20 Game Winners, 200 Hit Candidates, 30-30
Adam Wainwright is the major league leader in wins with 17 and has posted a 17-7 record and a 2.68 ERA this season. His ERA is fourth best in the NL.
He posted a 1.17 ERA in July and a 1.30 ERA in August. However in his last start he gave up six runs in five innings after giving up six runs in 42 innings in August.
Chris Carpenter is the only other NL pitcher with a chance for a 20 win season with 15 wins. His 15-3 record is even more outstanding considering he has only made 23 starts this season.
Carpenter should be in the running for NL comeback player of the year. He posted 0-1 records in each of the last two seasons. He has a perfect 8-0 record since the All Star break.
His last loss came on June 30 and he lost three of his last four starts in June for his only losses this season.
C.C. Sabathia and Justin Verlander have identical 16-7 records and have the best chance of reaching the 20 win plateau in the AL. Sabathia will attempt to win his 17th game today against the Rays in the first game of a doubleheader.
Sabathia and Verlander will have to win four of their last five starts to become 20 game winners so luck will have to be on their side to accomplish the feat.
The stats of Sabathia and Verlander are very similar as evidenced by the following stats:
ERA: Verlander 3.29, Sabathia 3.48
Games Started: 29 each
Innings Pitched: Sabathia 199, Verlander 197
Hits Allowed: Sabathia 176, Verlander 173
Earned Runs: Sabathia 77, Verlander 72
Home Runs Allowed: 17 each
Walks: Verlander 54, Sabathia 50
Opponent Batting Average: Verlander .235, Sabathia .238
There is a wide variance in their strikeout totals with Verlander having a commanding lead. He has 222 strikeouts to the 167 of Sabathia.
There is a trend developing lately with only Cliff Lee, Brandon Webb and Josh Beckett winning 20 or more games since 2005.
This trend will make it more difficult for pitchers to record 300 wins in their career. The old benchmark of 300 wins for automatic induction into the Hall of Fame may have to be lowered in the coming years to compensate for less 20 game winners.
Scott Feldman with a 15-4 record is a surprise name on the list of those with a chance to win 20 games. However his chances are slim since he will have to win all his remaining starts assuming he takes the mound five more times in 2009.
The Rangers didn’t even insert Feldman into the starting rotation till April 25 probably ruining his chance to win 20 games this season.
If he had been in the rotation all season the Rangers may be leading the wild card race now instead of being behind the Red Sox.
Feldman should be in the running for the AL comeback player of the year award since he posted a 6-8 record in 2008.
Ichiro Suzuki leads the majors with 195 hits and is seeking to post 200 hits for his ninth straight season. He has 2000 hits exactly in less than nine seasons.
If Suzuki had played his entire career in the United States he more than likely would have had 4000 hits. His 1,278 Japanese hits give him a total of 3,278 hits combining hits in both countries.
Derek Jeter is next on the list of players with a chance of reaching 200 hits in 2009. He has 183 hits with 25 games remaining for the Yankees in 2009. Jeter is 35 and needs 282 hits to reach 3000 hits.
He is 17 hits shy of 200 hits and it would also be the seventh 200 hit season of his career.
He should notch his 3000th hit during the 2011 season at the age of 37. He could finish with around 3,500 hits by the time he retires.
Hanley Ramirez with 176 hits needs 24 more hits for 200 hits this season. It might be close but he should barely get over the 200 hit mark by the end of the season.
Robinson Cano should reach 200 hits for the first time in his career and needs 25 more hits to reach that goal.
Ian Kinsler – 29 HR’s, 29 SB’s….Kinsler is only a home run and stolen base short of joining the 30-30 club in 2009.
Matt Kemp – 23 HR’s, 30 SB’s….Kemp needs seven home runs to become a member of the 2009 30-30 club. That may sound like a lot of home runs but he had five home runs in a six game stretch recently.
Mark Reynolds – 41 HR’s, 22 SB’s….Reynolds will probably fall short of the 30-30 club unless his manager lets him attempt steals more than often. It took him over five months to steal 22 bases. So it is unlikely he could steal eight bases in less than a month.
It looks like Kinsler is the only player that will reach the 30-30 club in 2009. The last time no player had a 30-30 season in a non-strike season was 1984.
It is ironic that three of the four 40-40 players have a steroids connection. Barry “Balco” Bonds, Jose Canseco and Alex Rodriguez all have been linked to steroids while the other winner as of today Alfonso Soriano has no links to steroids in his past.