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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Morosi: Can Dodgers’ Kershaw win 300 games?

Dunno…but that has jack s—- to do with being a great pitcher!

Now Kershaw, 23, is coming off his first NL Cy Young Award. He won 21 games and became the first Dodger to claim the pitching Triple Crown since Sandy Koufax. There are those who believe he soon will be the best pitcher in baseball — if he isn’t already.

But that’s subjective. Here’s a fact: Kershaw has more wins (47) than Maddux (45) at the same point in his career.

Maddux acknowledges Kershaw has a chance to win 300 games — at least, as much of a chance as anyone his age could.

...Kershaw’s chances at 300 could be aided by working in one of baseball’s great pitcher-friendly ballparks — and playing on a Dodgers team that should become stronger after the ownership transition. Maddux, though, doesn’t put much stock in such things.

“Park, offense, defense — that has jack s—- to do with it,” he said. “It’s about how you pitch. I don’t buy into that. Steve Carlton was on the worst team in the world (and still won 27 games). … It’s how you pitch. The pitcher makes the team. If you outpitch the other guy, you win. You’ve got to be better than the guy you’re facing.”

Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum might beg to differ. They are several years older than Kershaw but aren’t far ahead of him in wins — each has 69 — because the San Francisco hitters have offered modest run support. They’ll have their chances to slow Kershaw’s progress toward 300 when they face him this year. But they may need to pitch like Maddux to do it.

Repoz Posted: March 01, 2012 at 05:34 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, projections

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 01, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4072187)
Yeah, this isn't early.
   2. jacjacatk Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4072208)
Sure. I mean, it's only 15 wins a year for the next 17 years. And 17 people in the history of the game have won at least 253 games from their 5th to their last seasons. And 16 have won 253 after age 23. The biggest road block to any of these guys winning 300 is going to be injury anyway.

FWIW, Lincecum's "problem" doesn't appear to have been run support so much as Kershaw having a 3-year head start age wise. Of course Kershaw won almost as many games last season as he had in the previous 3 years, and the Dodger's offense doesn't strike me as exactly world-class at this point, so he's going to need luck not regressing back to the 13-15 win range even while pitching well.
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4072214)
Yes.
   4. bobm Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4072217)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2011, Younger than 23, sorted by greatest Wins
Player ages are computed as their age on June 30th


                                                    
Rk                Player   W From   To   Age  L W-L%
1             Bob Feller 107 1936 1941 17-22 54 .665
2      Christy Mathewson  97 1901 1904 20-23 59 .622
3         Smoky Joe Wood  92 1908 1913 18-23 48 .657
4          Dwight Gooden  91 1984 1988 19-23 35 .722
5         Walter Johnson  82 1907 1911 19-23 78 .513
6          Bert Blyleven  80 1970 1974 19-23 75 .516
7              Babe Ruth  80 1914 1918 19-23 41 .661
8           Chief Bender  76 1903 1907 19-23 54 .585
9          Larry Dierker  71 1964 1970 17-23 62 .534
10           Wes Ferrell  68 1927 1931 19-23 37 .648

11          Frank Tanana  66 1973 1977 19-23 49 .574
12          Don Drysdale  66 1956 1960 19-23 54 .550
13           Don Gullett  65 1970 1974 19-23 37 .637
14           Milt Pappas  65 1957 1962 18-23 49 .570
15            Waite Hoyt  65 1918 1923 18-23 46 .586
16         Hal Newhouser  63 1939 1944 18-23 61 .508
17          Pete Donohue  62 1921 1924 20-23 39 .614
18   Fernando Valenzuela  61 1980 1984 19-23 47 .565
19            Gary Nolan  61 1967 1971 19-23 42 .592
20      Dennis Eckersley  60 1975 1978 20-23 40 .600

21          Denny McLain  59 1963 1967 19-23 42 .584
22           Ray Sadecki  59 1960 1964 19-23 48 .551
23        Mike McCormick  59 1956 1962 17-23 59 .500
24        Pete Schneider  59 1914 1919 18-23 86 .407
25       Felix Hernandez  58 2005 2009 19-23 41 .586
26          Ralph Branca  56 1944 1949 18-23 35 .615
27       Bret Saberhagen  55 1984 1987 20-23 39 .585
28        Catfish Hunter  55 1965 1969 19-23 64 .462
29            Mel Harder  55 1928 1933 18-23 56 .495
30           CC Sabathia  54 2001 2004 20-23 35 .607

