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100th win puts Verlander in elite company

Posted by John Autin on August 12, 2011

By winning his 5th straight start tonight (and 13th in his last 15), Justin Verlander not only put a little more air between Detroit and Cleveland, took sole possession of the MLB wins lead, and notched his 20th game of 10+ Ks. He also reached 100 wins in 191 career games -- faster than all but 12 pitchers since 1919. (Note: All tables exclude tonight's games.)

Most wins in first 191 games, since 1919:
(Stats shown are for wins alone in first 191 games)

Rk Player #Matching   W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1 Vic Raschi 107 Ind. Games 107 0 1.000 2.23 106 80 20 886.0 665 220 43 330 514 1.12
                                   
2 Juan Marichal 106 Ind. Games 106 0 1.000 1.52 103 89 26 917.2 635 155 58 178 690 0.89
3 Roger Clemens 106 Ind. Games 106 0 1.000 1.83 106 49 21 857.1 607 174 47 200 839 0.94
                                   
4 Dazzy Vance 105 Ind. Games 105 0 1.000 2.01 102 93 16 913.1 696 204 17 238 691 1.02
5 Dwight Gooden 105 Ind. Games 105 0 1.000 1.62 105 49 19 842.0 609 152 31 225 758 0.99
                                   
6 Tom Seaver 103 Ind. Games 103 0 1.000 1.56 103 76 19 880.0 595 153 45 194 758 0.90
7 Mike Mussina 103 Ind. Games 103 0 1.000 2.18 103 26 12 795.1 606 193 60 167 577 0.97
                                   
8 Mark Mulder 102 Ind. Games 102 0 1.000 2.27 102 20 10 746.0 583 188 45 190 482 1.04
9 Bob Feller 102 Ind. Games 102 0 1.000 1.92 98 92 15 875.2 594 187 29 392 768 1.13
                                   
10 Denny McLain 101 Ind. Games 101 0 1.000 1.72 100 78 20 864.0 569 165 74 229 670 0.92
                                   
11 Roy Oswalt 100 Ind. Games 100 0 1.000 2.00 97 10 4 702.2 566 156 43 118 622 0.97
12 Johnny Allen 100 Ind. Games 100 0 1.000 2.16 93 77 11 841.1 653 202 26 290 527 1.12
                                   
13 Justin Verlander 99 Ind. Games 99 0 1.000 1.89 99 12 5 709.0 528 149 38 163 665 0.97
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/12/2011.

Over the last 3 seasons, Verlander has:

  • more strikeouts than anyone (freaky, innit?);
  • more wins than anyone but CC Sabathia (what's up with thatDoc?);
  • the best H/9 of any pitcher who's appeared in the AL ("it's good to be king!"); and
  • a WHIP that's 2nd only to Halladay.

Verlander is the 6th active pitcher with 100 wins in his first 7 seasons:

Rk Player W From To Age G GS CG SHO GF L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF IBB HBP BK WP Tm
1 Roy Oswalt 112 2001 2007 23-29 221 209 12 4 5 54 .675 0 1413.1 1374 523 482 323 1170 3.07 143 112 5836 24 48 4 16 HOU
2 Tim Hudson 106 1999 2005 23-29 212 212 18 8 0 48 .688 0 1432.2 1328 588 530 447 1014 3.33 134 114 5967 38 56 3 43 OAK-ATL
3 Barry Zito 102 2000 2006 22-28 222 222 9 4 0 63 .618 0 1430.1 1228 620 564 560 1096 3.55 125 148 5998 14 65 5 26 OAK
4 CC Sabathia 100 2001 2007 20-26 219 219 16 5 0 63 .613 0 1406.1 1318 646 598 464 1142 3.83 115 131 5873 14 43 9 29 CLE
5 Bartolo Colon 100 1997 2003 24-30 213 211 28 7 0 62 .617 0 1388.2 1322 638 595 525 1120 3.86 121 148 5872 25 26 4 33 CLE-TOT-CHW
6 Justin Verlander 99 2005 2011 22-28 190 190 14 5 0 57 .635 0 1252.1 1113 536 498 391 1151 3.58 122 109 5203 17 55 14 53 DET
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/11/2011.

