I promise, this’ll be the final entry on the topic. These numbers blow me away, so indulge me please. I really need to share. We’ve been discussing pitcher durability and the managing of arms by Padres skipper Bud Black for a couple of days.
But to give you a little perspective, check this out. Padres ace Jake Peavy has five complete games in five seasons in the big leagues, including a one-year high of three in 2005. The all-time record for complete games in a season is held by a guy named Will White, who in 1879 tossed 75 of them. 75.
Hall of Famers Charley “Old Hoss” Radbourn and Pud Galvin completed 73 and 71 respectively in 1884, and Galvin threw 72 the previous season. That’s essentially a complete nine innings or more, every other day, in a two-man rotation, for a year. Radbourn, for his career, completed 489 of the 503 games he started, and worked over 600 innings in a season twice. Today’s pitchers are considered studs if they go 200.
Galvin pitched 646 CG during his career; good for second place all-time. Cy Young, whom you might expect, holds the record with 749, out of 815 lifetime starts, also a major league record. Young never tossed 600 innings in season (that slacker) but did throw as many as 400 innings five times.
The career leader among “active” players is Roger Clemens, with 118 complete games, which puts him in 327th on the all-time list. San Diego’s Greg Maddux is next on the active list, with 108 CG, good for 358th place.
The leaders in 2006? Cincinnati’s Aaron Harang leads the NL with six complete games, and C.C. Sabathia, of Cleveland, was the top man in the AL, also with six. So apparently, the state of Ohio does well in this department.
Things are looking up, however. Seven men lead baseball with one complete game thrown so far in 2007. And since we’re less than a month into the season, surely at least one of them is on pace to surpass last year’s standard, and perhaps toss as many as seven complete games this year.
OK, that’s it. Now I’m done with topic. Next.
— HOWARD COLE