31         Earl Hamilton  54 1911 1915 19-23 73 .425
32             Vida Blue  53 1969 1973 19-23 28 .654
33           George Uhle  52 1919 1922 20-23 39 .571
34       Bullet Joe Bush  52 1912 1916 19-23 58 .473
35           Johnny Lush  52 1904 1909 18-23 72 .419
36          Chuck Stobbs  51 1947 1953 17-23 43 .543
37           Steve Avery  50 1990 1993 20-23 36 .581
38             Van Mungo  50 1931 1934 20-23 43 .538
39         Willis Hudlin  50 1926 1929 20-23 44 .532
40          Doc Crandall  50 1908 1911 20-23 25 .667

41             Al Mamaux  49 1913 1917 19-23 36 .576
42         George Mullin  49 1902 1904 21-23 54 .476
43          Ken Holtzman  48 1965 1969 19-23 43 .527
44        Dick Ellsworth  48 1958 1963 18-23 55 .466
45        Hal Schumacher  48 1931 1934 20-23 29 .623
46           Lee Meadows  48 1915 1918 20-23 57 .457
47         Dutch Leonard  48 1913 1915 21-23 29 .623
48       Clayton Kershaw  47 2008 2011 20-23 28 .627
49           Dean Chance  47 1961 1964 20-23 39 .547
50           Lefty Gomez  47 1930 1932 21-23 21 .691


Source: B-R PI
   5. bobm Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4072221)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2011, Younger than 23, Hall Of Fame Members, sorted by greatest Wins
Player ages are computed as their age on June 30th


                                                    
Rk               Player   W From   To   Age  L  W-L%
1            Bob Feller 107 1936 1941 17-22 54  .665
2     Christy Mathewson  97 1901 1904 20-23 59  .622
3        Walter Johnson  82 1907 1911 19-23 78  .513
4         Bert Blyleven  80 1970 1974 19-23 75  .516
5             Babe Ruth  80 1914 1918 19-23 41  .661
6          Chief Bender  76 1903 1907 19-23 54  .585
7          Don Drysdale  66 1956 1960 19-23 54  .550
8            Waite Hoyt  65 1918 1923 18-23 46  .586
9         Hal Newhouser  63 1939 1944 18-23 61  .508
10     Dennis Eckersley  60 1975 1978 20-23 40  .600

11       Catfish Hunter  55 1965 1969 19-23 64  .462
12          Lefty Gomez  47 1930 1932 21-23 21  .691
13        Robin Roberts  42 1948 1950 21-23 35  .545
14           Jim Palmer  39 1965 1969 19-23 19  .672
15           Dizzy Dean  39 1930 1933 20-23 33  .542
16           Addie Joss  35 1902 1903 22-23 26  .574
17           Don Sutton  34 1966 1968 21-23 42  .447
18           Tom Seaver  32 1967 1968 22-23 25  .561
19           Early Wynn  31 1939 1943 19-23 31  .500
20        Steve Carlton  30 1965 1968 20-23 23  .566

21          Red Ruffing  30 1924 1928 19-23 71  .297
22         Sandy Koufax  28 1955 1959 19-23 27  .509
23         Herb Pennock  22 1912 1917 18-23 20  .524
24           Eppa Rixey  21 1912 1914 21-23 26  .447
25         Rich Gossage  20 1972 1975 20-23 19  .513
26           Nolan Ryan  19 1966 1970 19-23 24  .442
27        Juan Marichal  19 1960 1961 22-23 12  .613
28            Ted Lyons  14 1923 1924 22-23 12  .538
29       Rollie Fingers  13 1968 1970 21-23 16  .448
30          Whitey Ford   9 1950 1950 21-21  1  .900

31        Rube Marquard   9 1908 1910 21-23 18  .333
32       Fergie Jenkins   8 1965 1966 22-23  9  .471
33         Bruce Sutter   6 1976 1976 23-23  3  .667
34             Ed Walsh   6 1904 1904 23-23  3  .667
35      Burleigh Grimes   5 1916 1917 22-23 19  .208
36        George Sisler   5 1915 1916 22-23  6  .455
37        Gaylord Perry   3 1962 1962 23-23  1  .750
38           Bob Gibson   3 1959 1959 23-23  5  .375
39          Jim Bunning   3 1955 1955 23-23  5  .375
40       Stan Coveleski   2 1912 1912 22-22  1  .667

41   High Pockets Kelly   1 1917 1917 21-21  0 1.000
42         Warren Spahn   0 1942 1942 21-21        0
43         Ted Williams   0 1940 1940 21-21        0
44      Roger Bresnahan   0 1901 1901 22-22  1  .000


Source: B-R PI
   6. Ziggy Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4072239)
So, yes.

