Big Unit’s 300th win could be our last

2001randyWhat Randy Johnson achieved on Thursday with his victory over the Washington Nationals may be something we won’t see again for a long time, if ever.

Unlike the seemingly ever-growing 500 Home Run Club, Class 300 — the name I’ve decided is appropriate for the group of pitchers to win 300 games — welcomed just it’s 24th member this week, Johnson. And baring some unforeseen change in the game, he could be the last person to achieve the accolade for decades.

It took Randy 21 years to get the 300-win plateau; he might have gotten there faster if it were not for a few injury riddled seasons. And as he moves into the group of immortals, the logical question is: Who is next?

Jaimie Moyer has 250 wins; he’s not even going to sniff Club 300 by the time he hangs up the spikes.

Andy Pettitte (220), Kenny Rogers (219), Pedro Martinez (214) and John Smoltz (210) are next on the list, but none of them are going to win another 90 or so games in their advanced ages. And after that group, we start reaching for names like Tim Wakefield (183) and Bartolo Colon (153), who will be lucky to win another 10 games in his career.

To get to 300 takes luck, health and a tremendous amount of skill. It also takes a different brand of baseball. Because of the way the game is played these days — with bullpen roles more defined, and club using pitch counts — it’s unlikely we’ll see another member of the 300 club any time in the near future.

Think about this: It took Johnson two decades to win that many games  and he is one of the most dominating pitchers the game has every seen. Not to mention he’s played on some pretty good teams with lineups that offer plenty of run support.

It was just a few years ago that we were looking at guys like Tim Hudson, who had 80 wins in his first five seasons; Justin Verlander, 35 in his first two full seasons; and Chien Ming-Wang, who had back to back 19-win seasons early in his career, and thinking they might have a shot. But all three of those guys has shown us it’s not as easy as projecting the stats.

Toronto horse Roy Halladay might be the game’s best pitcher right now, and is probably in the right mold to shoot for 300 wins — he goes deep into games and seemingly controls his own destiny — but even he is less than half way there. He’s got 140 wins as of June 5, 2009, and he’s already 32 years old.

3 Responses to “Big Unit’s 300th win could be our last”

  1. Congrats randy! What do you think of Johan gettin 300?

  2. I like Johan a lot. He’s probably at the top of my list for 300-win candidates — Halladay No. 2. That said, Johan is still 184 wins AWAY from the Club. He’s 30 years old, and he’d have to win 20 games in each of the next nine seasons to get close. That’s not impossible, but still a decade away. Can you imagine Johan pitching in 2019?

  3. If hes gonna get 300 he would have to stick around for a while, good point

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