Friday, June 5, 2009

Elias Gets Snippy

I like reading the Elias Says column on ESPN.com. It's got all sorts of odd trivia put together by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. Today, however, there was one entry that sounded downright angry:

WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE "LAST 300-GAME WINNER"
Do you think when Grover Alexander got to 300 wins in 1924 the pundits were saying that there will never be another 300-game winner? Or that they were saying the same thing when Early Wynn won his 300th in 1963? Eleven of the 24 men to win 300 games reached the milestone before 1925, and 10 others have done so since 1982. Only three pitchers reached 300 wins between 1925 and 1981: Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn and Wynn.

While pitchers are starting fewer games than in years past, they're not recording a lower percentage of wins. This season, starting pitchers have recorded 68 percent of the wins in the majors; the percentage of wins by starters has hovered between 68 percent and 74 percent each season in the last 30 years (since 1979).

So who's next? Here are the active career wins leaders among pitchers under 40, under 35, under 30 and under 25:

Under 40: Andy Pettitte (220), Bartolo Colon (153), Livan Hernandez (151).
Under 35: Livan Hernandez (151), Tim Hudson (146), Kevin Millwood (146).
Under 30: CC Sabathia (122), Jon Garland (110), Carlos Zambrano (99).
Under 25: Felix Hernandez (44), Chad Billingsley (42), Matt Cain (37).

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I remember when Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux were going to be the last 300-game winners. Then I remember hearing all about how Tom Glavine would be the last one. Now Randy Johnson will supposedly be the last one. And that's just this decade.

I like the irony of Johnson being named the last 300-game winner less than a week before the most hyped pitching prospect in years is due to be drafted #1 overall.

Personally, I hope Jon Garland gets there. Not because I actually think he'll get there, but because Garland doesn't seem like the type of guy who fits into the 300 club. I mean, a nondescript guy who reaches 300 just by pitching forever? I'm down with that. Come to think of it, I hope Jamie Moyer turns this year around and lasts long enough to get to 300 for the same reason.

1 comment:

Devon said...

You should take a look at how many dudes in the 300 club won more than 60 games after their age 37 season. It's interesting.

I like your point about Johnson being named "the last" just before this draft. In '63 when Wynn won his 300th, Gaylord Perry was just barely no longer a rookie and Steve Carlton wasn't even in the major leagues yet.

I'm old enough to remember when it was said that Nolan Ryan would be the last 300 game winner....but of course, so was Don Sutton.