But this: "Kershaw’s chances at 300 could be aided by working in one of baseball’s great pitcher-friendly ballparks" is nonsense. One of the teams wins each game played in Wrigley, too.
   7. Ephus Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4072240)
Everytime I see a list like this, I reminded of how much promise the young Dwight Gooden had. Blame it on overuse, or drugs, or bad conditioning, or a combination of all those factors, but even with the 1996 no-hitter, Dwight's post-1988 years were enormously disappointing.
   8. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4072248)
One of the teams wins each game played in Wrigley, too.


Well, the implied there is that in a pitcher's environment, he could go longer into games and have a better chance of securing a decision. I don't know if that's true (I mean, it's true at the extremes. Pitch a complete game and you're getting a decision. Leave in the 1st at 0-0 you'll get none), but I've heard it bandied about.
   9. flournoy Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4072254)
I think there's merit to the idea that pitching in a pitchers' park means more victories. Almost by definition, games in hitters' parks have more plate appearances per game than games in pitchers' parks. That means that if you play half your games there, you need more work from your pitching staff to get through the season. (Not by innings pitched, but by batters faced, which is a better indicator of workload anyway.) The way you spread that around could easily affect win/loss decisions.

EDIT: Roughly the same thing as post #8.
   10. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 01, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4072255)


Well, the implied there is that in a pitcher's environment, he could go longer into games and have a better chance of securing a decision. I don't know if that's true (I mean, it's true at the extremes. Pitch a complete game and you're getting a decision. Leave in the 1st at 0-0 you'll get none), but I've heard it bandied about.


Yeah, it stands to reason that it can be a tiny edge. You can go a little longer, plus a lower run environment means the bullpen is less likely to cough up the lead. I don't imagine it can amount to more than a handful of wins over the course of a career.

Should be easy enough to study. Did Astros starting pitchers in the 70s get more decisions than average/Rockies pitchers in the aughts get fewer?


   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 01, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4072260)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2011, Younger than 23, sorted by greatest Losses

