No major league pitcher has won 30 games in a season since Denny McLain had 31 victories for the Detroit Tigers in 1968, but The Baseball Project is pinning their musical hopes on one superstar hurler to pull off the feat this season.
As The Baseball Project's Steve Wynn sings in "30 Doc," which you can download for free here or listen to in the box at right, members of the band believe Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy "Doc" Halladay has the stuff to reach that milestone.
"I know the odds are mighty slim; But nobody's got a better chance than him," Wynn, who wrote the lyrics, sings. "30 Doc" is the third in a season-long series of songs The Baseball Project is giving away free, exclusively on ESPN.com.
Heading into his Tuesday night start at Colorado, Halladay is 6-1 with a 1.45 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched. Halladay, 32, is on pace to go 31-5, so it's not yet inconceivable for the notoriously intense, disciplined and hardworking pitcher to reach that impressive plateau.
Wynn works in historical references to past 30-game winners ("But they all had rubber arms; No setup man, no closers, no fear of harm") and some pitchers who have fallen short since 1968.
The closest anyone has come since McLain's big year was Bob Welch with 27 victories for the Oakland Athletics in 1990 and Steve Carlton's 27 victories for the Phillies in 1972.
Before being traded to the Phillies in the offseason, Halladay averaged 16 victories per year for the Toronto Blue Jays. With the defending National League champions' potent lineup around him, the baseball fans in The Baseball Project were inspired to compose a rousing folk-rock song befitting Halladay's talent and greatness.
Though it's done tongue-in-cheek, Wynn and bandmates Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck and Linda Pitmon mix their wishful thinking with their admiration of Halladay and the Phillies.
I know the odds against are about a million to one
That even a pitcher like Halladay could get this done
He'd have to win just about every start
Half in that hitter's paradise, CB Park
But the Phils can beat you in so many ways
Power and speed and great defensive plays
Sure it's early to be fantasizing about a seemingly unreachable accomplishment. But if Halladay keeps getting strong run support, The Baseball Project won't be the only ones singing about Doc Halladay's chances.
Who's gonna win 30 games?
Jim Wilkie is the editor of The Life and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.