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2 losses in a qualified season

Posted by Andy on September 16, 2008

Ben Henry of The Baseball Card Blog just pointed out to me that both Cliff Lee and Daisuke Matsuzaka may finish the year with only 2 losses while also qualifying for the year pitching records (ERA title, etc.)

Since 1901, very few pitchers have qualified for the ERA title while losing at most 2 games:

 Year Number Players Matching
+----+------+-----------------------------------------+
 1995      2 Randy Johnson / Greg Maddux
 1994      2 Jason Bere / Marvin Freeman
 1981      1 Tom Seaver
 1969      1 Mike Nagy
 1956      1 Hal Jeffcoat
 1952      1 Preacher Roe
 1937      1 Johnny Allen    

1994 doesn't really count since it was such a short year. Pitchers needed to pitch only 113 or 114 innings that year to qualify.

Lee and Matsuzaka stand to be the third pair in that group this year.

Cliff Lee could also be the only guy to win 20 games in a season with 2 or fewer losses:

  Cnt Player            Year  W  L Age Tm  Lg  G   GS CG SHO GF  W-L% SV   IP   H   R   ER  BB  SO   ERA  ERA+ HR  BF   AB  2B 3B IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS Pk BK WP   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  OPS+  Pit  Str
+----+-----------------+----+--+--+---+---+--+---+---+--+---+--+-----+--+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+----+--+----+----+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+
    1 Cliff Lee         2008 22  2  29 CLE AL  29  29  4   2  0  .917  0 210   195  59  55  28 157   2.36  187 10  827  790 28  6   0   4   2   3  24   2  0  0  0  2  .247  .275  .335  .610   60 3062 2134
    2 Roger Clemens     2001 20  3  38 NYY AL  33  33  0   0  0  .870  0 220.1 205  94  86  72 213   3.51  128 19  918  833 44  3   1   5   4   4  21  34  6  3  0 14  .246  .309  .375  .684   78 3590 2274
    3 David Cone        1988 20  3  25 NYM NL  35  28  8   4  0  .870  0 231.1 178  67  57  80 213   2.22  146 10  936  836 29  4   7   4  11   5  11  29 12  1 10 10  .213  .283  .293  .576   75
    4 Ron Guidry        1978 25  3  27 NYY AL  35  35 16   9  0  .893  0 273.2 187  61  53  72 248   1.74  208 13 1057  969 34  5   1   1  13   2  15   9 14  2  1  7  .193  .249  .279  .528   50
    5 Preacher Roe      1951 22  3  36 BRO NL  34  33 19   2  1  .880  0 257.2 247  91  87  64 113   3.04  129 30 1031                  0                        0  2                            0

I guess Matsuzaka could get there too if he gets pretty lucky.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 at 4:06 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.

3 Responses to “2 losses in a qualified season”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Of course 1981 was also strike-shortened, even a few games shorter than '94. And '95 was only 144 games due to the strike hangover. '69 is the only 162-game season on the list. All hail Mike Nagy.

  2. In 1959 Roy Face of the Pirates was 18-1 with only 93 innings. He was a relief pitcher.

  3. What's even more amazing is that the teams the people with only 3 losses were on had an average record of 98-62. Cleveland is on pace for an 80-82 season!