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Tim Lincecum earns his 50th win

Posted by Andy on July 16, 2010

Last night Tim Lincecum earned his 50th win in his 109th career game. Let's take a look at where that puts him in history.

I did a search, 1920-present, for most wins in a pitcher's first 109 career games. Here is an excerpt of the resulting chart:

Rk Player #Matching W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
43 Dontrelle Willis 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 1.50 50 12 7 360.0 278 60 16 80 256 0.99
44 Jered Weaver 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 2.06 50 3 2 331.2 254 76 27 85 293 1.02
45 Mel Stottlemyre 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 1.63 50 37 13 430.1 325 78 18 138 231 1.08
46 Kevin Millwood 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 2.18 49 4 1 342.2 256 83 24 84 300 0.99
47 Denny McLain 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 1.95 49 36 8 420.0 271 91 43 146 336 0.99
48 Tim Lincecum 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 1.43 49 6 4 365.1 249 58 9 111 406 0.99
49 Larry Jansen 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 2.00 48 43 7 427.2 345 95 32 73 174 0.98
50 Bob Feller 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 1.84 47 45 6 421.0 274 86 12 219 396 1.17
51 Harry Brecheen 50 Ind. Games 50 0 1.000 1.49 41 35 11 386.1 309 64 10 77 171 1.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2010.

Keep in mind that these stats are for the 50 wins, not for all of the 109 games to start each career. The stats don't necessarily tell you all that much.

So, there are 42 players who won more than 50 games in their first 109 career games. Dwight Gooden tops the list.

But let's look up how each of the guys who equaled Lincecum's 50 wins did overall in their first 109 games.

Lincecum: 50-21 (.704), 2.91 ERA, 13.111 WPA

Willis: 50-34 (.532), 3.39 ERA, 8.084 WPA
Weaver: 50-27 (.649), 3.75 ERA, 6.511 WPA
Stottlemyre: 50-42 (.543), 3.00, ERA, 3.192 WPA
Millwood: 50-29 (.633), 3.74 ERA, 5.057 WPA
McLain: 50-33 (.602), 3.54 ERA, 2.921 WPA
Jansen: 50-28 (.641), 3.52 ERA
Feller: 50-28 (.641), 3.48 ERA
Brecheen: 50-26 (.658), 2.56 ERA

Sorry for the mostly-primitive stats but I can't get things like ERA+ from the game log summaries. Also, welcome to Jansen, Feller, and Brecheen, who show up in the search because the data 1940-1951 has been filled in! The WPA data isn't there yet, though, so we don't have their totals.

Anyway, we can see that at least among this group, Lincecum has pitched a lot better. He's got a great ERA even compared to his contemporaries, the most WPA, and the fewest losses.

Keep in mind that the comparison group is just the other guys to win exactly 50 in their first 109 games. There is a pack of guys to have pitched even better. The bottom line, though, is that Lincecum is looking really good so far.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 9:37 am and is filed under Game Finders, Gamelogs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Tim Lincecum earns his 50th win”

  1. I mentioned in a recent discussion about Hall-of-Fame-worthiness that Mike Mussina and Juan Marichal are the only pitchers since WWII to earn wins in >50 percent of their career games. Mussina picked up win #50 in just his 90th game. He had 55 W in his first 100 G, and 61 in his first 109. Marichal had 50 W in 97 G, 51 W in 100 G, and 56 W in 109 G.

  2. JDV-

    Clemens just misses with 354 in 709 games. But if u only count starts (707) he qualifies.

  3. Feller didn't need the 40s. He pitched his 109th game in 1939 as a four-year veteran of age 20.

    It'll be fun now that war-era players show up on these lists, though. Hank Borowy won 58 of his first 109 games and went to the World Series with two different teams during the war and didn't pitch that well when all the regulars came back.

    Mulder, Hudson and Zito are all 55+. Several Yankees rank high. Guidry, Pettite, Borowy, Gomez, Chien-Ming Wang, Johnny Allen.

  4. How many pitchers won two Cy Young awards before earning their 50th pitching victory?