Player ages are computed as their age on June 30th


Rk                 Player  L From   To   Age   G  GS  CG SHO  GF   W W-LSV     IP    H   R  ER  BB   SO  ERA ERA+  HR   BF HBP
1          Pete Schneider 86 1914 1919 18
-23 207 157  84  10  36  59 .407  4 1274.0 1199 541 377 498  487 2.66  102  16 5365  52
2          Walter Johnson 78 1907 1911 19
-23 175 157 135  26  17  82 .513  4 1355.1 1095 433 267 303  915 1.77  148  11 5309  49
3           Bert Blyleven 75 1970 1974 19
-23 181 178  77  21   2  80 .516  0 1335.2 1197 462 406 319 1094 2.74  134  90 5429  35
4           Earl Hamilton 73 1911 1915 19
-23 183 130  79  11  34  54 .425  5 1150.1 1084 524 379 407  469 2.97  102  18 4698  44
5             Johnny Lush 72 1904 1909 18
-23 146 130  92  15  14  52 .419  1 1014.0  934 455 289 343  436 2.57   98  11 4239  56
6             Red Ruffing 71 1924 1928 19
-23 150 103  54   4  35  30 .297  7  854.0  914 489 426 335  327 4.49   94  29 3732  24
7          Catfish Hunter 64 1965 1969 19
-23 171 149  41  12   4  55 .462  1 1050.1  911 444 402 348  703 3.44   94 117 4330  15
8           Larry Dierker 62 1964 1970 17
-23 181 168  60   9   5  71 .534  1 1250.1 1119 506 443 353  874 3.19  108 101 5153  20
9           Hal Newhouser 61 1939 1944 18
-23 184 130  59   9  41  63 .508  8 1003.0  882 448 360 544  633 3.23  122  31 4355   6
10         Mike McCormick 59 1956 1962 17
-23 224 150  45  12  35  59 .500  8 1087.0 1066 514 456 373  646 3.78   99 118 4615  11
11      Christy Mathewson 59 1901 1904 20
-23 168 159 136  20   9  97 .622  3 1354.2 1161 505 332 352  864 2.21  139  17 5442  37
12        Bullet Joe Bush 58 1912 1916 19
-23 143  91  53  11  41  52 .473  5  846.2  756 384 311 370  439 3.31   84  11 3482  20
13            Lee Meadows 57 1915 1918 20
-23 163 122  55   6  32  48 .457  5  964.0  922 419 321 353  373 3.00   90  14 4033  33
14             Mel Harder 56 1928 1933 18
-23 192 107  47   3  50  55 .495  8  943.2 1053 522 412 312  298 3.93  118  42 4176  19
15         Dick Ellsworth 55 1958 1963 18
-23 143 129  38   5   5  48 .466  1  865.0  851 383 343 275  483 3.57  109  72 3639  13
16            Pedro Ramos 55 1955 1958 20
-23 168  94  24   6  42  43 .439  8  772.1  827 421 390 261  311 4.54   86 117 3362  26
17           Don Drysdale 54 1956 1960 19
-23 188 142  47  14  29  66 .550  4 1071.1  957 424 382 329  822 3.21  128 100 4462  52
18         Camilo Pascual 54 1954 1957 20
-23 159  73  16   2  51  20 .270  8  612.2  646 375 347 296  417 5.10   77  56 2744  21
19             Bob Feller 54 1936 1941 17
-22 205 175 117  16  24 107 .665 10 1448.1 1149 569 512 815 1233 3.18  137  59 6191  26
20           Chief Bender 54 1903 1907 19
-23 169 127 109  14  39  76 .585  6 1160.1  992 473 346 296  689 2.68  103  18 4613  51
21          George Mullin 54 1902 1904 21
-23 121 110  98  13  10  49 .476  2  963.0  911 437 288 332  409 2.69  111   9 4001  25
22       Jeremy Bonderman 53 2003 2006 20
-23 129 123   6   2   0  45 .459  0  749.0  774 424 393 252  623 4.72   93  86 3224  21
23               Jim Shaw 51 1913 1917 19
-23 148  90  42  10  41  39 .433  7  775.2  627 307 243 393  418 2.82   99   7 3164  14
24            Joe Coleman 50 1965 1970 18
-23 143 123  36   7   6  43 .462  1  850.1  793 381 332 297  561 3.51   94  75 3590  31
25             Bob Friend 50 1951 1954 20
-23 136  89  21   4  19  28 .359  2  675.2  756 399 346 267  255 4.61   91  61 2991   7 
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 01, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4072263)
So now we know the answer to the question "Which Hall of Fame pitcher once had a career W-L record of 30-71?"
   13. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 01, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4072264)
Should be easy enough to study. Did Astros starting pitchers in the 70s get more decisions than average/Rockies pitchers in the aughts get fewer?
Also, can we look at the HoF pitchers and determine whether they, overall, played in pitchers' parks?
   14. zachtoma Posted: March 01, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4072265)
Can he? Yes. Will he? who the hell knows but probably not.
   15. jingoist Posted: March 01, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4072276)
I'm sure we'll all be right here, posting and toasting his success some 15+ years from now if it happens.

Now that I think about it further....hurry, somone put this discussion thread in the time vault for future reference so whoever of us is still alive and still a btf fan can pipe up and say "I told people hat would happen back in '12, and here's the proof of my priesence"
   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 01, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4072299)
So now we know the answer to the question "Which Hall of Fame pitcher once had a career W-L record of 30-71?"

Ruffing with Boston: 39-96
with New York: 231-137
   17. Walt Davis Posted: March 01, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4072303)
You'll note the lists in 4 and 5 are not exactly over-run with 300-game winners and, generally, they're lower on those lists. Even a lot of the not quite 300 guys are down there -- Jenkins, Marichal, Bunning, Gibson. Unless I missed someone, Sutton with 34 is the highest post-1920 300-winner. Not that 47 is EXTREME or anything and presumably you really want IP not wins but you get the point -- heavily-used young pitchers tend not to last long enough for 300 wins.
   18. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 01, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4072304)
This year?! No way!
   19. Matthew E Posted: March 01, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4072308)
I'll take the under.
   20. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 01, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4072321)
Can Kershaw win 300 games? Yes.
   21. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 01, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4072322)
I'll take the over. Do all 300 of the games have to be baseball?
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 01, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4072327)
If he can bowl any 300 games, I bet he wins them.
   23. Spahn Insane Posted: March 01, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4072377)
So now we know the answer to the question "Which Hall of Fame pitcher once had a career W-L record of 30-71?"

