It seems this year there's been a lot of wild pitches. Since the start of the 1998 season, only four pitches have reached twenty wild pitches in a season: Matt Clement (23) in 2000, Scott Williamson (21) in 2000, Jose Contreras (20) in 2005, and Freddy Garcia (20) in 2005. Only thirty-eight pitchers have reached 14 or more in a single season since then. A little over halfway through this year, however, four pitchers have already reached double-digits. Those four are Ubaldo Jimenez (13) of Colorado, Manny Parra (11) of Milwaukee, Tim Wakefield (10) of Boston, and Tim Lincecum (10) of San Francisco.
The National League collectively is on pace for 824 wild pitches this season, the most since 2003. The American League is only on pace for 725, actually a decrease from the past two seasons. So, since the AL went and dismissed my idea wild pitches are on an upswing across the board, let's look at potential team records. Through 93 games this season, the Giants have tossed 49 wild pitches. That puts them on pace for a staggering 85 wild pitches this year, the most for an NL team since the Reds went nuts with 96 in 2000 (the '06 Angels and Royals both had 85). As noted, the AL has seen fewer wild pitches and the Royals and Rangers, both with 38 in 94 games, are on pace for "only" 65 this season. That would be the fewest wild pitches by an AL leading team since the 2003 Rays had 65 (the '01 Brewers led the NL with 58).
Houston only has 13 wild pitches in 93 games, putting them on pace for only 23 total this season. That would be the fewest by a major league team since the Mets only had 22 wild pitches in 2002. The AL laggard Oakland A's, already have 18 wild pitches in 93 games, putting them each on pace for 31 wild pitches. The 2005 Indians were the last team in the AL to have fewer than 31 wild pitches in a season.
For fun, I've put together a list of the fifteen pitchers since 1901 who were allowed to throw ten or more wild pitches at a rate of at least one every six innings. That'll be it for the day, as there are more cherries to be picked. :)
- Stu Flythe, 1936 Athletics, 16 WP, 39.3 IP - 2.5 IP/WP
- Jason Grimsley, 1991 Phillies, 14 WP, 61.0 IP - 4.4 IP/WP
- Danny McDevitt, 1962 Athletics, 11 WP, 51.0 IP - 4.6 IP/WP
- Jaret Wright, 2003 Padres/Braves, 12 WP, 56.3 IP - 4.7 IP/WP
- Storm Davis, 1994 Tigers, 10 WP, 48.0 IP - 4.8 IP/WP
- Scott Williamson, 2003 Reds/Red Sox, 12 WP, 62.7 IP - 5.2 IP/WP
- Scott Williamson, 2000 Reds, 21 WP, 112.0 IP - 5.3 IP/WP
- Richie Lewis, 1994 Marlins, 10 WP, 54.0 IP - 5.4 IP/WP
- Mark Guthrie, 2000 Cubs/Devil Rays/Blue Jays, 13 WP, 71.3 IP - 5.5 IP/WP
- Tom Candiotti, 1999 Athletics/Indians, 13 WP, 71.3 IP - 5.5 IP/WP
- Hector Carrasco, 2000 Twins/Red Sox, 14 WP, 78.7 IP - 5.6 IP/WP
- Dave Giusti, 1962 Colt .45's, 13 WP, 73.7 IP - 5.7 IP/WP
- Dennis Higgins, 1969 Senators, 15 WP, 85.3 IP - 5.7 IP/WP
- Jeff Robinson, 1991 Angels, 10 WP, 57.0 IP - 5.7 IP/WP
- Hector Carrasco, 1995 Reds, 15 WP, 87.3 IP - 5.8 IP/WP