Verlander only pitched twice in his 1st year (no wins), but why split hairs? He's also the 6th active pitcher with 100 wins through seasonal age* 28:

Rk Player W From To Age G GS CG SHO GF L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF IBB HBP BK WP Tm
1 CC Sabathia 136 2001 2009 20-28 288 288 28 11 0 81 .627 0 1889.1 1738 827 760 590 1590 3.62 122 168 7834 22 59 11 36 CLE-TOT-NYY
2 Mark Buehrle 107 2000 2007 21-28 259 234 22 7 6 75 .588 0 1629.0 1681 770 688 373 943 3.80 122 187 6770 28 42 9 11 CHW
3 Jon Garland 106 2000 2008 20-28 278 255 9 6 9 89 .544 1 1625.1 1719 886 807 532 851 4.47 104 205 6945 20 47 0 34 CHW-LAA
4 Carlos Zambrano 105 2001 2009 20-28 259 238 9 4 4 68 .607 0 1551.1 1313 669 605 698 1324 3.51 127 126 6593 36 81 4 49 CHC
5 Barry Zito 102 2000 2006 22-28 222 222 9 4 0 63 .618 0 1430.1 1228 620 564 560 1096 3.55 125 148 5998 14 65 5 26 OAK
6 Justin Verlander 99 2005 2011 22-28 190 190 14 5 0 57 .635 0 1252.1 1113 536 498 391 1151 3.58 122 109 5203 17 55 14 53 DET
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/11/2011.

He also became the 4th-youngest Tiger to reach 100 wins. Here are the 11 pitchers with 80 Tigers wins through seasonal age 28:

Rk Player W From To Age G GS CG SHO GF L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF IBB HBP BK WP
1 Hal Newhouser 170 1939 1949 18-28 378 306 182 31 56 119 .588 15 2458.1 2130 930 777 1072 1583 2.84 138 84 10382   10 6 55
2 George Mullin 157 1902 1909 21-28 330 298 258 25 30 134 .540 6 2592.1 2434 1116 765 833 1091 2.66 104 19 10636   78 1 67
3 Denny McLain 117 1963 1970 19-26 227 219 94 26 2 62 .654 1 1593.0 1321 605 554 450 1150 3.13 110 195 6443 16 22 6 22
4 Dan Petry 107 1979 1987 20-28 257 245 47 10 5 81 .569 0 1638.2 1528 776 683 648 866 3.75 108 164 6924 56 37 5 58
5 Hooks Dauss 105 1912 1918 22-28 235 187 134 14 42 83 .559 15 1612.2 1452 656 491 528 666 2.74 103 16 6509   77 2 41
6 Mickey Lolich 102 1963 1969 22-28 267 219 62 21 25 74 .580 10 1528.1 1318 640 587 518 1336 3.46 101 145 6375 27 60 5 53
7 Justin Verlander 99 2005 2011 22-28 190 190 14 5 0 57 .635 0 1252.1 1113 536 498 391 1151 3.58 122 109 5203 17 55 14 53
8 Jack Morris 88 1977 1983 22-28 197 175 73 8 10 64 .579 0 1357.1 1233 595 554 475 765 3.67 110 132 5647 37 16 5 51
9 Joe Coleman 86 1971 1975 24-28 191 189 55 11 0 68 .558 0 1341.0 1246 627 561 542 962 3.77 99 129 5715 31 47 2 50
10 Ed Willett 83 1906 1912 22-28 196 149 108 12 34 66 .557 3 1303.2 1213 587 414 402 449 2.86 100 17 5318   81 0 49
11 Tommy Bridges 82 1930 1935 23-28 182 151 83 15 23 63 .566 5 1194.0 1102 581 487 577 664 3.67 120 77 5180   13 4 25
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/11/2011.

Only Hal Newhouser, George Mullin and Denny McLain got to 100 wins younger than Verlander, who is still 6 months from turning 29.

  • Mickey Lolich was 2 weeks shy of his 29th birthday when he got #100; he had 83 wins by Verlander's current age. (Of course, Mickey's best was yet to come.)
  • Dan Petry was a couple of weeks older than Verlander at the time of his 100th win (and, sadly, was already a shell of his former self).
  • Hooks Dauss was also older than Verlander when he won his 100th; Dauss had 93 wins by Verlander's current age.

