On Thursday, Randy Johnson became the 24th player to win 300 games, which of course begs the question: will he be the last to accomplish this feat? Only one pitcher won over 500 games (Cy Young, 511), and only one other pitcher won over 400 games (Walter Johnson, 417). Obviously those milestones will never again be reached, but how about 300?
Here are the active pitchers with more than 200 wins, with their ages in parentheses:
Jamie Moyer, 250 (46)
Andy Pettitte, 220 (36)
Pedro Martinez, 214 (37)
John Smoltz, 210 (42)
Moyer would need to be Nick Altrock to get to 300. Pettitte keeps talking about retiring, but keeps coming back. If he plays until he's 41, he'd need to average about 16 wins per season. Pedro is not technically active at the moment, but expressed a desire to pitch this season while pitching in the World Baseball Classic. He'd need to average 17 wins even if he played another four years--that's not going to happen. And Smoltz is too old to have a shot at 90 more wins.
So we probably won't be seeing any more 300-game winners for a while. But what about the younger pitchers out there? The first few names on the "all-time wins" leaderboard that pop out to me are:
Roy Halladay (32): 140 wins
If Halladay pitches until he's 43, he'd need to average about 14.5 wins per season (I don't know why I picked age 43; it just seems like a nice mid-point between "too young to have a good shot at 300" and "older than the vast majority of pitchers when they retire"). He's a workhorse, which either means he's got the makeup to pitch well into his 40's, or that he's logging so many innings early in his career that he'll run out of gas before he can get there.
Roy Oswalt (31): 131 wins
If he pitches until he's 43, he'd need to average 14 wins per season. He's had just one season in his first eight in which he didn't win at least 14 games. He's off to a slow start this year, however, with just two wins. Some think he's already slowing down, which would certainly preclude him from reaching 300 wins.
Mark Buehrle (30): 128
Would need to average 13 wins per season if he pitches to age 43. He has averaged 14.75 over the last seven years.
Barry Zito (31): 124
His huge contract with the Giants appears to be a huge bust, but I put him on the list anyways because if he were to regain his past form, he's within range. Keep in mind that when Randy Johnson was 31, he had just 83 wins.
CC Sabathia (28): 122
If he pitches 15 more years, he needs just 12 wins per season. It's some of the younger pitchers that are really in range of 300, though whether they can maintain a high level of performance over the next decade-and-a-half is the question.
Johan Santana (30): 116
The lefty would need 14 wins per season over the next 13 years.
Carlos Zambrano (28): 100
It seems like Zambrano could have racked up more wins by now, but even 300 game winner Tom Glavine had "just" 107 wins at the end of the season in which he turned 28. Z would need to average 13 wins if he pitches 'til he's 43.
Jake Peavy (28): 91
We're getting pretty young here with Peavy and Zambrano. It's pretty difficult to project someone to get 300 wins when they haven't yet cracked triple digits. But we'll throw Peavy on the list anyways, as his career is off to the kind of start one needs in order to have a chance.
What do you think? Will baseball ever see another 300 game winner?
Friday: Cubs 2, Reds 1
Speaking of Carlos Zambrano and wins, Big Z earned his 100th career win with 6.2 scoreless innings, dropping his ERA to 3.72 along the way. In classic Zambrano style, he drove in more runs than he allowed by virtue of a solo home run, his second long ball of the season.
The bullpen once again made things interesting: Marmol allowed a hit, two walks and a run in his inning of work, and Gregg allowed a hit and another baserunner via a dropped third strike, but when all was said and done, the Cubs picked up the win and improved to two games over .500.
I don't think a whole lot of people (including myself) are ready to start believing in the Reds, but for now, this series matters in the standings. The Cubs entered the series one game behind the Reds for third place in the NL Central, and thus drew even with Friday's victory.
-With Thursday's rainout and subsequent makeup game June 22, the Cubs will now play on 23 consecutive days starting June 16. They will finally have an off day July 9, and will then play a doubleheader just three days later. Fortunately, the All-Star break immediately follows the doubleheader.
-The rainout also means that Zambrano, Dempster and Wells will start this weekend, and Marshall is officially a member of the bullpen. Harden hopes to return to the mound Friday.
-With Milton Bradley hurt, will Jake Fox get a chance to start and play in the field?
-Outman has to be one of the best names for a pitcher, ever. (hat tip: Brian Brennan)
-Quick: Who has the second best ERA in each league, behind Zach Greinke and Johan Santana, respectively?
AL: Jered Weaver (2.26)
NL: Matt Cain (2.27)
-Tony La Russa is suing Twitter. Does someone who fell asleep at a stoplight because he was driving drunk really need to defend his reputation? Perhaps the impersonator angered La Russa by suggesting that he was going to bat the pitcher ninth?
-The White Sox were shutout on Friday for the ninth time this season.
The Cardinals' Kyle Lohse is headed to the DL; Brad Thompson will fill in.