Yesterday, Randy Johnson won his 300th career game, becoming the 24th member of the elusive club. And once again, just like when Tom Glavine won his 300th and when Greg Maddux won his 300th game, out come the articles and posts confidently declaring that we will never see another 300-game winner.
Of course, the reasoning behind all the arguments is that nobody else is close to winning 300 games. To which we reply, so what?
Yes, pitchers are handled differently in today’s game. They only make 32-33 starts a year and they only pitch 6-7 innings per game.
But this is also an era that saw not one, but two 350-game winners.
Winning 300 games is special. And it is special because it doesn’t happen very often.
Between Grover Alexander’s 300th win in 1924, and Warren Spahn’s 300th in 1960, a span of 37 years, there was only one 300-game winner. And that was a time when starting pitchers made 40 starts a season and completed more than they did not. After Early Wynn in 1963, there was not another 300-game winner until Gaylord Perry in 1982.
Unlike the 500-home run club which is now watered down with new entries every season, the 300-win club remains elusive…but not unreachable.
Consider this fact from the article linked above:
Johnson had 55 wins when he turned 29.
Now consider that Scott Kazmir is only 25 and has 51 career wins. And also consider that Kazmir, like Johnson, is a power-lefty that has struggled with his mechanics early in his career.
Now, what if Kazmir pulls his act together and averages 15 wins over the next 4 years? All of the sudden he is around 115 wins at age 29.
This is exactly why we track Kazmir’s win total in the sidebar. Not because we think Kazmir will win 300 games. Rather, we track them simply because it is possible that Kazmir will win 300 games.
And just because nobody else is near 300 wins right now, does not mean nobody will ever reach the milestone again.
Unit could be last of the 300-game winners [Yahoo! Sports]