Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Jamie Moyer is better than Greg Maddux?

Greg Maddux has been one of the premier starting pitchers in baseball since the late eighties. I remember watching consecutive games in 1986 where Greg Maddux pitched and the following game Jamie Moyer pitched. The announcers at that time said Moyer was the better prospect. Jamie had better stuff and Greg was pretty good.

Fast forward to today. Greg Maddux has had 17 straight seasons with at least 15 wins. Here is the list.

1 Cy Young 18
2 Greg Maddux 17
T3 Warren Spahn 16
T3 Walter Johnson 16
T5 Grover C Alexander 15
T5 Eddie Plank 15
T7 Gaylord Perry 13
T7 Christy Mathewson 13
T7 Tom Seaver 13
T7 Phil Niekro 13

There are a few HOFers there aren't there? As of September 13, 2005, Maddux lifetime record is 317 wins and 186 loses. He also has 3037 strikeouts, which is pretty good considering he doesn't have an awesome fastball. He has pitched 4377.2 innings given up only 904 walks. Greg will be in the HOF someday.

Moyer is also still pitching and seems to get better with age. His stats are not close to Maddux though. Jamie's lifetime record is 204 wins and 151 loses. He has 1874 strikeouts. He has allowed only 891 walks in 3113.1 innings. Jamie Moyer will probably not make the HOF.

These two pitchers came out of the Cubs organization, making their Major League Debuts in 1986. Greg was 2-4 with a 5.52 era and Jamie was 7-4 with a 5.05 era. 19 years in the Big Leagues as starters is pretty impressive.

As a Cub fan, I was fuming when the Cubs played Games with Greg Maddux in 1992. The management at that time didn't respect Maddux as one of the best pitchers in baseball. They were not willing to sign him to a contract he was worthy of. They made claims he had never won a Cy Young, etc... What happened? Greg received the Cy Young Award and went to the Atlanta Braves. He didn't just win one Cy Young, he strung 4 of them in a row! He was the first pitcher to do that or have won four Cy Youngs period. Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens have now accomplished that, but Greg was the first. The following year, 1993, the Cubs ended the year in fourth place 13 games behind the Phillies. What was Greg Maddux's record that year? 20-10 and another Cy Young. Those 20 wins more than likely would have put the Cubs into first place, but that is the dreams of a Cubs fan.

Now Greg has a slight chance to tie Cy Young for consecutive seasons with at least 15 wins. It doesn't look hopeful though. The Cubs aren't scoring runs. Last night Maddux allowed two homeruns which were the only runs the he allowed. The Cubs offense just doesn't know how to score runs if they are not from the long ball.

Greg may have three more starts this season. Maddux is going to have to win each of those games in order to extend his streak. When asked about it, Greg shrugs it off. Baker implied that he might alternate the rotation in order to give Greg Maddux a better shot at getting 15 wins. Greg feels he already had his chance and doesn't want anything special done for him. This guy is a class act. In the day of me me me... Greg is more about team team team.