The Baseball Desert

Friday, September 24, 2004

Getting the job done

I don't know what the benchmark is for major league pitching, but I would imagine that there are a lot of guys out there who would be happy to post a 15-win season. Greg Maddux did just that last night, but he's no stranger to the accomplishment - 2004 is Maddux's 17th straight 15-win season. Just like Maddux's 300th career win earlier this year, this one has pretty much passed under the radar, but it's an amazing feat - just to stay healthy enough to pitch for that long is an achievement in itself, but to win that consistently really does put him up amongst the greats. If you want to know why we should be tipping our collective cap to Maddux right now, you need to look no further than the lofty company Maddux is now keeping - the only other pitchers to have 16 or more 15-win seasons? Cy Young (18), Walter Johnson (16) and Warren Spahn (16). Those three gentlemen haven't been seen playing baseball for a very long time, which is why - just like for Ichiro's amazing season - we should be sitting up and taking notice: we're not likely to see another pitcher that consistently good for a very long time.