In these days of pitch counts, Roy Halladay with 8 complete games and Cliff Lee with 7, have a good chance to reach double digits in complete games. A rarity in these days.
The last time this has happened is 2008 when C C Sabathia had 10 complete games while splitting the season between the Indians and Brewers.
It was the first time in nine years it had happened. Randy Johnson had 12 complete games for the Diamondbacks 1999
Curt Schilling with 15 complete games for the Phillies in 1998, is the last pitcher with that many
Fernando Valenzuela is the last pitcher to have 20 complete games, doing it in 1986.
From 1960-1986 forty-three pitchers had 20 or more complete games.
Did this Ruin their arms? Let’s take a look at the pitchers accomplishing this the most times.
Ferguson Jenkins 8
Gaylord Perry 7
Bob Gibson 7
Nolan Ryan 5
Juan Marichal 5
Phil Niekro 4
Jim Palmer 4
Wilbur Wood 4
Seven of the eight are in the Hall of Fame.
One of the pitchers doing it three times was an over forty Warren Spahn!
Today’s pitchers are getting paid more for pitching less!
Roger Clemens won 20 games in a season without completing any of them. To win 20 games today, a pitcher has to have a good bullpen behind him. Without Mariano Rivera, Clemens would not have accomplished this.
One of the reasons for this is kids having other things to do besides playing baseball. Baseball diamonds that were once full are now empty. Pitchers arms are not as developed as they were back then. High school pitchers are usually taken out after 100 pitches.
Joe Torre caught Warren Spahn and Bob Gibson. Today he takes a pitcher out of a game after he has pitched seven innings. The Dodgers as a team have two complete games this year!
It would be a wise decision for a team to hire someone like former relief pitcher Mike Marshall as a pitching coach. When Marshall pitched in 106 games in 1974, he threw over over 200 innings.
If Today’s closers pitch one inning two games in a row, their is concern about their arms. Marshall pitched in 13 consecutive games!
I have met doctor Marshall and he seems to know everything about keeping an arm in shape. He could help a young pitcher such as Stephen Strasburg. It is not surprising Strasburg was put on the disabled list, even though they have been limiting his pitches.