Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 25, 2007
BASEBALL: Smoltz is Cooperstown Bound

John Smoltz's 200th win last night has to ice his credentials for Cooperstown, as it should. While 200 wins is hardly distinguishing on its own (see here, here and here on the Hall's de facto standards for career wins, winning percentage and 20-win seasons), there are a number of reasons why he deserves it. First of all, he doesn't just have 200 wins; he's also 61 games over .500, is closing in on 3000K (Bert Blyleven is the only eligible pitcher with 3000 K who isn't in) and has 154 career saves, 144 of them in a 3-year stretch (he's tied for the NL single-season saves record), and a Cy Young Award. He's the only NL pitcher since Dwight Gooden to win 24 games in a season, and threw as many as 291.2 and 271 innings in 1996 and 1997, counting the postseason. Second, he has had an ERA equal or better to the league, at least by's park-adjusted measure, every year since 1989, which is really hard. Third, he holds key career records for postseason play - career wins, Ks, third in IP. He's 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA and 4 saves in 207 postseason innings, a far better mark than Maddux, Glavine, Clemens or Randy Johnson and a much longer record than Curt Schilling.

The Hardball Times had an in-depth look at Smoltz's case compared to Schilling, whose credentials are generally quite similar.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:28 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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