Saturday, April 16, 2016
It's Almost Always Best to Finish What You Start
On this day in 1975 Juan Marichal played in his last game. It was his second and last start for the Dodgers. He only pitched six innings and ended up with one loss.
Marichal won 243 games on his way to the Hall of Fame. By today's standards his 244 complete games are amazing since that's one more than his career wins.
In earlier years, complete games were the norm. Six pitchers had over 200 more complete games in their career than they had wins. These players included Pud Galvin and Cy Young. Galvin had 646 complete games to go along with 364 wins.
In modern times, only Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson and Robin Roberts have had more career wins than Marichal and more complete games than wins.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, modern players don't have many compete games at all. There are seven pitchers who have at least 200 more wins than complete games.
1. Tom Glavine with 305 wins and 56 complete games - difference 249.
2. Greg Maddux 355 W, 109 CG - difference 246.
3. Jamie Moyer 269 W, 33 CG - difference 236.
4. Roger Clemens 354 W, 118 CG - difference 236.
5. Andy Pettitte 256 W, 26 CG - difference 230.
6. Mike Mussina 270 W, 57 CG - difference 213.
7. Randy Johnson 303 W, 100 CG - difference 203.
Can you name the player with the most wins (99) without having a complete game?
Can you name the player with the most career starts (167) without a complete game?
No, Babe Ruth isn't the answer. He completed 107 of his 147 starts - not too bad.
Sparky Lyle won 99 games without pitching a complete game. Not a fair question since he never even started a game in the majors.
Tony Armas started 167 games without completing one. His dad was Tony Armas, but baseball-reference.com doesn't list the younger Armas as Jr.