Blog Entry

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

Posted on: May 3, 2009 2:57 am
Randy Johnson got win 297 on May 1, 2009 vs the Colorado Rockies.  He pitched 7 innings struck out 9 and the Giants won 3-2.  As long as Johnson stays injury free this season, he should get win number 300 sometime before or during the month of June.  

Randy Johnson approaching win 300 should be a big deal to all fans of baseball.  The reason is unless teams go back to a four man rotation when a team has an off day that week, there is a chance that there will never be a 300 win pitcher again.  The new era of baseball is that of pitch counts, middle relievers and closers.  As time goes by, I can see closers getting their 400th, 500th save and so on as the new great pitching statistic.  Jonathan Papelbon was asked a few years ago to become a starter for the Red Sox.  His reply was no thanks, the only way he would get to the Hall of Fame was to remain a closer.  He keeps his closer stats like they are, he will be a shoe in to get to the Hall five years after he retires unless he ticks off over 25% of the voters either before or right after retirement.  

Active pitchers behind Johnson on the all time wins list are as follows.  Jamie Moyer at 249, Andy Pettitte at 217, Tim Wakefield 180, Bartolo Colon 152, Livan Hernandez 148, Kevin Millwood 144, Mike Hampton 142, Roy Halladay 136, Derek Lowe, Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, and Jeff Suppan at 129, Mark Buehrle 126, Barry Zito 123, CC Sabathia 118, Russ Ortiz and Johan Santana 112, and Jon Garland at 108.  

Jamie Moyer is the closest at 249.  However Moyer is 46 years old.  He has 3 wins so far this season.  He won 14 games in 2007 and 16 games last season with the Phillies.  If he were to average 15 wins over the next 2 seasons, that would put him at 276 at the end of the 2010 season as his three wins so far this season are factored in his 249 win total.  To reach 300 wins, Moyer would have to pitch until he is 50 years old, not probable, but not impossible as at 46 he is still getting the job done.

Andy Pettitte will be 37 years old this season sitting on 217 career wins.  He won 15 games in 2007, then 14 in 2008 with the Yankees.  He has 2 wins this season.  If he were to average 15 wins a season he would be would become a 300 win pitcher during the 2014 season.  He would be younger than the age Jamie Moyer is now.  If he stays healthy and wants to continue to play he will have an outside shot at 300, however the Yankees have talent in their farm system, and Pettitte and the Yankees did have a disagreement about a contact before this season began.  If he is not with the Yankees beginning next year or within a few years, you have to wonder what kind of run support and defensive support he would get from another team to help him continue to get wins.

Probably the best shot at 300, is not even at 150 yet.  However, some say this Blue Jays ace is the best pitcher in baseball at this time.  Roy Halladay has 5 wins in 2009 and the calander just changed to May.  He will turn 32 this month and has been with the Blue Jays since 1998.  Halladay is known for the innings he pitches, he had 9 complete games, 246 innings pitched and 206 strikeouts in 2008.  He was a 20 game winner last season.  He could reach 300 wins in 10 seasons if he averages around 17 wins a year.  Halladay is not a pitcher I would bet against achieving 300 win status, however one has to wonder, those pitch count, innings pitched worriers if his arm might not take another 8-10 seasons in the big leagues at the work he puts in on game day.  

Finally we cannot rule out CC Sabathia.  It took him seven seasons to win 100 games.  If he could maintain that average he would win his 300th game in the year 2021, in which he would be 41 years old.  CC does have his slumps but he also has times where he dominates like he did with the Brewers last season going 11-2 during the second half of the season.  If Sabathia can get to 200 wins before he turns 35 he could have a shot to become a 300 game winner, what would help him more though is to be more consistent in the month of April.       

There is probably a college player playing right now, or maybe a little leaguer out there that one day in 20-40 years from now will threathen to get to 300 wins.  However it seems more and more each season that 100 pitch count becomes more and more like a hook to get the pitcher out of the game.  The main question to any of you who respond is will Randy Johnson be the last 300 game winner in baseball?  Will there be another in Moyer, Pettitte, Sabathia, or Halladay?  And will there be another that we have never heard of or will the 200 game winner be the new mark once Johnson breaks 300 wins this season?    
Category: MLB

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2012 11:31 pm

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

I was looking at some old threads that I had posted on and I came across this one from 2009. As I was was reading over it , I got to thinking about how much my posts might differ three years later. Here is the top five active wins leaders.

Jamie Moyer (269) He won twenty more games in the last four seasons. He is currently 34th on alltime wins list. His age and declined skill set has all but brought his chase of 300 wins to a halt. If by chance he finds a job in 2013, he might win a few more games, but that still wouldn't get him, to 300. His career appears to be over after bouncing around the last two seasons.

