Here are the parameters - seasons from 1901 and later, 200+ innings pitched, an ERA under 3.50, 6.0+ strikeouts per nine innings, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.50 or higher. For perspective, Tomlin is on course to hit all of those targets except for the K/9 - he is at 5.01 per nine IP right now. Masterson, even after yesterday's rough outing, meets the measure everywhere except for K/BB ratio, where he is a single BB too high.
The Indians have two starting pitchers who have been across-the-board excellent for this first (nearly) one-quarter of the season, Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin. Both men have an ERA under 3.00 and are on track to throw over 200 IP for the season. Tomlin has an exceptional strikeout-to-walk ratio and OK-ish strikeout rate, whereas Masterson has good numbers for both. We'd feel a little more comfortable welcoming our new Tomlin overlord if he would K a few more guys, but beyond that it's hard to quibble with anything they're doing. It got me thinking about how often a pitcher could put up a whole season like these two have gotten started on, and what sort of results that usually leads to.
First off, we should respect this level of production. Out of the 4870 pitcher seasons with 200+ IP, only
405 417 met all of the other qualifiers. That is fewer than 4 of these seasons per year, each year since 1901.
Today's trivia questions are all about these
405 417 seasons.
The 'win' stat for pitchers is much denigrated, and here's some evidence to support that position. In those
405 417seasons five times the pitcher finished the year with fewer than 10 wins. Name the year and the hard-luck pitcher.
1. Bob Welch, 1986, LA Dodgers (7-13, 235.2 IP, 106 ERA+)
2. Bob Johnson, 1970, Kansas City (8-13, 214 IP, 121 ERA+)
3. Nolan Ryan, 1987, Houston (8-16, 211.2 IP, 142 ERA+)
4. Kevin Appier, 1997, Kansas City (9-13, 235.2 IP, 137 ERA+)
5. Greg Swindell, 1991, Cleveland (9-16, 238 IP, 120 ERA+)
405 417 seasons were accomplished by a lot fewer than 405 pitchers. Three different pitchers each had 10 such seasons (correction - one had 11, two had 10). The remainder of the top-ten in # of such seasons in a career all had at least 7 such seasons. Name the top ten:
1. Tom Seaver - 11
2. Roger Clemens - 10
3. Greg Maddux - 10
4. Bert Blyleven - 9
5. Randy Johnson - 9
6. Jim Bunning - 7
7. Don Drysdale - 7
8. Fergie Jenkins - 7
9. Juan Marichal - 7
10. Mike Mussina - 7
11. Gaylord Perry - 7
12. Don Sutton - 7
Finally, who are the pitchers to accomplish this feat for the Cleveland Indians (12 seasons by 8 different pitchers) and their opponent tonight, the Seattle Mariners (8 seasons by 4 different pitchers)?