Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

30 Game Winners Thing of the Past?

Ubaldo Jimenez tries to win his 15th game tonight for the Colorado Rockies against Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants.

Ubaldo Jimenez has a chance to become the first 30 game winner since Denny McLain won 31 games in 1968. McLain had the advantage of making 41 starts that year while Jimenez will probably have about 35 starts at the end of the 2010 season.

Jack Chesbro won 41 games for the New York Highlanders in 1904 to become the first 40 game winner of the modern era while Ed Walsh won 40 in 1908 for the Chicago White Sox. They were the only pitchers in modern era to win 40 games.

Christy Mathewson won 37 games in 1908 for the New York Giants while Walter Johnson won 36 for the Washington Senators in 1913. Iron Joe McGinnity won 35 games for the 1904 New York Giants.

Other pitchers to win 30 or more games were Smoky Joe Wood with 34 in 1912 for the Boston Red Sox, Grover Cleveland Alexander with 33 in 1916 for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Among others to win 33 games in the modern era were Cy Young in 1901 for the Boston Americans, Christy Mathewson of the New York Giants in 1904 and Walter Johnson in 1912 for the Washington Senators. Cy Young won 32 in 1902 for the Boston Americans.

Seven pitchers have won 31 games in the modern era with three pitchers winning 30 games in a season.

Dizzy Dean was the last pitcher to win 30 games in 1934 for the St. Louis Cardinals. The next 30 win season wasn’t until 1968 when Denny McLain would win 31 games 34 years later.

The closest any pitcher has been  to winning 30 games beside McLain when he won 31 in the last 60 years is Robin Roberts when he won 28 games in 1952 for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jimenez will have to be almost perfect the rest of the season to win 30 games. It is amazing that Jimenez has won 14 of 16 starts this season with his only loss coming in a game in which he gave up one run and two hits to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He has not been nearly effective lately allowing 16 runs in 32 innings in June for a 4.41 ERA after giving up only four runs in 46 innings in May and a 0.78 ERA and three runs in 34 innings during April for a 0.79 ERA.

There was only one home run hit against Jimenez in his first 80 innings but four have been hit in his last 32 innings. He has been fortunate to have only one no-decision start in 16 starts.

Today’s game is crucial for Jimenez to win if he is to win 30 games in 2010. He is scheduled to make his next start next Friday against the Padres. If he wins both games he will have 16 wins before the All Star game in which he will probably be the starting pitcher for the NL.

After giving up 10 runs and 14 hits in his last two starts it will be interesting to see how well he pitches tonight to see if he can return to his form of April and May.

Around the Diamond

The Red Sox moved to within a half game of the Yankees with their 3-2 win yesterday over the Orioles. The Red Sox have been hit hard by injuries with eight players on the disabled list.

They have lost Dustin Pedroia for an extended time and Jacoby Ellsbury has played in only nine games this season. In the last week they lost both catchers Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek.

Their No.1 starter Josh Beckett hasn’t pitched since May 18 but will make a rehab start next week so should be back for the second half.

Despite all these injuries the Red Sox have won 11 of their last 15 games. Their ability to stay close to the Yankees with so many regulars out of action tells me the Red Sox have an excellent bench.

Pitching has been a key to their success with Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and John Lackey combining for a 28-10 record this season while the injured Beckett and Tim Wakefield have a combined 4-7 record but leading the majors in runs scored with 438 hasn’t hurt their chances of being the AL East champion.

Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Hamilton have been on fire during the 2010 season with Guerrero having 70 RBI and Hamilton having 59. Guerrero is leading the majors in runs batted in with Hamilton being third in the AL.

With the season close to halfway over with some teams already having played their 81st game seven pitchers are on a pace to win 20 games:

Ubaldo Jiminez 14-1

David Price 11-4

Adam Wainwright 11-5

Phil Hughes 10-2

Mike Pelfrey 10-2

C.C. Sabathia 10-3

Clay Buchholz 10-4

Alex Rios with 13 home runs and 22 stolen bases is one of  five players with a chance at a 30-30 season with the others being Shane Victorino with 12 home runs and 17 stolen bases, Chris Young with 15 home runs and 14 stolen bases, David Wright with 14 home runs and 13 stolen bases, Hanley Ramirez with 13 home runs and 15 stolen bases.

Nine AL hitters are hitting .320 or higher while Martin Prado hitting .337 is the only NL player hitting higher than .320…. Paul Konerko, Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrera are the only major leaguers on track for a 40 home run season.

The Reds have rebounded from losing six of seven games to win nine of their last 11 games….Martin Prado of the Braves who until last season had not played in more than 78 games is leading the majors in hits with 114 which is six more than second place Robinson Cano.

Ichiro Suzuki has 107 hits in 79 games placing him on track to have his tenth consecutive 200 hit season with 2,137 lifetime hits in the majors after having 1,278 hits in Japan for a total of 3,415 professional hits….Roger Bernadina wanted to find a place to hide after getting picked off at second base for the last out by Francisco Rodriguez for the final out in the Mets 5-3 win over the Nationals.

The Phillies lost to an 0-6 pitcher last night when they lost to Ross Ohlendorf and the Pirates 2-0. The Phillies were 26-15 on May 21 but have played 15-22 baseball since then and are in third place in the NL East and five games behind the first place Braves.

Jaime Garcia (8-4) of the Cardinals showed he is still in the running for the NL Rookie of the Year pitching seven scoreless innings against the Brewers in the 5-0 shutout win by the Cardinals….Edwin Jackson didn’t pitch his second consecutive no-hitter but still won his third straight start in a 12-4 win over the Dodgers as Kirk Gibson made his managerial debut for the Diamondbacks.

Mat Latos (9-4) also made a bid for the NL Rookie of the Year with a 3-0 win over the Astros. He hurled eight scoreless innings and has allowed only one run combined over his last three starts encompassing 20 innings.


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