Originally Posted by dougflynn23
That's gonna be one hell of a lonely "magic number" after Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson become the last two pitchers EVER to reach that mark. 300 wins in the era of the 5 man rotation is going to end at 4....Maddux. Clemens, Glavine, and Johnson; all whom played the majority of their careers with winning teams, not the early 1970's Twins, mid-70's Rangers, and mid-'80's Indians.
I was thinking about this exact subject earlier this week. There is a decent chance that sometime in the next couple of seasons Glavine, who has 290 career wins, and Johnson, who has 280 career wins, will each notch his 300th career victory. I thought, if and when the second of this pair wins 300, some sportswriter will opine that no one else will ever win 300.
I will be very surprised if Glavine and Johnson are the last of the 300 game winners. Yes, with the era of the five man rotation and the six inning starting pitcher, 20 wins in a season are becoming more and more rare (none in 2006). However, a lot of pitchers who having extraordinarily long careers and winning a lot of games, perhaps because the five man rotation helps them avoid injury.
For example, Juan Marichal was a tremendous pitcher who won 20 games six times, with three seasons of 25 or more wins. With a heavy workload of complete games, Marichal finished his career with 243 wins. Meanwhile, Mike Mussina has never won 20 games in a season, yet, with 239 career wins he almost certainly will surpass Marichal in career victories.
The five man rotation has been in vogue since the early 1970s, with the Mets and Dodgers being early pioneers of the concept. Since that time we have seen the following pitchers rack up 200 or more wins: Clemens 348, Maddux 333, Carlton 329, Ryan 324, Sutton 324, Phil Niekro 318, Gaylord Perry 314, Seaver 311, Glavine 290, John 288, Blyleven 287, Jenkins 284, Kaat 283, Randy Johnson 280, Palmer 268, Jack Morris 254, Dennis Martinez 245, Tanana 240, Mussina 239, David Wells 230, Tiant 229, Catfish Hunter 224, Koosman 222, Joe Niekro 221, Reuss 220, Lolich 217, Jamie Moyer 216, Jim Perry 215, Reuschel 214, Kevin Brown 211, Bob Welch 211, Blue 209, Kenny Rogers 207, Schilling 207, Pedro Martinez 206 and Hershiser 204. That's 36 of the top 100 winners in major league history, all of whom pitched significant portions of their career since 1970. I could add Marichal and Bob Gibson to that list as well, but they pitched in four man rotations.
Pitchers are not winning as many games in a season as they used to, but they are having longer careers and racking up impressive career win totals.