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Holy Jimenez!

Posted by Andy on June 17, 2010

Ubaldo Jimenez won his 13th game of the season earlier today. Click through to see the list of the other players to win 13 games among his team's first 66 of the season.

This list covers season 1920-1939 and 1952-present (but doesn't include Jimenez's performance yet.) Stats shown cover the games with wins, not the entire season-to-date stats for each player.

Rk Player Year #Matching W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1 Lefty Williams 1920 15 Ind. Games 15 0 1.000 2.58 14 13 0 0 129.0 114 37 2 30 55 1.12
2 Wilbur Wood 1973 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 1.37 13 8 4 0 118.0 96 18 4 18 67 0.97
3 Bobby Shantz 1952 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 1.44 14 14 2 0 131.0 89 21 4 31 74 0.92
4 George Pipgras 1928 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 2.30 14 12 2 0 121.1 112 31 3 46 57 1.30
5 Lefty Grove 1931 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 1.63 12 12 3 0 116.0 89 21 5 39 62 1.10
6 Lefty Gomez 1932 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 2.78 13 12 1 0 119.2 94 37 7 54 100 1.24
7 Red Faber 1921 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 2.07 13 13 2 0 121.2 101 28 4 41 39 1.17
8 Vida Blue 1971 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 1.02 14 14 5 0 123.0 63 14 2 39 121 0.83
9 Jim Bagby 1920 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 2.30 13 13 0 0 125.0 116 32 3 30 27 1.17
10 Pete Alexander 1920 14 Ind. Games 14 0 1.000 1.23 13 13 3 0 124.0 96 17 3 23 58 0.96
11 John Smoltz 1996 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.74 13 2 1 0 98.1 59 19 6 20 109 0.80
12 Dutch Ruether 1922 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 2.40 13 11 0 0 112.2 114 30 41 39 1.38
13 Dutch Ruether 1920 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.36 13 13 4 0 119.0 76 18 0 44 51 1.01
14 Charlie Root 1927 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 2.60 11 11 0 0 104.0 90 30 6 40 57 1.25
15 Bob Purkey 1962 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.76 13 8 2 0 107.1 82 21 5 24 56 0.99
16 Gaylord Perry 1974 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 0.85 13 13 3 0 117.0 61 11 4 37 80 0.84
17 Jim O'Toole 1963 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.76 13 7 5 0 107.2 81 21 2 29 58 1.02
18 Juan Marichal 1966 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.30 13 12 4 0 118.0 70 17 10 15 77 0.72
19 Mickey Lolich 1972 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.48 13 12 3 0 115.2 92 19 7 19 94 0.96
20 Sandy Koufax 1966 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.03 13 12 2 0 114.0 81 13 4 20 116 0.89
21 Randy Jones 1976 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.24 13 12 3 0 116.0 84 16 1 15 41 0.85
22 Lefty Gomez 1934 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.40 12 12 3 0 109.0 74 17 6 30 55 0.95
23 Fred Frankhouse 1934 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.78 13 0 0 0 106.1 97 21 1 26 32 1.16
24 Wes Ferrell 1932 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 2.39 12 11 0 0 109.0 103 29 6 27 38 1.19
25 Bob Feller 1939 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.81 12 0 0 0 109.1 70 22 4 53 95 1.13
Rk Player Year #Matching W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
26 Dizzy Dean 1934 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 2.16 11 0 0 0 112.2 97 27 3 20 60 1.04
27 Dizzy Dean 1936 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 2.54 12 0 0 0 113.1 106 32 6 18 58 1.09
28 Roger Clemens 1986 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 2.01 13 5 1 0 107.1 67 24 10 29 103 0.89
29 Steve Carlton 1980 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.80 13 6 2 0 105.0 76 21 4 29 98 1.00
30 Larry Benton 1928 13 Ind. Games 13 0 1.000 1.97 13 13 2 0 119.0 106 26 4 23 38 1.08
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/17/2010.

Amazing stuff. Smoltz, Clemens, and Carlton are the only guys to do it since 1980 (until Jimenez.)

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 4:35 pm and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

40 Responses to “Holy Jimenez!”

  1. Lefty Williams was one of the infamous "eight men out" black sox and that 1920 season was performed during the pending trial of the aforementioned men to be banned

  2. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Jimenez has a quality start every time out. The last pitcher to start a season with at least 14 QS was Maddux in '94 (16). Felix Hernandez had 18 in a row from last season into this April.

