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Game 134 Open Thread: September 2, 2006

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weaver chacon
5-13, 6.16 6-5, 7.18

with another 10 decisions, chris carpenter will be eligible for inclusion on the cardinals' all-time leaderboards at baseball reference dot com. the minimum requirements are 500 ip (carpenter has thrown more than 600 innings for the franchise) and 75 decisions; carp has 65 decisions for st louis. so he's almost there. let's just cheat a little and see how he rates.

to begin with, here are carp's cumulative stats in his three years with the cardinals:

w-l era w pct ip h w k whip h/9 k/9 w/9 k/bb
49-16 3.03 .754 609 526 124 516 1.051 7.8 7.6 1.8 4.2

carp already has nudged his way into the top 50 in several of the counting-stat categories --- he's not listed yet, because baseball ref doesn't update the pages until after each season, but you can see where he falls. for example, carp has just latched onto the tail end of the wins list --- he's tied for 49th place with willie sudhoff. and he's 34th in strikeouts, with a realistic chance to pass lindy mcdaniel, donovan osborne, and jack andujar before the season ends and reach 31st place.

but it's in the rate stats that carpenter excels. if we extend all his current averages for another 10 decisions--- an unrealistic leap, perhaps, but just go with it --- he'll be at or near the top in the following categories:

  • winning percentage: carp comes in 1st at .754, nearly 50 points ahead of the incumbentleader, john tudor (.705).
  • whip: carp ranks first here too, at 1.051, comfortably ahead of tudor at 1.080.
  • k/9: second, behind todd stottlemyre
  • hits / 9: 6th, right behind tudor
  • walks /9: 6th place --- but 3d among modern (ie, post-19th century) pitchers, behind pete alexander and bob tewksbury.
  • era: at 3.03, carp would rate 24th on this list, three slots behind dizzy dean and five behind bob gibson; two ahead of ol' pete alexander, four ahead of steve carlton. not a bad neighborhood to be in. if we exclude the deadball-era pitchers (ie, pre 1920) carpenter ranks 8th, behind tudor, mort cooper, max lanier, cat brecheen, gibson, bill doak, and dizzy dean.
it hasn't quite been three seasons since he joined the team, so it's a little early to anoint him as the heir to gibson --- but he could be all that, if he strings a few more great seasons together.

ok, so he stacks up extremely well vs his predecessors; how has carpenter done vs his peers? using david pinto's day by day database, i checked carpenter's rank in various stat categories aggregated since 2004, his 1st year with the cards. i imposed a minimum requirement of 450 innings pitched, which condition was met by 77 pitchers. carpenter rated:

  • 1st in winning pct, ahead of johan santana (.743) and zambrano (.698)
  • 3d in wins, behind santana (52) and oswalt (50). randy johnson (48), kenny rogers (47), and jon garland (46) are right behind him.
  • 3d in era, behind clemens (2.41) and santana (2.80). the next three behind carp are zambrano (3.11), ben sheets (3.18), and jake peavy (3.19).
  • 8th in strikeouts, behind santana, johnson, zambrano, jason schmidt, peavy, pedro, and oswalt.
the day-by-day database doesn't calculate whip, so i can't check carp's status there; just eyeballing things, it's pretty clear that santana rates 1st, with carpenter, big unit, smoltz, and pedro rounding out the top 5. in h/9, carpenter falls somewhere behind santana clemens schmidt pedro and zambrano; prob'y about even with big unit.and --- oh yeah --- he may be headed for his 2d straight cy young award. . . .

carp has a good chance to reach 100 wins before the end of the season --- last night's was his 98th. if it happens, he'll become the third stl pitcher to reach that milestone in 2006. i'd like to know if such a coincidence has ever happened on a big-league staff before but wouldn't know where to look.