Not only that, but he went 9-22 the next year.
   24. Spahn Insane Posted: March 01, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4072380)
BTW, nice career batting line for Ruffing. 81 OPS+ in over 2,000 PAs, 36 homers.
   25. catomi01 Posted: March 01, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4072395)
1 Bob Feller 107 1936 1941 17-22 54 .665


How many pitchers from the present generation even have 107 starts by the time they're 22? To state the obbious, the game has changed a lot, and Bob Feller was a pretty good pitcher.
   26. Cooper Nielson Posted: March 01, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4072401)
Thanks for the research, bobm and Crispix.

I thought the chart in post 4 was interesting in that these young pitchers with big win totals were fairly well distributed over the history of baseball.

Here's the total based on decade of debut:

1900s: 7
1910s: 9
1920s: 4
1930s: 5
1940s: 2 (likely affected by the War)
1950s: 4
1960s: 8
1970s: 4
1980s: 3
1990s: 1
2000s: 3

I suppose there's a downward trend line there, and the '60s and '90s really stand out. But for all the talk about "We'll never see another 300-game winner," it seems that the numbers of pitchers getting good head starts has been pretty consistent since the 1920s.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: March 01, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4072426)
How many pitchers from the present generation even have 107 starts by the time they're 22?

Felix had 103. Or 104 if you add better than I do.

Felix is tops since 1990. CC had 96, Avery had 90, Porcello & Bonderman 89 and Kershaw 83. Bumgarner is at 52 through age 21.

Feller had 175 starts by age 22, 148 from ages 19-22. He then went off to war for almost a full 4 years to save his arm.

   28. bobm Posted: March 01, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4072441)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2011, Hall Of Fame Members, (requiring W>=300), sorted by greatest Wins, and showing wins through Age 23 season

Rk Player              W Wthru23 From To   Age
 1 Walter Johnson    417 82      1907 1927 19-39
 2 Pete Alexander    373  0      1911 1930 24-43
 3 Christy Mathewson 373 97      1901 1916 20-35
 4 Warren Spahn      363  0      1942 1965 21-44
 5 Greg Maddux       355 45      1986 2008 20-42

 6 Roger Clemens     354 40      1984 2007 21-44
 7 Steve Carlton     329 30      1965 1988 20-43
 8 Eddie Plank       326  0      1901 1917 25-41
 9 Nolan Ryan        324 19      1966 1993 19-46
10 Don Sutton        324 34      1966 1988 21-43

11 Phil Niekro       318  0      1964 1987 25-48
12 Gaylord Perry     314  3      1962 1983 23-44
13 Tom Seaver        311 32      1967 1986 22-41
14 Tom Glavine       305 23      1987 2008 21-42
15 Randy Johnson     303  0      1988 2009 24-45

16 Early Wynn        300 31      1939 1963 19-43
17 Lefty Grove       300  0      1925 1941 25-41
   29. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4072456)
So since 1941, the only 300-winner who played less than 21 seasons is Tom Seaver (20 seasons). That puts it into perspective.
   30. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4072465)
So since 1941, the only 300-winner who played less than 21 seasons is Tom Seaver (20 seasons). That puts it into perspective.


Well, yes, but some won 300 in fewer than 21. Maddux had 305 after 19 seasons. Clemens had 310 after 20. Carlton had 300 after 19, and one of those seasons was 25 IP. Spahn won 309 games between 1946 and 1961, 16 seasons. He was 0-0 in 15 IP in 1942 before going off to war.
   31. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 02, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4072466)
So since 1941, the only 300-winner who played less than 21 seasons is Tom Seaver (20 seasons). That puts it into perspective.


But Maddux and Carlton, like Seaver, reached 300 in their 19th seasons.

   32. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4072472)
Roger Bresnahan?

