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Most wins by a pitcher who never won 10 in a single season

Posted by Andy on June 29, 2011

I did this search by first ranking all pitchers since 1901 in wins, and then finding among those the guys that never won 10 in a season.

They are:

Tom Burgmeier, 79 wins

Steve Bedrosian, 76 wins

Mariano Rivera, 75 wins

Jeff Reardon, 73 wins

David Weathers, 73 wins

Dick Coffman, 72 wins

Eric Plunk, 72 wins

Lee Smith, 71 wins

Willie Hernandez, 70 wins

Of these guys, Dick Coffman did the most starting but he pitched mostly in relief.

Limiting to guys who pitched 60% of their games as starters, here are those since 1901 with the most wins but no double-digit win seasons:

Pete Smith, 47

Kyle Davies, 43

Joe Kennedy, 43

Pete Redfern, 42

Jesse Jefferson, 39

Happy Townsend, 34

Rob Bell, 34

Butch Henry, 33

John Lannan, 33

Paul Mitchell, 32

Paul Moskau, 32

Ray Keating, 31

Red Embree, 31

Tom Poholsky, 31

31 Responses to “Most wins by a pitcher who never won 10 in a single season”

  1. Rick Y Says:

    Nice!! Got to love this stat. Thank you!!

  2. wlcmlc Says:

    Pete Smith was 47-71 for his career with an era+ of 86. However, in 1992 he was 7-0 in 12 games (11 starts) with an era+ of 181. Late season callup or injury???

  3. Brandon Says:

    Smith was an August call-up when then #5 starter Mike Bielecki blew out his elbow.

  4. Brett Says:

    Happy Townshend: "Jumped" teams after 1901. You don't see that everyday. His 5-26 season looked good on paper, just not in the W-L column.

  5. jiffy Says:

    Kyle Davies is pretty terrible. Maybe the Royals keep running him out there because his real name is Hiram?

  6. Fred Says:

    @2 & 3
    I still blame Bobby Cox for taking Liebrandt to the post season instead of the hot and harder throwing Pete Smith. That move made Charlie the option that cost us the series ...Grrrr 🙂

  7. Brandon Says:

    Just another of the many, many questionable moves made during the Cox tenure...

  8. AlvaroEspinoza Says:

    Yankee Stadium is already sold out for all May/June 2012 games, the projected timing for Rivera's record tying and breaking victories. History again at Yankee Stadium!

  9. Fred Says:

    Cox was the master of misuse of a bullpen - okay maybe Torre an Sweet Lou were bad too but still - OTOH he had about 22 folks who closed out games in his last run in Atlanta so the GM bears some blame as well..and the new one is worse

  10. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    It's a good thing you posted this one now, looks like Lannon will graduate from the "less than ten wins" list this season

  11. Detroit Michael Says:

    Some interesting names on the starters list.

    Seems like Butch Henry was good enough to win 10 games. Checking his page, he did have some very nice ERAs, but just wasn't durable at all, reaching a high of 126 IP after his rookie year.

    John Lannan has been durable and league average in terms of ERA+ but he has spent his whole career pitching for the poor Nationals. His seasonal win totals include 9 and 9 and 8. So far this year, he's got 5 wins with about half a season to go, so he (as usual) has a shot at double digit wins.

  12. Andy R Says:

    Any Pete Redfern reference is a good thing...

  13. Tim Says:


    Actually, Pete Smith was on the team, and he pitched innings 5-7 of that game 6. He was then pulled for a pinch hitter.

  14. erik Says:

    Steve Bedrosian hit 9 wins three times, but none of them was the one season that he started 37 games, going 8-15...

  15. Mr. Dave Says:

    This list now makes me curious as to who had the fewest career wins for any pitcher that did win 10 games in a season....

  16. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Ham Iburg won 11 games in his only season.

  17. Jon Says:

    #15 Henry Schmidt won 22 games in his only season in the majors, 1903.

