The Baseball Desert

Saturday, June 14, 2003

I promise that this will be a Rocket-free zone for a little while after today, but I did want to tip my hat to Clemens for finally getting his 300th career win last night. It took him four attempts, but the upside of that is that he was able to reach 300 wins and 4,000 strikeouts in the same game. He's the 21st pitcher in Major League history to reach the 300-win milestone, but only the third to reach 4,000 strikeouts (after Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton), and it's a pretty safe bet that - barring some kind of pitching miracle or revolution - he will be the last pitcher ever to combine those two mythical milestones. The Big Unit (Arizona's Randy Johnson) has 3,777 strikeouts, so he could reach 4,000, but he has 'only' 225 career wins - he would need another four 20-win (and injury-free) seasons to reach the magic number, which, at almost 40 years of age, is not impossible, but highly unlikely. The Braves' Greg Maddux has a shot at 300 (he's currently at 278), but he's 1,300+ strikeouts short of 4,000 - not gonna happen.

So, hats off to Clemens - maybe not the greatest pitcher of all time, but certainly up there in anyone's top ten.

OK - enough of the milestones already - we'll get back to the more mundane business of teams winning and losing tomorrow, I promise!