By seasons, Verlander is the 6th Tiger to reach 100 wins by his 7th year, and he got there a little sooner than Mickey.

The only Tiger SP ever to win the Cy Young Award was McLain in 1968-69. That may change this year.

_________________

* Seasonal age is a player's age, in years, on June 30 of any given season. A current player who was born on June 30, 1980 has a seasonal age of 31; a player born July 1, 1980 has a seasonal age or 30.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 12th, 2011 at 12:03 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

39 Responses to “100th win puts Verlander in elite company”

  1. Note: This has been revised since it was first posted; refresh to check out the first table.

  2. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Using the Favorite Toy for pitchers may be silly, since the guys who do the most in their early 20s tend to do very little in their 30s. Nevertheless. Verlander is on pace for 23 wins this season. If he gets them, the Toy sez:

    75% chance for 200 wins
    50% chance for 224 wins
    32% chance for 250 wins
    11% chance for 300 wins
    non-zero chance for 341 wins

  3. verlander is such a boss

  4. ~~~WINS~~~

  5. So what's the story with Vic Raschi? I can only assume he fought in the war given the gap in his stats, but why'd he spend so much time in the minors when he got back?

  6. Of the 7 pitchers starting at least 10 games for the Yankees, 5 had spent a significant amount of time in the majors or minors in 1945. The two exceptions, Spud Chandler and Randy Gumpert, had excellent years in 1946 with ERAs 0.700. Raschi hadn't pitched since 1942 and was 11-12 in the minors with a 3.18 ERA in 1946. He did pitch 2 complete game wins for the Yankees in September. He was 8-2 in the minors with a 2.75 ERA when he was called up when Spud Chandler was injured in 1947.

  7. Doesn't like greater than and less than signs

    Of the 7 pitchers starting at least 10 games for the Yankees, 5 had spent a significant amount of time in the majors or minors in 1945. The two exceptions, Spud Chandler and Randy Gumpert, had excellent years in 1946 with ERAs less than 2.50 and winning percentages over 0.700. Raschi hadn't pitched since 1942 and was 11-12 in the minors with a 3.18 ERA in 1946. He did pitch 2 complete game wins for the Yankees in September. He was 8-2 in the minors with a 2.75 ERA when he was called up when Spud Chandler was injured in 1947.

  8. Baseball is a funny sport. Denny McLain. I oftened wondered IF this man would've been hit by a bus after the 1969 season..would history be somewhat kinder to the man. HOF perhaps? Dizzy Dean and Koufax limited yet brilliant careers didn't hold them back from induction. Makes one ponder..doesn't it?

  9. And the guy already has 2 no hitters. Barely anyone's got 2, and he's already got 2. I hope he stays healthy!

  10. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    JA

    Can't start the stalking to we work out some parameters, which we can easily accomplish through electric mail or, I can meet you at your work parking lot in my bathrobe... the ball's in your court.
    Seriously, I have quite a few ideas I'd like to float by you.
    Is there an official Bbref way to contact you?

  11. [...] [...]

  12. I can honestly say I did not see Verlander becoming this good.

  13. Mets Maven Says:

    @8

    Dizzy Dean and Sandy Koufax had 5 excellent seasons, whereas Denny McLain only had 2. If had been "hit by a bus" in 1969, he would've only had 7 major league seasons, and wouldn't qualify for the HOF. Dean and Koufax also undoubtedly benefited from being icons of their era, whereas McLain was anything but, even when at his peak.

  14. Richard Chester Says:

    Just for the record Red Ruffing had just 40 wins in his first 191 games but wound up with 273 career wins.

    @5 Raschi did serve in the military during WW II.

  15. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @8, @13 - Denny McLain's HOF qualifications if his career ended after 1969-

    Yes, I know he wouldn't be HOF-eligible because of less than 10 MLB seasons played, but an interesting comparison is with another streaking meteor, "Smokey" Joe Wood:

    WOOD: 117W-57L/ 1430 IP/ 146 ERA%
    MCLAIN: 110W-50L/ 1434 IP/ 110 ERA% (estimated)

    This is with subtracting McLain's record after 1969.

    Interesting that a big 30+ win/WS season was the highlight of both of their careers... Despite the lesser W/L%, I think Wood had a considerably better career - in only one year (1968, of course) did a McLain seasonal ERA% exceeed Wood's _career_ ERA%.