    The most QS for any Rockies pitcher is...Jimenez last year, with 24. Jason Jennings is the only other to manage 20.

    Before his last start he had not allowed more than 2 runs in any start. 12 in a row to start the season tied Edinson Volquez's 2008 record (in the PI era).

  3. Cool. Any particular reason why the table is given in reverse alphabetical order?

  4. That was the default way it came up.

  5. Not related...

    Is there some way to use PI so that I can see what players have played games for multiple teams this year?

  6. I am curious...how would Denny McLain compare in his '68 season, and how would I check this out?

  7. In the team's first 66 games (the same as this leaderboard) McLain was 11-2 (with 3 nd) with a 2.06 ERA.

    He won his next 7 starts, and 14 of 15, going 18-2, then 25-3.

    I just looked up his game logs... (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?n1=mclaide01&t=p&year=1968)

  8. Cool. Any particular reason why the table leaves out losses?

  9. Thanks Thomas

    I hate to keep asking these things, but I am not at all familiar with the finer points of B-R. Is there some sort of tutorial to aid me in my plight?

  10. @8

    Because the search was # of wins in x team games it's only going to show wins. I only know this because I remember it from the last Jimenez related post.

    @9

    Here are some videos... there may be other things I'm not aware of (http://www.baseball-reference.com/videos/)

  11. rootbeersoup Says:

    I would be very surprised at this point if Ubaldo Jimenez did not continue this performance and win the Cy Young

  12. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Let's assume that no pitcher's true talent is an ERA of just over 1 and that Jimenez is pitching over his head so far. If he continues for the rest of the season at a level where a reasonable preseason projection would have put him, I have him finishing at about a 2.45 ERA and 21 wins, which would quite likely earn him the CYA. Of course it's very possible he's made a true leap, and while he will regress some over the rest of '10, he will pitch better than my off-the-cuff projection. I haven't seen enough of him this year or in the past to determine whether he's qualitatively different than he used to be. Anyway, my guess is he'll end up with an ERA somewhere between 2.00 and 2.45.

  13. That list above has quite a few exceptionally good pitchers and few who simply had fluke years. It's also true that this is not Jimenez's first good season. I am inclined to think that he's going to be a top pitcher in the NL for the next several seasons.

  14. Johnny Twisto Says:

    9 of his 14 starts have been on the road. Ordinarily that would hurt you, but that's probably a help for Jimenez. Presumably the split will be more 50-50 over the rest of the season.

    On the other hand, it looks like he's faced offenses which are slightly better than average, overall (I didn't bother calculating it).

  15. @5 Use the season finders, set the year from 2010 to 2010, sort by franchises and select "Find Totals for Combined Seasons or Careers".

  16. Denny McLain after 66 games: 11-2 with 3 ND.

    A cool feature would be some way to generate a league leaderboard for any particular date of a season. That's either a lot of work or a lot of caching though.

  17. Thanks to Raphy {see number 12}.

    Is anyone else wondering if this might be the year we finally see someone {Jimenez, of course} replace McLain as the Majors' last 30-game winner?

  18. I meant to say "Number 17" instead of "number 23". Forgive my fingers; they know not what I am trying to do.

  19. "Is anyone else wondering if this might be the year we finally see someone {Jimenez, of course} replace McLain as the Majors' last 30-game winner?"

    Considering that pitchers nowadays only make 33-34 starts a year, no. McLain made 41 starts the year he won 31, so there was some margin for error then.

  20. We will never see another 30-game winner unless teams go back to 4-man rotations or the season gets a lot longer. Neither seems all that likely.

  21. I don't think we'll see another one either... but I'd love to see Jimenez (or perhaps, someone on the Phillies?) make a run at it at some point.

  22. Andy, I must disagree with that. As soon as we declare that something will never happen, it will; and saying that a record will never be broken is as close to giving it the kiss of death as anything I can think of.

  23. To keep things in perspective, Denny McLain had to win about 75% of his starts to get to 30 wins. For a modern-day pitcher making 33 starts, a 75% success rate would only get him to 25 wins. To get to 30, he would have to win 90% of his starts. That would be equivalent to 37 wins for a 41-start pitcher from McLain's era.

    So, we should probably look at 25 as the new 30.

  24. So all Ubaldo has to do is win 12 of his last 19 starts to get an equivalent of 30 wins back in the day? Sounds doable to me. (Naturally, by increasing the samples size by 8 starts, the longevity of success is a bit more impressive, but that's neither here nor there).