  18. Jon Says:

    Oops, you said fewest. Iburg and Doc Landis each won 11.

  19. Fred Says:

    @ Tim Uh.. Sorry, no.You're confusing Pete with Alejandro Pena

    Braves pitchers for the series were
    Steve Avery
    Jim Clancy
    Tom Glavine
    Charlie Leibrandt
    Kent Mercker
    Alejandro Pena
    John Smoltz
    Randy St. Claire
    Mike Stanton
    Mark Wohlers

    Games sic pitchers were Avery, Stanton (7), Pena (9), Leibrandt (11)

  20. Stephen Says:

    I'm with Andy R @12

  21. Dan Says:

    It should be noted here that Joe Kennedy passed away before he had another shot at winning 10 in a season. Don't specifically remember how he died, but he was still active at the time of his death.

  22. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Steve Bedrosian and Pete Smith were once traded for each other.

    Of those in the first part of the list, who were/are mainly relievers:

    2 Cy Young Award winners - Bedrosian and Willie Hernandez

    1 MVP - Hernandez

    1 almost certain HOFer - Mariano Rivera

    1 possible HOFer - Lee Smith

  23. Detroit Michael Says:


    Per Wikipedia, Joe Kennedy died of heart disease during the off-season:

    To my eye, it sure doesn't look like he was going to win 10 games in a season when eyeballing his career record. He was never really the same after throwing 3,000+ pitches in the majors at age 23 back when Tampa Bay used to rush all of its prospects.

  24. Thomas Court Says:


    I think it is safe to remove the "almost" when talking about the certainty of Mariano Rivera's Hall of Fame chances.

    He is ranked 13th all-time in lowest ERA. The next active player is Felix Hernandez who is ranked 245th. Try reading that one again.

    When he is named to his 12th All-Star team this year, only Warren Spahn will have more selections as a pitcher. As a closer? He will have represented his league as many times as Bruce Sutter (6) and Dennis Eckersley combined (6) - and that includes Eck's two selections as a starter.

    His post-season numbers almost defy belief:
    139.2 innings, 0.71 ERA, 0.766 WHIP
    His ERA is LOWER than his WHIP!!!

    He will pass Trevor Hoffman for most career saves either this year or next. And it looks like he will hold the top spot for quite some time. Francisco Rodriguez is the only player young enough on the active saves list to even be considered a challenger. K-Rod was on pace to challenge Mo following his 62 save campaign in 2008. But in the three seasons since (K-Rod's prime years) Mariano has out-saved him 98-80. Rodriguez also had a few blown saves off the mound. Now K-Rod is actually talking about a possible set-up role. I think when Rivera is eligible, there will not be an active player close to him in total saves.

    No "almost" about it. He is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

  25. Kelly Says:

    Thought W's were a meaningless stat... I must be on the wrong site LOL

  26. Andy Says:

    Kelly, you win the prize! I was waiting for the first person to point out the stupidity of my post. It's obviously just a meaningless piece of trivia. Although for the record, I wouldn't say W's are a meaningless stat, just deceptive and quite overrated.

  27. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    do you think modern American League closers get the advantage in compiling wins, due to their spot in the line up never coming up.
    I think Rivera gets left in during a tie game, when say, Trevor Hoffman may get yanked if his turn came up.
    Any thoughts or data on that?

  28. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Even in a tie game, closers rarely stay in more than one inning, and essentially never more than two. Since a lot of NL relievers come in after their spot has just batted, or on a double-switch, I doubt too many are getting pulled for pinch hitters when they would otherwise have stayed in.

  29. Dukeofflatbush Says:


    I thought along the same lines as you, until I saw Trevor Hoffman with like 40 PAs. I think he was in more tie games than we give him credit for.

  30. LVW Says:

    Here's a trivia for you- most career wins without winning 100 games for any team.

  31. Charles Says:

    Tommy John 288 wins never won 100 with any team