That is all.
   33. My Grate Friend Peason's pants are rankled Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4072479)
It depends on whether Nick Markakis can return to his 100-RBI form.
   34. bobm Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4072487)
Through Season 19, 1947-2011:

                                      
Rk          Player   W From   To   Age
1     Warren Spahn 342 1947 1963 26-42
2      Greg Maddux 305 1986 2004 20-38
3       Tom Seaver 304 1967 1985 22-40
4    Steve Carlton 300 1965 1983 20-38


Through Season 20, 1947-2011:
                                      
Rk          Player   W From   To   Age
1     Warren Spahn 348 1947 1964 26-43
2      Greg Maddux 318 1986 2005 20-39
3    Steve Carlton 313 1965 1984 20-39
4       Tom Seaver 311 1967 1986 22-41
5    Roger Clemens 310 1984 2003 21-40


Through Season 21, 1947-2011:

                                      
Rk          Player   W From   To   Age
1     Warren Spahn 355 1947 1965 26-44
2      Greg Maddux 333 1986 2006 20-40
3    Roger Clemens 328 1984 2004 21-41
4    Steve Carlton 314 1965 1985 20-40
5       Tom Seaver 311 1967 1986 22-41
6       Don Sutton 310 1966 1986 21-41
7    Gaylord Perry 307 1962 1982 23-43
8      Tom Glavine 303 1987 2007 21-41


Through Season 22, 1947-2011:
                                      
Rk          Player   W From   To   Age
1     Warren Spahn 355 1947 1965 26-44
2      Greg Maddux 347 1986 2007 20-41
3    Roger Clemens 341 1984 2005 21-42
4    Steve Carlton 323 1965 1986 20-41
5       Don Sutton 321 1966 1987 21-42
6    Gaylord Perry 314 1962 1983 23-44
7       Tom Seaver 311 1967 1986 22-41
8      Tom Glavine 305 1987 2008 21-42
9    Randy Johnson 303 1988 2009 24-45
10     Phil Niekro 300 1964 1985 25-46


Through Season 23, 1947-2011:
                                      
Rk          Player   W From   To   Age
1      Greg Maddux 355 1986 2008 20-42
2     Warren Spahn 355 1947 1965 26-44
3    Roger Clemens 348 1984 2006 21-43
4    Steve Carlton 329 1965 1987 20-42
5       Don Sutton 324 1966 1988 21-43
6    Gaylord Perry 314 1962 1983 23-44
7      Phil Niekro 311 1964 1986 25-47
8       Tom Seaver 311 1967 1986 22-41
9      Tom Glavine 305 1987 2008 21-42
10   Randy Johnson 303 1988 2009 24-45


Through Season 24, 1947-2011:
                                      
Rk          Player   W From   To   Age
1      Greg Maddux 355 1986 2008 20-42
2     Warren Spahn 355 1947 1965 26-44
3    Roger Clemens 354 1984 2007 21-44
4    Steve Carlton 329 1965 1988 20-43
5       Don Sutton 324 1966 1988 21-43
6      Phil Niekro 318 1964 1987 25-48
7    Gaylord Perry 314 1962 1983 23-44
8       Tom Seaver 311 1967 1986 22-41
9      Tom Glavine 305 1987 2008 21-42
10   Randy Johnson 303 1988 2009 24-45
11      Nolan Ryan 302 1966 1990 19-43
   35. Spahn Insane Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4072491)
Feller had 175 starts by age 22, 148 from ages 19-22. He then went off to war for almost a full 4 years to save his arm.

You joke, but it's interesting to speculate on what Feller's career would've looked like if not for the war. Almost 4 full seasons off, after throwing over 1,200 innings from ages 19-22. He might've stayed healthy, and blown past 300 wins, but is it implausible to think he might not've had a HOF career if he'd actually pitched full time during those seasons? (Course, if he'd lasted just a couple years, he'd have had a HOF peak anyway, even if his career got cut short.)

Regardless, color me amazed with the workload he withstood during those years.
   36. Bug Selig Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4072789)
So now we know the answer to the question "Which Hall of Fame pitcher once had a career W-L record of 30-71?"


Bill James once wrote an interesting essay that discussed Ruffing along the lines of, "How did this guy bring down the level of bad staffs/teams (his W% in Boston was worse than the team's) and then bring up the level of historically good staffs/teams (obviously in NY)? He went in thinking it was a run-support thing, but it turned out to go way deeper - he was genuinely worse than his lousy teammates and then better than his outstanding teammates (as a group - I'm sure some jack-hole would object that he wasn't better than ALL his Yankee teammates).