  25. buckweaver Says:

    @Al (#1):

    >>>Lefty Williams was one of the infamous "eight men out" black sox and that 1920 season was performed during the pending trial of the aforementioned men to be banned>>>

    While the first part of your sentence is true, the second is not.

    There were certainly rumors afloat throughout the season, but Lefty Williams did not testify to his involvement in the World Series fix before the grand jury in Chicago until the end of September 1920, long after his hot streak was over (he started with 15 wins in 66 games, but finished with just 22 over 154.)

    The players were indicted, for the first time, in October 1920, and the trial actually began in June 1921.

  26. Frank, I guess if Bob Welch can win 27 then someone winning 30 is possible. Seasons of such sustained performance and success are so exceedingly rare I just can't imagine it. Maybe one guy in the next 50 years will do it (or maybe teams go back to a 4-man rotation, making it significantly easier but still really hard.)

    For the record, I never though Lou Gehrig's record was unbreakable and was not surprised when Cal Ripken broke it. I also don't feel that DiMaggio's 56 is unbreakable even though we're over half a century with only one serious Run at it so far.

  27. I assume you're talking about Rose in '78. I don't consider that a serious run. He was only 78% of the way there. That's like someone getting to 58 HRs and saying they're threatening that record or Jimenez getting to 23 Ws and people projecting 30. These latter two things are seasonal records, I know, and would hinge on where we were in the season to know whether to get excited or not. But streaks are streaks and Rose was not close; he just was the closest anyone had come to date.

  28. If Jimenez gets to 23 wins in August, then he will be threatening the record. If Jemenez gets to 23 wins in late September, then clearly he's not since there is no time to get 7 more wins.

    I consider Rose's streak a serious contender because time wasn't running out--he just had to get a hit in his next game. It was certainly close enough for a lot of people to take note. At the time his streak eventually broke, he needed only a 12-game hit streak to tie DiMaggio--and 12 game hit streaks are not rare, especially for a pretty good hitter.

  29. The year Welch won 27 he made 35 starts - and he only had 2 no-decisions. If Jimenez is really going to make a run at thirty, then 34 starts vs. 35 starts is not that much of a problem. The key will be avoiding the no-decisions, not having his bullpen blow leads after he leaves. (A loss v. a ND makes no difference to whether he wins 30, at least not on a personal level.) If he can finish a lot of games on his own, and have his bullpen successfully close out his leads, then he stands a chance. It's not a very good chance, but it's a chance. The real record in play here is Roy Face's all-time win% for a single season - and if he loses even once more this year, that's out of reach.

    Also to consider: right now he's on pace to start another 19 times, so he needs 17 of 19, an .895 pace, a little less than what he has now. All his starts have been four or five days' rest. If he's close, say 24 wins at the start of September, do you think the Rockies will try to get him an extra start or two on short rest to give him a shot at thirty?

  30. The only reason I can imagine Jimenez getting extra starts at the end of the season is if the Rockies are close to a playoff berth and choose to skip other starters in favor of Jimenez. I cannot imagine them giving him bonus starts just to try to reach 30 wins.

    The odds that this is even a relevant conversation come the beginning of April are slim at best. Jimenez may very well end up with 23-26 wins but 30 is still nearly unreachable.

  31. That Bob Welch season is one of the most overrated pitching seasons of the last 40 years. It's another great example why W/L is a terrible way to judge a pitcher.

    He was pitching in a pitcher's park on a team that had an excellent offense and what's often left out about those late 80's A's is that they were a tremendous defensive team as well.

    He had a 126era+ which is decent but ranked about 7th in the A.L. that year. Also he owes a lot of that 126era+ to his defense that year. He had a 2.5 WAR which is just kind of average to tell you the truth.

    Jimenez is amazing because he has a 391era+. To put his season in perspective, Pedro (2000) has the best single season post 1901 ERA+ at 291.

  32. To put the Welch season in even more perspective, he wasn't even one of the two best Cy Young candidates on his own team. Dave Stewart was the A's best starter that year, and Dennis Eckersley had perhaps the greatest season ever by a closer (at least by a modern one-inning closer, at any rate). Here are there WAR totals for 1990:

    Stewart: 4.8
    Eckersley: 3.2
    Welch 2.5

    Eckersley was so good that year that he was worth more wins in just 73.1 innings than Welch was in 238. It's also worth noting that Welch's WAR total was only the tenth best of his career: he had nine seasons in which he was worth at least 2.7 WAR, including a 6.6 WAR season for the Dodgers in 1987.

