Results tagged ‘ Hideo Nomo ’
Last week San Francisco pitcher Tim Lincecum struck out his
200th batter on the season. It was the third time in his career that
he has passed the 200 strikeout mark. He is now one of seven active pitchers that
have struck out 200+ batters in a season three times or more. It’s clear that
he is one of the dominate strikeout pitchers of today, but can we gleam anything
about his future from these first four seasons?
I wanted to look just at K’s. This is the 3rd
time in his first four seasons that Lincecum has passed the 200 K mark. I
wanted to compare him to all the other pitchers that struck out 200+ batters
three times or more in their first four seasons. For some reason, I just
assumed that it would be a large sample size and that I would be able to further
breakdown the comparison. I was quite surprised to find that only 6 other
pitchers had accomplished this feat since 1901. Of course as I thought about it
there are several reasons why the list is so short, the main one being that not
many pitchers get an opportunity to pitch enough in the first couple years of their
career to reach 200 K’s.
But, be that as it may, there are still six others that have
done it. So, can it tell us anything about Lincecum?
All six are names that you know, but only one is a HOFer
(another one should be). Here is the list.
As I look at the list, I realize that the sample is way to
small to “predict” Lincecum’s future. You have two great pitchers, Seaver and Blyleven.
One, Langston that had a solid but not spectacular career. Gooden, a great
young pitcher that had problems off the field. Nomo was an import from Japan
that was already in the middle of his professional career. And Kerry Wood, a
kid with a great arm and tremendous stuff that just refused to change his horrible
pitching motion until his elbow snapped.
There is just no way to compare Lincecum to these guys to
get a predictive outcome. And yet, maybe the lack of sample size is the
comparison. When I went back to see how many pitchers had struck out 200 or
more batters twice in their first four years, I expected the number to be over
100. I was shocked to find that only 19 pitchers, including Lincecum, had accomplished
the feat. Six are in the HOF, Blyleven will probably make it in January, and
Roger Clemens is on the list. Nearly half of the list is a top flight HOF type
Maybe just the mere rareness of the feat is the predictive
value. I don’t know.
I do know this. I watched Greg Maddux’s career from the very
beginning with the Cubs and I will happily tell stories to future grand kids
about him and the way he pitched. And now I’m going to start paying more
attention to Tim Lincecum.