Turns out there were a lot of guys on the 1930's-50's Yankees that he thought were simply a product of great support, but upon further inspection were truly, markedly, and suddenly better while in NY than they were in other places.
   37. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 02, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4072808)
Aura and mystique I tell you!
   38. karlmagnus Posted: March 02, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4072995)
If you had a pitcher who gave up 3 runs every game, he would win very few victories on the 1920s Red Sox but a whole lot on the 1927 Yankees. If Ruffing was just far more consistent (lower standard deviation of runs allowed) than the average pitcher, his record would exhibit this effect.

Not having to face the Yankees would be a bigger boost for him than for a high standard deviation pitcher.
   39. dlf Posted: March 02, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4073006)
Roger Bresnahan?

That is all


Sisler, Kelly, and the pre-frozen head of Teddy Williams too.
   40. DanG Posted: March 02, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4073018)
Similar 23-year-olds. IP 200-270; ERA+ 146-180; 5+ pitching WAR

Rk             Player WAR ERA+    IP Year  Tm Lg  G CG  W  L
1       Roger Clemens 7.9  169 254.0 1986 BOS AL 33 10 24  4
2        Frank Tanana 7.7  154 241.1 1977 CAL AL 31 20 15  9
3          Herb Score 7.6  166 249.1 1956 CLE AL 35 16 20  9
4        Mike Mussina 7.4  157 241.0 1992 BAL AL 32  8 18  5
'5    Clayton Kershaw 6.9  163 233.1 2011 LAD NL 33  5 21  5'
6     John Candelaria 6.8  169 230.2 1977 PIT NL 33  6 20  5
7      Fausto Carmona 6.6  148 215.0 2007 CLE AL 32  2 19  8
8    Dontrelle Willis 6.4  152 236.1 2005 FLA NL 34  7 22 10
9     Willie Mitchell 6.0  159 217.0 1913 CLE AL 35 14 14  8
10    Felix Hernandez 5.8  172 238.2 2009 SEA AL 34  2 19  5
11    Carlos Zambrano 5.5  160 209.2 2004 CHC NL 31  1 16  8
12      Jair Jurrjens 5.3  159 215.0 2009 ATL NL 34  0 14 10 
   41. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 02, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4073025)
Clayton Kershaw is 23 and has won 47 games. Cy Young only won 9 games in his age-23 season, and he won his 300th when he was 34. From this, we can assume that Kershaw will win a million billion games.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: March 03, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4073372)
7 Fausto Carmona 6.6 148 215.0 2007 CLE AL 32 2 19 8

YMMV
   43. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 03, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4073378)
So reading this thread, I was curious about whether being in the NL might hurt or help wrt getting to 300 wins. Long story short, SP in the AL seem to have been getting about 2-3% more decisions than their NL counterparts. Presumably NL starters are being lifted earlier to pinch hit for, and especially in close games. Whereas AL starters get left in longer in those situations...
   44. Something Other Posted: March 03, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4073446)
@43: so, let's take Greg Maddux: 582 decisions in 740 starts. Let's say in those starts he sees an increase of 2.5% in his total decisions, giving him an extra 19. At his career winning percentage, that would give him another 11 wins. So, yeah, it could matter in close cases.

Did you check that 2%-3% figure against the quality of the pitcher? I'll bet a guy capable of 300 wins gets left in for a lot of those close pinch-hitting decisions. I'll bet there were a bunch of games where a 300 win-caliber pitcher gets left in when his team is leading 2-1 or 3-2 in the 7th or 8th, one out, man on first, he comes to the plate and gets left in because he's one of the best pitchers in baseball. In that case your 2-3% figure might be closer to 1%.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: March 03, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4073460)
Presumably NL starters are being lifted earlier to pinch hit for

Oddly this doesn't really seem to be the case or at least when I've looked for it, I haven't found much evidence.

2011 AL: 98 pit/GS; 6.1 IP/GS (b-r doesn't give more decimals)
2011 NL: 96 pit/GS; 6.0 IP/GS (given just 2 pit/GS looks like rounding, especially since you should be able to get through more batters in the same number of pitches)

2010 AL: 98 pit/GS; 6.1 IP/GS
2010 NL: 96 pit/GS; 5.9 IP/GS (WTF?)

2009 AL: 96/5.8
2009 NL: 95/5.8

Anyway, on average, the AL guys are getting pulled 2 pitches later which I guess is half a PA. So call it 15 more batters per year or about 4 innings. I guess that's a half-decision or something per year.

I'm more flummoxed why the same number of pitches gets you through as many or more innings in the AL -- intentional walks to the #8 batter in the NL?
   46. Walt Davis Posted: March 03, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4073463)
Let's say in those starts he sees an increase of 2.5% in his total decisions, giving him an extra 19.

