that last forever and pile up wins in their late 30s. These guys need to make sure they stay on teams that score runs.

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