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Multiple Older Winning Pitchers

Posted by Raphy on July 21, 2008

As the older pitchers of the 80s and 90s begin to fade away, there are still some who are going strong.  For a while, it became common for older pitchers to win a lot of games, but this year it doesn't look like there will be all that many.  However, there is this one thing. The 2 pitchers age 36 or older (Defined by June 30) with the most wins are both on the same team.  Mike Mussina, with his resurgence at age 40, has 12 wins and Andy Pettitte, who makes the age 36 cutoff by 2 weeks, has 11.  Is this a big deal? Probably not. However, I would like to point out that no team in the history of major league baseball has had two pitchers 36 or older win 18 games and the only team to have two such pitchers win 17 games is the 1915 Chicago Whales.

Other than the Whales, there have been 5 teams with 2 pitchers 36 or older who each won at least 15 games.  All 5 of those made the playoffs. However, their stays there were not all that successful. The teams combined to go 2-5 in their postseason series, with both series victories going to the 2003 Yankees.

Here are the players with their regular season stats and their playoff stats:

The 1945 Cubs lost the World Series to the Detroit Tigers 4-3. Their older pitchers were actually 3rd and 4th on their team in wins.

                        SERIES STATS                     |     REGULAR SEASON
 Player              G  ERA   W-L SV CG  IP   H ER BB SO |  W-L   IP  ERA   WHIP  SO SV
+-------------------+-+------+---+--+--+----+--+--+--+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
 Claude Passeau      3   2.70 1-0  0  1 16.7  7  5  8  3 | 17-9  227  2.46  1.16  98  1
 Paul Derringer      3   6.75 0-0  0  0  5.3  5  4  7  1 | 16-11 214  3.45  1.28  86  4

The 2002 Braves lost the Division Series to the Giants 3-2.

                        SERIES STATS                     |     REGULAR SEASON
 Player              G  ERA   W-L SV CG  IP   H ER BB SO |  W-L   IP  ERA   WHIP  SO SV
+-------------------+-+------+---+--+--+----+--+--+--+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
*Tom Glavine         2  15.26 0-2  0  0  7.7 17 13  7  4 | 18-11 225  2.96  1.28 127
 Greg Maddux         1   3.00 1-0  0  0  6.0  5  2  1  3 | 16-6  199  2.62  1.20 118

The 2003 Yankees beat the Twins and Red Sox, but lost to the Marlins.  Here are their older pitcher regular season numbers:

    Player              Ag  G    ERA   W   L  SV  GS  GF  CG SHO   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO   BFP  WP HBP BK IBB ERA+
---+-------------------+--+---+------+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+----+---+---+--+---+---+
SP  Roger Clemens       40  33   3.91  17   9  0  33   0   1   1  211.7  199   99   92  24   58  190  878   5   5  0   1 112
SP *David Wells         40  31   4.14  15   7  0  30   0   4   1  213.0  242  101   98  24   20  101  887   3   8  0   0 106

and their post season starts:

Clemens:

  Cnt Date          Series G Tm   Opp GmReslt App,Dec    IP   H  R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GmSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk BK WP   ERA
+----+-------------+------+-+---+----+-------+---------+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+--+--+------+
    1 2003-10-04    ALDS   3 NYY @MIN W  3-1  GS-7  ,W   7    5  1  1  1  6  1  99  71   68       27 26  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  1  0  0  0  0   1.29
    2 2003-10-11    ALCS   3 NYY @BOS W  4-3  GS-6  ,W   6    5  2  2  1  7  0  96  59   60       22 21  1  0   0   0  0  0   1  0  1  0  0  0   3.00
    3 2003-10-16    ALCS   7 NYY  BOS W  6-5  GS-3       3    6  4  3  1  1  2  65  43   33       17 16  1  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   9.00
    4 2003-10-22    WS     4 NYY @FLA L  3-4  GS-7       7    8  3  3  0  5  1 109  76   54       29 28  1  0   0   0  1  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   3.86

and Wells:

  Cnt Date          Series G Tm   Opp GmReslt App,Dec    IP   H  R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GmSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk BK WP   ERA
+----+-------------+------+-+---+----+-------+---------+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+--+--+------+
    1 2003-10-05    ALDS   4 NYY @MIN W  8-1  GS-8  ,W   7.2  8  1  1  0  5  0  96  68   64       31 31  1  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   1.17
    2 2003-10-14    ALCS   5 NYY @BOS W  4-2  GS-7  ,W   7    4  1  1  2  5  1 103  62   68       28 25  0  0   0   1  0  0   1  0  0  0  0  0   1.29
    3 2003-10-18    WS     1 NYY  FLA L  2-3  GS-7  ,L   7    6  3  3  2  1  0 104  70   52       29 24  0  0   0   1  1  1   1  1  0  0  0  0   3.86
    4 2003-10-23    WS     5 NYY @FLA L  4-6  GS-1       1    0  0  0  0  0  0   8   5   53        3  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00

Of course Wells hurt the Yankees by having to leave a crucial game 5.

The 2005 Red Sox were swept by the White Sox 3-0.

                        SERIES STATS                     |     REGULAR SEASON
 Player              G  ERA   W-L SV CG  IP   H ER BB SO |  W-L   IP  ERA   WHIP  SO SV
+-------------------+-+------+---+--+--+----+--+--+--+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
*David Wells         1   2.70 0-1  0  0  6.7  7  2  0  2 | 15-7  184  4.45  1.31 107
 Tim Wakefield       1   6.75 0-1  0  0  5.3  6  4  1  4 | 16-12 225  4.15  1.23 151

The 2006 Yankees lost to the Tigers 3-1.

                        SERIES STATS                     |     REGULAR SEASON
 Player              G  ERA   W-L SV CG  IP   H ER BB SO |  W-L   IP  ERA   WHIP  SO SV
+-------------------+-+------+---+--+--+----+--+--+--+---+------+---+-----+-----+---+--+
 Mike Mussina        1   5.14 0-1  0  0  7.0  8  4  0  5 | 15-7  197  3.51  1.11 172
*Randy Johnson       1   7.94 0-1  0  0  5.7  8  5  2  4 | 17-11 205  5.00  1.24 172

In all of these cases, it seems that 1 of the 2 older pitchers was able to carry over his effectiveness into the post season, but  relying on both pitchers was asking to much.

P.S.
In the name of fairness, I thought that it might also be appropriate to include pitchers who were 35.
This is particularly true since Pettitte pitched part of this season before he turned 36.

7 teams have had 2 pitchers age 35 or older win 17 or more games including the 2002 Diamondbacks and the 1998
Yankees. (Only 3 of the 6 (excluding the Whales) made the playoffs and only the '98 Yankees won a series.)
In fact,  the Diamondbacks, the 1956 Indians and the 1925 Washington Senators each had 2 pitchers who won
20 games at 35 older. But its the Diamondbacks who win this category, because in 2002 Schilling and Johnson
had 23 and 24 wins, making the only team with 2 pitchers 35 or older to each win 23 games.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 21st, 2008 at 12:54 pm 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.

2 Responses to “Multiple Older Winning Pitchers”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    For those who don't know and don't bother to click the link, it should be noted that the Whales were a Federal League team, not facing competition equivalent to the NL or AL.

  2. BunnyWrangler Says:

    Didn't the 1915 Whales win the Federal League? I don't think that the FL had any playoffs, though.