Andy Pettite (245) He won twenty eight more games since 2008. He currently ranks in a tie for 49th on the alltime wins list. He recently resigned with Yankees for a one year deal. An injury filled 2011 short him the chance to win more games. Despite the injury, he did pitch pretty well. If he can continue to perform solidly this season and he wants to continue playing, he may get the oppurtunity to move closer to 300. At the age of 40, father time won't allow it.

Roy Halladay (199) He has won sixty three more games since 2008. He ranks 109th on the all time wins list. At the age of 35, he is getting closer to the end of his career. If he piches another ten years at his current level of play, he could make a run at 300. If he wins an average of 14 games a season, for the next six years, that would give him another 84 wins and raise his total to 283, at the age of 41. That would mean he would have 4 years to win seventeen games, by age 45. I think he will win more than an average of thirteen games a season over the next 3 to 4 years and barring injury can get 300 wins.

Tim Hudson (197) He has won 51 games in the last four seasons. He ranks 112th on the all time wins list. He would have more wins if an injury hadn't cost him most of the 09' season. since the injury he has won 49 games in the last three years (16,16,17). At age 37, he has maybe four more solid years & six to seven total left. I think he can definetly get to 250, but not 300. He might have a shot if he can pitch to age 45.

CC Sabathia (191) He has won 73 games since 2008, an average of roughly eigheen wins. At the age of 32, he defintely has the time to get to 300. Plus pitching for Yankees he will get the chance to rack up the wins. He could easily pitch eight more seasons & if he averages eleven wins a year that would give him 88 more  and bring his total to 279. He has won 15+ games in a season eight times. One of the top pitchers in the league, he has the best shot of all these guys listed to achieve this goal. I think with his age and talent he will be the next 300 game winner.

Since: Aug 17, 2008
Posted on: May 4, 2009 7:40 pm

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

Very nice blog entry. I would have to agree with you that Randy Johnson could very well be the last pitcher to ever reach the 300 win mark. The only reason it is a chance is if there is a pitcher for a team like the Red Sox or Yankees, but even more dominant. They would need to win at least 115-120 games per year over a decent stretch. The problem is, the load is only on the pitcher to reach 300 wins. You need good run support on nights when you don't have your best stuff. We see a few pitchers on average reach the 20 game win mark per season. If someone was to average 20 wins a season, it would take them 15 years to reach 300 which isn't out of the question, but is highly unlikely between injuries and the wear it puts on your arm.

Like you said there may be a college kid now that has amazing stuff that will be drafted by a great team, but the 300 win mark may never be reached again after Johnson. Unless the game changes from how it is right now then I would put the odds of another pitcher after Johnson reaching 300 at 20%. Between pitchers getting injuries and pitch counts being lowered each and every year it seems unlikely anyone can reach the 300 mark.

Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: May 4, 2009 4:01 pm

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

I'm actually a Philles fan from the Philadelphia suburbs (although I love Edinson Volquez, hence he's my name sake) so my omission of Hamels was inadvertant. But to be clear I wasn't listing all the possibilites, simply illustrating the point about the younger generation of pitchers and citing some examples. But you are absolutly correct to place Hamels right up there at the head of the class.

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: May 4, 2009 2:46 pm

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

You won't see 4 man rotations. The injury is a factor but I believe it's mainly to prevent arm fatigue during the season. You might see teams go to a 4 man rotation when they have an off day during the week which I never understood why they don't.

Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2009 11:57 pm

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

300 wins have occurred are occurring and will continue to occur.  Even if baseball continues with the five man rotation and 100 pitch count we'll still see 300 win pitchers.  The pitchers that win 300 are an elite breed, they win 15-20 games per year, every year for 15-20 years.  Those types, although rare, will continue to come around and produce those numbers.  
Today in baseball, stat head Harvard grads are making decisions concerning drafts and free agents signings. Eventually these guys will figure out that the five man rotation, which has been around for 20+ years hasn't reduced injuries or prolonged careers.  If it did we would have an over abundance of pitchers in their 40's and starting pitchers that hardly spend anytime on the disabled list.  Since that obviously is not occurring, someone will figure out that the five man rotation isn't necessary.  The ivy league stat heads will crunch their numbers and come up with a more efficient way to handle their rotation.  I believe they'll adhere to the 100 pitch count, but go to a four man rotation.  It's not the number of starts you make its the amount of pitches you throw in an appearance.  If teams were to go the four man rotation, it would strengthen their staff due to starting your four best pitchers and increase your bullpen strength due to increased numbers. With that I believe that the additional starts will help out the Mike Mussina's of the world reach 300 wins.  
Either way, the 300 career win pitcher is not extinct.  He has been, is, and will be...