    Wood got HOF votes nine separate years, peaking at 18%, so it's not as if he never got consideration. I think the "short career/ great peak" HOF line ends with Dizzy Dean (and some people feel that Dean does not belong in the HOF).

    Useless factoids about McLain I have finally found an outlet for:
    - he recorded an LP of organ instrumentals for Capitol Records
    - he was married to Lou Boudreau's daughter

  16. Interesting, that on your first list, JA, only six out of the thirteen pitchers, including Verlander Clemons, and Gooden, won all their games as a starter. The other seven, including Marichal, Feller, Oswalt and others won at least one of their games out of the pen.

  17. Interesting that Mulder only won one more game in his career. He's still only 34, but hasn't pitched since '08.

  18. Did the Padres pass on Verlander on the amateur draft because they thought they could not sign him? Or they really liked this Bush kid?
    I think MLB should review draft rules concerning signing bonuses. Small market teams don't sign big name free agents and sometimes they don't even sign their first round draftees.

  19. John Autin Says:

    @18, Luis -- According to his Bullpen page, Verlander's signing bonus and total compensation were not outrageous, although that doesn't answer whether the Padres feared they wouldn't sign him.

    The difficulty with addressing signing bonuses is that any measure would have to be negotiated with the players' union as part of the Basic Agreement. I wouldn't expect the union to be keen on the idea, and I don't blame them. An amateur coming into the pro game has so little control over the first several years of employment; it doesn't seem right that he should have to give up one of the things he can influence.

    I'm in favor of MLB trying to address the general inequalities in revenue. But I don't think they should start from the premise that every existing MLB team has a god-given right to both turn a profit and be a contender, in their current city.

    BTW, I've been enjoying your memories of growing up a baseball fan in Mexicali.

  20. Early days, but Verlander could be on a 300 win track. Will probably need to pitch effectively to 40 (or beyond), but it's not inconceivable.

    Also, barring a major collapse the rest of the way, Verlander should become the first qualifying Tiger starter since Jeff Robsinson in 1988 with an ERA under 3.

  21. Detroit Michael Says:

    I don't remember the Padres passing on Verlander due to signability issues.

    Before that year's draft, I do recall one of the authors then at BaseballProspectus.com writing that Verlander was a high burnout risk due to his college career. Just because the prediction turned out wrong (in a sample size of one player) doesn't mean it wasn't a good observation. The Tigers had a couple of high profile pitchers selected in the years right before Verlander that did blow out their arms quickly, so perhaps (at that time) the Tigers were more willing to ignore that kind of red flag than other organizations were.

  22. @20
    Doug, see #2, where Johnny is projecting about Verlander with the Favorite Toy. It's not a crystal ball, but gives a statistical probability.

  23. @22.

    Thanks, Neil.

    Yeah, 11% seems about right to me for a probability.

    Because of his age, Verlander is tracking to guys like McDowell, Pettitte, Martinez, Hentgen etc. in terms of similarity. So, it would be a long shot if he could continue his pace for another 12 years or so.

    But, if he can post 3 or 4 20-win seasons during the peak years he is starting to enter, the path up the mountain is not quite so steep.

  24. Luis Gomez Says:

    @19 JA.
    Thank you.

    And regarding the Draft, I think you are right. And let's not forget how inexact a sciencie the draft is, I mean, for every 1st rounder like Brien Taylor there's a late rounder like Mike Piazza.

  25. @21 and @24
    D. Michael and Luis, I think drafting a pitcher is inherently more risky than an other position player because of the strain put on the elbow and shoulder joint with every pitch.

    Every team has to draft pitchers; you can't afford not to. But projecting college and low-minor-league pitching stats to the majors for pitchers is much less certain, I believe, than for other position players.

    Perhaps Detroit got lucky by ignoring the Baseball Prospectus forecast that Justin Verlander was at risk, if D. Michaels is correct in #21.

  26. Detroit Michael Says:

    Following up on post 21:
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2928
    "Verlander is, by most accounts, a really nice kid, but if your local GM drafts him, think about moving." So at least some folks thought he was far from a "can't miss" draftee. Article has a chart showing how his workload and ERA both rose during Verlander's college career.

    Let me make clear that a bad outcome doesn't mean the observations weren't valid at the time.

