Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The statistical company CC Sabathia keeps
By Justin Havens & Katie Sharp
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports
CC Sabathia will take the mound as a 200-game winner for the first time tonight against the Kansas City Royals.
CC Sabathia's 200 wins put him with an elite group of pitchers.
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 (meaning, 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 may have noticed that almost all of the names in the notes above (other than Sabathia) are right-handed pitcher. 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 100 wins to reach 300 for his career. Entering this season, Sabathia had averaged 16 wins per year 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.