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: May 3, 2009 9:34 pm

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

i may be alittle biased here but if you talk about Lincecum, Volquez, and Billingsly then how can you not even mention Hamels? He has more wins then Lincecum and Volquez and he is close in age with them all. I know it is real early in all 4 careers but you never know.

As for Moyer I think if he wants to get 300 wins he will. He is 46 but still pitching well enough to win games. The Phils score enough runs for him to win games 8-5 or so. With the way guys manage the game he can pitch 6 innings and get the wins. With only 51 wins to go I can see him getting it. He has avg. 14 wins for the last 13 years. if he gets 9 more wins this year then he will need to get 14 wins a year for 3 years to reach 300. With the run support he should get I can see it happen. I will atleast root for it.

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2009 7:15 pm

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

 1st off, I would like to acknowledge you on a great post. Keep up the great work. Now to comment on your blog.

 I don't think Randy Johnson will be last to win 300 games, but it could be a while before someone else does. There are alot of components to be a 300 game winner. You have to be a pretty decent pitcher to start with. All of the following are factors as well, longevity, lack of injuries, consistentsy, a good team & a little bit of luck too. I feel that you must avoid injuries first and foremost, play a long time and be very consistent to even have a shot at 300. For the most part, the 300 win mark is still considered a sacred mark in baseball, unlike the 500 homerun mark which is somewhat tainted by roids. I am not saying that pitchers didn't use roids, but they have not been the focus of this black eye. There could be a few make a run at it in the next few years.

 Jamie Moyer (249) is the most obvious because he is the closest. However, I think he is going to be just shy of it. The one thing he has going for him is that he plays on a team that gives him a chance to win alot of games. The negatives is that he is old and must watch out for injuries.

 Andy Pettite (217) has a good shot it, but I wonder how much longer he will play. As you said if he plays for 5 more seasons he will be real close. He appears to only want to play for a winner and I feel staying in New York, will give him his best chance.

 Roy Halladay (136) a very good chance to make it, as long as he doesn't get injured. He is so dominating and is chasing a ring. He would have been alot closer if his teams were a little better in the early years. I give him the best chance of everyone under 200 wins. He just seems to be that type of pitcher who pitches for 15-20 years. Plus his skills are good enough to allow him to do that.

 Johan Santana (112) has an outside shot at it in my opinion. He like Halladay, is good enough to do it, but he will have to continue to be very good for a period of time & stay healthy.

 Some of the other guys may get to 200 or 230, but thats about it.

Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2009 12:54 pm

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

I agree that the 300 game winner is a dinosaur. Even the pitchers who reached the plateau in recent years were all well into their 40's when they achieved the mark. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Roger Clemens all had periods of extreme dominance. So the level of performance over the span of time it takes makes this an extremely difficult benchmark regardless of the era. But today's game is a game of specialization as you pointed out, making the workhorse starting pitcher almost an oxymoron. Anyhow there are lots of arguments against the future 300 game winner, but I'll play devil's advocate and make one argument for it.

During the steroid era, we saw pitchers get dominated like never before, making the accomplishments of the recent 300 game winners and others like Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling among others even more impressive. Of course some of these characters, like Clemens are likely users too but lets look at the big picture. Even over the past 2-3 seasons the game is changing. The home run numbers are way down, and the running game is starting to come back into prominance. Teams are trying to make things happen instead of waiting for a three run bomb from their number seven hitter. The point is that many pitchers aren't going to be as afraid to throw in the strike zone as they may have been 5 years ago. So for the elite pitchers like  , Roy Halladay, Johan Santana it allows them to be more efficient and get those complete games that were almost unheard of over the past decade. Of course none of their complete game totals could be confused with the old timers but at least they are getting some complete games. So as these elite pitchers are going deeper into games and becomming less dependant on those shaky bullpen's their personal win totals should improve.

I don't think we'll see Jamie Moyer or Andy Pettite pitch long enough to reach the 300 win milestone. Halladay and Sabathia will have to avoid injury, but I think they have a shot. Of course considering the new environmental conditions in the game the new crop of you studs like Tim Lincecum, Edinson Volquez, and Chad Billingsly may have an easier road to hoe than we once thought. Obviously these guys have many years of winning to go before they even enter the coversation, but I'm simply illustrating the point. We will have to wait probably almost a decade until we see if this argument holds any water. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that 200 wins is the new 300. Let's give these young guns a chance to prove their wares before we completely write them off and close the book on 300 game winners.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or