Not sure which you or Fancy Pants meant to do but you increased his decision rate by 2.5 percentage points not his total decisions by 2.5%. Increase his decisions by 2.5% and it's about 14 more decisions. 14 more decisions is closer to my guesstimate applied to Maddux which would be about 12 (.5 decisions per 30 gs) so obviously 14 is closer to the truth. :-)

Now, higher scoring equals higher variance so I wonder if there's a positive relationship between high variance and starter decision rates (at least these days).
   47. Ron J Posted: March 04, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4073486)
#46 I'm not really sure about that. I can tell you that (from research done by JPWF13) the pitchers with 250 wins who had the lowest rate of decisions per IP were Blyleven, Seaver, Palmer and Gaylord Perry while the highest were Early Wynn and Mike Mussina. That's sort of consistent with your hypothesis, but if it's true it seems to be a pretty weak effect.

Again according to JPWF13 the decision rate for the great pitchers of the 1990s was 1 per 8.88 IP and that's a pretty normal number (notwithstanding Mussina being in the group)
   48. bobm Posted: March 04, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4073487)
[45] The AL/NL starter difference ranged from about 0.2 BF/GS to 0.5 BF/GS during 2009-2011.


2011 AL: 58534 BF 2268 GS = 25.81 BF/GS
2011 NL: 66010 BF 2590 GS = 25.49 BF/GS

2010 AL: 58589 BF 2268 GS = 25.83 BF/GS
2010 NL: 65540 BF 2592 GS = 25.29 BF/GS

2009 AL: 57140 BF 2270 GS = 25.17 BF/GS
2009 NL: 64699 BF 2590 GS = 24.98 BF/GS
   49. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 04, 2012 at 04:28 AM (#4073531)
Did you check that 2%-3% figure against the quality of the pitcher?

No. The "long story short" consisted of me, bbrefs league splits pages, and 5 mins with a calculator.

Presumably NL starters are being lifted earlier to pinch hit for

Oddly this doesn't really seem to be the case or at least when I've looked for it, I haven't found much evidence.

You missed a key part of my hypothesis though. The in close games part is important. NL pitchers aren't lifted early in games they are winning comfortably, where they have a decision locked up. Potentially, they might actually go deeper in those games than AL starters, because of facing pitchers, lower scoring etc.
AL starters get pulled just as early in games where they are getting shelled, and are heading for a loss.

So, if the difference comes largely in close games, it is going to affect the decision rate more than it would if they were randomly distributed. To put it in perspective, 2 pitches a game over a full season, is about 2.5 innings for a SP. Is it really hard to believe that an extra 2.5 innings in close and late situations could result in 1 extra decision a year? That would more than cover the difference...

Not sure which you or Fancy Pants meant to do but you increased his decision rate by 2.5 percentage points not his total decisions by 2.5%. Increase his decisions by 2.5% and it's about 14 more decisions. 14 more decisions is closer to my guesstimate applied to Maddux which would be about 12 (.5 decisions per 30 gs) so obviously 14 is closer to the truth. :-)

Huh. No, going from 78.6% decision rate to 81.1% I get 600.5 decisions, an extra 18.5, at Maddux's career W% that's an extra 11.3 wins. Now Maddux's decision rate is well above average, so there is a legitimate question, if the increase would translate as well at those heights. It might also not be safe to assume career W%, if most of the decisions lost are of the close and late type. That would probably move it closer to 50%.
   50. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 04, 2012 at 05:02 AM (#4073533)
You missed a key part of my hypothesis though. The in close games part is important. NL pitchers aren't lifted early in games they are winning comfortably, where they have a decision locked up. Potentially, they might actually go deeper in those games than AL starters, because of facing pitchers, lower scoring etc.


While this is true, I'd expect that a lot of AL pitchers who'd have been pinch-hit for if it was the NL get their extra innings by pitching partial innings in the next inning -- that is, I would expect more AL pitching changes are mid-inning. And of course as a starter, pitching a partial inning doesn't increase your chance of getting a decision.
   51. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 04, 2012 at 05:18 AM (#4073534)
And of course as a starter, pitching a partial inning doesn't increase your chance of getting a decision.

It does. It just doesn't increase your chance of getting a 'W' (well, unless you have a horrific pen, that will blow your 'W' for you...).

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