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1,000+ Whiffs w/Less Than 300 BB Club

Posted by Steve Lombardi on December 27, 2007

Mariano Rivera has 857 career strikeouts and has allowed 238 walks in his career, to date.  He also has a contract to pitch three more seasons (through 2010) with the Yankees.  Recently, Rivera is good for at least 60 K's a year with less than 20 BB allowed.  Assuming Mariano pitches to his usual level over the remainder of his contract with New York, he should finish his career with more than 1,000 strikeouts and less than 300 walks allowed.  Thinking about this made me wonder how many pitchers have reached these levels in their career - so, I turned to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Pitching Season Finder and set the controls for "Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2007, (requiring SO>=1000 and BB<=299), sorted by name" and this is what I found:

  Cnt                          SO   BB  From  To   Ages   G   GS  CG SHO  GF  W   L   W-L%  SV   IP     H    R   ER    ERA  ERA+  HR   BF  IBB HBP  BK  WP Teams   

+----+-----------------+-----+----+----+----+----+-----+----+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+---+------+----+----+----+------+----+---+-----+---+---+---+---+-----------+   

    1 Billy Wagner            1014  260 1995 2007 23-35  720   0   0   0 603  39  36  .520 358  771    523  226  206   2.40  180  72  3085  23  29   1  38 HOU-PHI-NYM   

    2 Ben Sheets              1048  266 2001 2007 22-28  190 190  13   1   0  73  74  .497   0 1229.2 1221  576  523   3.83  113 143  5110  23  30   1  41 MIL   

    3 Trevor Hoffman          1009  265 1993 2007 25-39  882   0   0   0 732  53  60  .469 524  942.2  724  317  286   2.73  147  82  3793  51   8   0  45 TOT-SDP

That's it - just three pitchers in the history of baseball, to date, have 1,000+ career K's with less than 300 career BB allowed.

If Ben Sheets pitches another season, he should work his way off this list - as his career BB allowed total would then pass 300.  Billy Wagner is good for 20 BB allowed per season, so, in 2 more years, Wagner should be off the list too.  Trevor Hoffman is another story.  He'll be 40-years old next season and allows about a dozen walks, or less, per season - on average (lately).  If Hoffman pitches until he's 42, he might work (or walk) himself off this list - but, it will be close.

Therefore, if Rivera reaches this "club," I don't think he'll be alone here.  But, it does seem right that the guy who is perhaps the best closer in A.L. history and the guy who is perhaps the best closer in N.L. history are the only two guys to make this cut.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 27th, 2007 at 7:52 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “1,000+ Whiffs w/Less Than 300 BB Club”

  1. Very impressive!

    By the way, one of my favorite features of B-R is on the http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/ page...the part that ranks managers by most "Wins Over .500". John McGraw is +815. Davey Johnson (+260) and Billy Martin (+240) are the highest on the list of non-active managers who aren't in the Hall of Fame. Willie Randolph is +50, and tied for 74th. Only 77 managers ever wound up at +50 or more.

    Anyway, I bring this up because I'd like to see which pitchers have the greatest raw K-BB. Randy Johnson's at 3194. Clemens 3092. Nolan Ryan 2919. Schilling's at 2405. Pedro's at 2322. Maddux 2304. Carlton 2303. Seaver 2250. Sutton 2231. Jenkins 2195. Gaylord Perry 2155. The Big Train 2146. Blyleven 1931. Smoltz 1991. Mussina 1909. Bunning 1855. Gibson 1781. Lolich 1733. Eckersley 1663.

    This was done by hand, and I may have missed some one.

    Is there a way to do it with P-I?