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Thursday, September 22, 2011

One Hundred Years

Young’s shutout against Pittsburgh that Friday afternoon 100 years ago brought his season record to 7-6 (4-2 with Boston.)  It was the 511th win of his career. It would turn out to be the last. Three days later, he lost his next start 6-5 to the Cubs, giving up the winning run with one out in the ninth; five days after that the Reds beat him 4-1 in Cincinnati. This would be the 749th (we think!) and definitely the final complete game of his career. There’s another record that looks pretty safe.

mathesond Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:17 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. BDC Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3933027)
Oh pshaw, they always say that so-and-so will be "the last 500-game winner."
   2. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3933036)
Oddly enough, Cy Young is pretty underrated I think.
   3. plim Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3933043)
511 might be unbreakable, but i think 749 (complete games) is more unbreakable. Roy Halladay is the active leader, with 66. 7356 innings pitched is also above 511. at least with wins, it's semi-possible that you could get a bunch of cheap wins with 5 ip. but complete games and innings pitched is not going to fall.

going with that, hits allowed is also going to be up there =) if anyone lasts long enough to give up 7092 hits...

Oddly enough, Cy Young is pretty underrated I think.

meh, his era+ is only 138.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3933052)
Cy Young got screwed over in the first HOF voting in 1936. They originally held two elections, one for 19th century players, the other for 20th century players (which resulted in the famed initial class of Cobb/Johnson/Mathewson/Ruth/Wagner). Young's career spanned from 1890 to 1911. You're ahead of me -- he just missed the cut in both elections. He was selected in 1937 and showed up for the HOF dedication in 1939.

FUN FACT #1: One of Cy's final MLB starts, on 9/7/1911, pitted him against a rookie Phillies pitcher named Grover Cleveland Alexander.

FUN FACT #2: In Cy's final MLB appearance (10/6/11) he drove in a run. I wonder how many non-pitchers in the Hall got an RBI in their last big league game -- especially at the age of 44.
   5. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3933153)
meh, his era+ is only 138.

Yep, same as Roy Halladay, only with almost THREE TIMES the IP. There are only 4 pitchers all-time within 2000 IP of him, or basically the career IP of Roy Oswalt.

Unless they decide to shorten MLB games to 6 innings at some point in the future, nobody is going to get within 500 CG of Young.
   6. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 22, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#3933163)
UNFUN FACT #1: The last eight batters Cy Young ever faced all got hits.
   7. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3933201)
One Hundred Years

Take it to the Stephenson thread.
   8. Wayne Newton's pet monkey (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#3933217)
Or the Cure thread.

If there were one.
   9. Wayne Newton's pet monkey (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3933219)
if anyone lasts long enough to give up 7092 hits...

How many starts does Brian Matusz have left this season?
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#3933225)
21-11 with an ERA+ of 195 at the age of 41. Yeah, Cy was pretty awesome.
   11. John Northey Posted: September 22, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3933258)
The highest inning total in recent times is 5404.0 by Phil Niekro, closely followed by Nolan Ryan at 5386.0 (talk about different pitchers). Greg Maddux also (just) cracked 5000. That means Niekro was at 73.46% of Young's total when he finally retired.

For wins the modern record would be Warren Spahn's 363, with recent totals of 354 Clemens & 355 Maddux. Spahn's total is 71.04% of Young's record.

Complete games though makes those two look easy. Warren Spahn at #21 on the alltime list is the first guy people living today have seen pitch. He had 382 complete games. Gaylord Perry is the highest of guys who threw in the 1980's at 303 while very recent guys like Clemens (118) and Maddux (109) are far behind. Spahn's total is just 51.00% of Young's total while Clemens goes down to 15.75%

Wow. The game would have to change drastically or some bizarre freak of nature (mix of Niekro's knuckleball & Ryan's fastball with tons of endurance) would have to show up for a team that is willing to use him that way for anyone to reach 50% of that record, let alone break it. That'd be a pitcher who'd get so many awards voters would be sick of voting for them (ala NL MVP voters and Barry Bonds).

Never say never, but I'd put this as close to 'never' as you get.
   12. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: September 22, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3933320)
Never say never, but I'd put this as close to 'never' as you get.

Imagine a pitcher with the following career:

Year    IP
2011    244
2010    250.2
2009    240
2008    246
2007    241
2006    240.2
2005    246.1
2004    255
2003    266
2002    260
2001    256.2
2000    251
1999    271.2
1998    268.2
1997    264
1996    265.2
1995    229.1
1994    202
1993    267
1992    268
1991    271.1
1990    267
1989    262.1
1988    275.2
1987    285.1
1986    275.1
1985    293.2
1984    267 

That's the innings total of the MLB leader each of the last 28 years. If one guy had had that career, he'd be at 7231.2 innings -- 124.2 IP behind Cy Young.

EDIT: Phil Niekro threw over 600 minor league innings, giving him over 6000 professional innings for his career. That's a hell of a lot.
   13. John Northey Posted: September 23, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#3934371)
Back in the 70's we had Wilbur Wood who went 4 years over 300 IP each year - after 70+ games as a reliever each of the 2 years before that. A 127 ERA+ over 1390 IP and 181 starts (45 starts per year). His first of those 4 years he had a 1.91 ERA (189 ERA+) for a 10.7 WAR (B-R). The next year he threw 376 2/3 innings (1972) with a 126 ERA+. Wow.

So that is what it would take. A knuckleballer on a team that has little hope and fewer starting pitchers and a manager who will let him start 45+ games a year.

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