First Pitch: The company CC keeps

July, 9, 2013
7/09/13
6:00
AM ET
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY SportsCC Sabathia's 200 wins put him in an elite group of pitchers.
CC Sabathia will take the mound as a 200-game winner for the first time tonight against the Kansas City Royals.

Here's a look at the company Sabathia keeps.

• Sabathia’s 200 wins are the most of any pitcher since his debut season in 2001. Roy Halladay is next closest at 188.

• Sabathia is the sixth pitcher to debut since 1960 to win 200 games through his age-32 season (turned 32 before July 1 of that season).

The other five are among the best pitchers of the last half-century: Catfish Hunter, Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver, Juan Marichal and Greg Maddux.

• Sabathia is the 10th pitcher to win 200 games within the live ball era before turning 33. The other nine include those five pitchers listed above and Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Robin Roberts, Don Drysdale and Hal Newhouser.

• You might have noticed that almost all of the names in the notes above (other than Sabathia) are right-handed pitchers. That's because it is unusual for a lefty to get to 200 wins this quickly. Only three lefties have done so: Wilbur Cooper (202), Newhouser (200) and Sabathia.

Sabathia needs an even 100 wins to reach 300 for his career. Entering this season, Sabathia had averaged 16 wins per season through his first 12 seasons.

At that rate, Sabathia would need to pitch through 2019 at an average of 16 wins per season to reach 300.

How reasonable is this from a historical perspective?

Since 1990, 10 pitchers have won at least 109 games from their age-32 season through the end of their careers. We’ve listed them in the chart on the right.

The quest for the next 100 wins begins against the Royals tonight. His history against Kansas City is pretty good. Sabathia’s 18 wins against them are one shy of his most against any team, trailing only his 19 against the Detroit Tigers.

Up now: The Rapid Reaction off last night's 5-1 loss to the Royals, as well as a blog from a postgame clubhouse nearly as silent as the Yankees' bats.

On deck: Game 2 of this four-game series, matching Sabathia (9-6, 4.06 ERA) against right-hander James Shields(3-6, 3.23 ERA), first pitch at 7:05 p.m. The Yankees' clubhouse opens at 3:20 p.m., and Matt Ehalt and myself will be there with the lineups and all the pregame news. Also, Hall of Famer George Brett, the Royals' hitting coach, will hold a news conference at 4:30 to discuss the infamous Pine Tar Game 30 years later, so check in all afternoon. And, as always, thanks for reading.

Question: Do you think Sabathia will win 300 games? If so, will he do it as a Yankee? Let us know in the comments section.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .283
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 47
RB. Gardner 54
OPSM. Teixeira .794
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135