    A later BP article by a different author noted that Verlander hit 99 mph in college but that his statistics were pretty unimpressive for a guy with his stuff.

  27. Hal Jordan Says:

    Just wanted to make one correction...C.C. Sabathia did not have 136 wins through age 28. He had 136 wins through seasonal age 28. I know it is a minor point, but I am also a stats buff like you, John A. Weird, wild, stuff though!!

  28. John Autin Says:

    @27, Hal Jordan -- Thanks for the correction re: age vs. seasonal age. Not a minor point at all. I've amended the post and added a footnote defining seasonal age.

  29. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I don't know what the Padres or anyone else thought of Verlander, but Matt Bush was definitely considered a "signability" pick. He was not regarded as a good choice at #1.

  30. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I'll offer a mild defense of Brien Taylor. He has to be considered a bust, but not in the same way that, say, Matt Bush was. He injured his shoulder in an off-season fight and was never able to throw the ball over the plate after that. Before that, he wasn't a can't-miss prospect (too many walks), but he was doing pretty well and probably would have managed a useful MLB career. That wasn't a scouting failure (unless the Yankees should have known he had a tendency to get in fights -- and I've never heard that the fight was his fault).

    I also make myself feel better with the knowledge that if the Yanks didn't draft Taylor, they would have taken Mike Kelly, who did nothing. (My recollection is that they were trying to decide between the two almost until draft day.)

    Of course, Manny Ramirez was playing right across the Harlem River....he got picked 13th.

  31. John Autin Says:

    JT, re: Taylor's fight not his fault -- You made me curious, since I've forgotten whatever I'd read about it at the time. FWIW, here's what's on Wikipedia, with the standard caveat:
    ---------------------------
    On December 18, 1993 the normally mild-mannered Taylor suffered a dislocated left shoulder and torn labrum while defending his brother Brenden in a fistfight. The New York Times reported that Taylor confronted a man named Ron Wilson, who had fought with in Harlowe, North Carolina. Brenden suffered head lacerations in his fight with Wilson. Once Taylor found out his brother had been hurt, he and a cousin went to Wilson's trailer home to confront him. There, Taylor got into an altercation with Jamie Morris, Wilson's friend, and Taylor fell on his shoulder.[2] According to Wilson, Taylor attempted to throw a haymaker at Morris, and missed, which caused the injury (similar to how Sonny Liston dislocated his shoulder by missing a number of hard punches in his first fight with Muhammad Ali).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brien_Taylor
    ---------------------------
    If that's a reasonably accurate description, I'd say Brien Taylor bears a lot of blame for poor judgment. If you go to the trailer home of some guy who fought with your brother, even without meaning to fight, the odds are pretty good that something physical will go down.

  32. @31
    John Autin, you will be all over C.C. Sabathia's 3 HR's allowed in one inning later tonight, I assume?

  33. Neil -- No, actually, I decided to wait and see if it got any juicier. Patience rewarded.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/13956

  34. JA, it was not only juicy, it was seared to perfection.

  35. @15 Joe Wood's pitching career ended because of arm problems. He continued in the majors with Cleveland, as an outfielder, hitting nearly 0.300 from 1918 to 1922 and playing in a 2nd WS in 1920.

  36. Johnny Twisto Says:

    JA/31, thanks. To be clear, I didn't mean to imply that Taylor was not to blame. I had just never heard that he was to blame. And nothing in there about a bar....so much for relying on memory.

    I won't blame a guy for defending his brother, even if he sort of went on the offensive to do so. But he must wonder "what if" every day. I hope he's doing well.

  37. ESPN just had an article on the 2004 draft. According to the article, Jered Weaver and Stephen Drew were considered the top two talents in the draft, but both dropped due to signability concerns (both were Boras clients). The article also briefly mentions that there were concerns about Verlander's potential contract demands as well.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/14480/verlander-weaver-and-the-2004-draft

  38. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Ahh yes, if I had bothered to look at the draft I would have remembered that about Weaver. There was some talk he would go straight to the majors, if and when he ever signed. He actually spent 153 IP in the minors before his call up.

  39. [...] Verlander notched his 100th win for the Tigers on Thursday, and his 54th in his last 90 starts. Verlander is racking up victories [...]