  33. Does anyone know what the biggest improvement in ERA from the previous season is for any starting pitcher (say with a min. innings limit) and for the NL ERA leader? I am just curious as Ubaldo currently stands at over 2.00 lower than last year's ERA and his career and this got me thinking about just a thing.

  34. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    Jimenez DICE over the last two years indicated he was due for marginally better results, as they were in HOF range (if he were to maintain them for 20 years) while his ERA+ was only around 125. Of course, the expectation was a 140ish season, not this. His DICE this year though, is commensurate with a dominant season, about in line with Pedro's career average. He's likely to regress, of course, but if he can keep holding off the homers as well as he does, and striking out 8/9I with a 2.5 K/BB ratio, he's got a lot of strong seasons ahead.

    BTW, Lincecum's DICE are insane. They've dropped off a it this year as he's walked a few more guys and given up an extra homer over 90IP, but they are still basically off the charts. I don't know if he's going to blow his arm out in another 5 years, but if he doesn't, he's throwing on pace to make the hall oover a short (12-15 year) career. If anything, his ERA+ is *low* for his DICE numbers. maybe that's because he's pretty mortal on BABIP (I've only seen him pitch one game on tv, so don't really know his game), or maybe we're going to see a few monster 200+ seasons out of him before he's done when the worm turns his way a little.

  35. @John Q, David J - I completely agree that Welch's big year was overrated; Jiminez is pitching much stronger than that right now - I only used Welch's example because of his ratio of wins/starts, and because he got closer to 30 wins than any other pitcher of the DH era. What David especially said about Eck is important here - he saved 19 of Welch's 27 wins, and closed out four of the other games in non-save situations. More importantly, Welch only had one save blown by his bullpen all year, by Rick Honeycutt, on April 25. His six losses, he left when already trailing.

    Eck was out of his mind that year, and that holds in his 23 appearances in Welch wins: 24.1 IP, no runs, twelve hits, no walks, 27 K.

  36. @29

    I would contend that Rose was under more time pressure...every game was like the last game of the year for him. He had 4 or 5 ABs to get a hit every night. And he would have had to do this for another 2 weeks.

    And, in another vein, don't buy this stuff about players only caring about winning the game. I remember Game 45 for Pete...2 outs, nobody on in the ninth of a 16-4 defeat and Gene Garber strikes him out with a curve ball. Boy, was Pete PO'ed! I guess he thought Garber should have challenged him with a fastball or something. He wanted the record bad. And, the closer he got, the more pitchers would have been feeding him junk off the plate to get him to chase. And that was the closest anyone's come in almost 70 years. Except for breaking Johnny Vander Meer's record it might be the most unassailable record we have.

  37. Nighfly, David J, Valid points.

    David J,

    Excellent point on Eckersley. I left out that Welch had a 1990 version of Eckersley saving his games. Oakland in the late 80's-early 90's was probably one of the best pitching environments in baseball history. Think about it:

    1-Pitcher's Park
    2-Great Offense
    3-Eckersley in the bullpen
    4-Great Defense
    5-Dave Duncan as your pitching coach.

    That's why you could have a season like Storm Davis in 1989 (85era+) and actually win 19 games!!. Just another example of why W/l sucks. The Royals signed him to a big contract after that seasons and it was the beginning of the down-slide for the Royals.

    People look back on the A's teams and wonder why they only won 1 WS title from '88-92. Basically it was because they're starters sucked but their environment made them look good.

    Clemens should have won the Cy Young in 1990, he had an ERA a FULL run lower than Welch and he was pitching in the worst pitcher's park in the American League while Welch was in the Best. God, are the baseball writers dumb? It's one of the best pitching seasons in baseball history that didn't result in a Cy Young.

    Clemens actually should have won in '91 & '92 as well.

    Selecting Eckersley as the Cy Young & MVP in 1992 was another dumb thing the writers did. Either Puckett, Thomas, McGuire, Alomar, Ventura, or Raines would have been much better selections.

  38. Larry, both Dimaggio and Vander Meer are approachable. It will take all kinds of talent AND all kinds of luck; but when it happens, remember -- you heard it here first {Probably not, but I have a real Walter Mitty imagination}.

  39. [...] Still, Jimenez finds himself in waters charted rarely throughout baseball history. Including Jimenez, only four pitchers since 1980 won 13 games in their teams’ first 66 games according to Baseball Reference. [...]