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PLUS-100 PITCHING WINS

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PLUS-100 PITCHING WINS

Two currently active pitchers have achieved the extremely rare and difficult feat of a won-lost record 100 or more games over .500.  Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez are members of a very exclusive club:

 
PITCHER
WINS OVER .500
 
  
 
 Tim Keefe (1880-1893)
117
 
 Old Hoss Radbourn (1881-1891)
115
 
 John Clarkson (1882-1894)
150
 
 Bob Caruthers (1884-1892)
119
 
 Kid Nichols (1890-1906)
153
 
 Cy Young (1890-1911)
195
 
 Iron Man McGinnity (1899-1908)
104
 
 Christy Mathewson (1900-1916)
185
 
 Eddie Plank (1901-1917)
132
 
 Three-Finger Brown (1903-1916)
109
 
 Walter Johnson (1907-1927)
138
 
 Grover Alexander (1911-1930)
165
 
 Lefty Grove (1925-1941)
159
 
 Bob Feller (1936-1956)
104
 
 Warren Spahn (1942-1965)
118
 
 Whitey Ford (1950-1967)
130
 
 Juan Marichal (1960-1975)
101
 
 Jim Palmer (1965-1984)
116
 
 Tom Seaver (1967-1986)
106
 
 Roger Clemens (1984-2007)
170
 
 Greg Maddux (1986-2008)
128
 
 Tom Glavine (1987-2008)
102
 
 *Randy Johnson (1988-2009)
137
 
 Mike Mussina (1991-2008)
117
 
 *Pedro Martinez (1992-2009)
119
 

* Active

(Source: Total Baseball)

100 games over .500 is the ultimate standard of pitching skill plus durability.  Of the 19 Hall of Fame-eligible pitchers listed above, only Bob Caruthers has not been enshrined.

It’s somewhat surprising to see Mike Mussina on this list because few fans ever esteemed him as a star.  Mussina went 4-5 for Baltimore after his debut in August 1991.  After that he had just one losing season, 11-15 in 2000, his last year in Baltimore.  Mussina won 270 games after winning 20 for the first time in his final season, 2008.  He has an impressive lifetime record for a man who, at his best, was recognized as very good but was never, at any time, considered great.  Never a charismatic performer, never dominating, he was nevertheless a very tough pitcher to beat, and that deserves respect.

Note: Only the immortal Cy Young ever made it to 200 games over .500, and he was there for just a few weeks in 1909.  Young’s career mark of 195 games over, however, is the all-time record.

Neither Johnson nor Martinez figures to be pitching much longer, if ever.  Is any currently active pitcher closing in on the +100 mark?  Just one: Andy Pettitte.  Pettitte’s 14-8 season lifted his lifetime record to 229-135 (+94).  If he continues to pitch for the Yankees, he has a real shot at +100.  Pettitte has been pitching in the majors since 1995 and has never had a losing season.  He will be 37 years old on Opening Day 2010.

When in Lake George, dine at the Old Log Inn.

October 2009

 

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