Sunday, June 7, 2009

RECORD NEVER TO BE BROKEN - completing a game is a lost art

After watching a high school pitcher in Washington pitch 10 innings and then recently reading in Sports Illustrated about the University of Texas pitcher Austin Wood pitching 12 innings it made wonder why we don't see complete games in the majors anymore. The starter is one of your best pitchers and with all the technology and training available, you can't tell me that pitchers today are not in condition to pitch 9 innings. The true test of a pitcher use to be if they could complete the game without relief. The old school starter was tough, gritty and wanted to finish what he started. They worked hard on the mound and didn't let a few hits discourage them. Today, pitchers get pulled after 5,6 or if they are lucky 7 innings. What kind of accomplishment is that? It is like the quarterback in football playing only 3 quarters because he is "fatigued" and having a special closer quarterback finish the game. This is not a good thing for baseball.

The complete game is a thing of the past. Complete games have steadily dropped since the 60's and the only active major leaguer with more than 60 complete games in his career is Randy Johnson with only 100. To compare, hall of famer Cy Young pitched an amazing 749 complete games in his career and Jack Chesbro holds the modern era record for a season with 49 complete games. These record will never be broken as the trend steadily shows:

Decade Leaders in Complete Games in a Season

1970's Catfish Hunter 30
1980's Rick Langford 28
1990's Jack McDowell 13
2000's Roy Halladay 9

Top 5 Baseball Records That Will NEVER Be Broken

1. Complete games in a career (Cy Young 749)
Randy Johnson's 100 tops the list of active players.

2. Complete game shut-outs (Walter Johnson 100)
Randy Johnson has only 100 CAREER complete games let alone shutouts.

3. Wins in a Season (Jack Chesbro 41)
20 wins is good for a pitcher these days since they only pitch every 5 days.

4. Lifetime Batting Average (Ty Cobb .366)
Albert Pujols is the active leader with a .334 average. Still a long ways to go.

5. Most Triples in a Career (Sam Crawford 309)
The current leader is Johnny Damon with just over 90 and he is on the later stages of his career. The most in a career since 1963 is 147...I think this one is safe.

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