Ferkovich: Teams with four 20-game winners

From SABR member Scott Ferkovich at The National Pastime Museum on December 13, 2016:

In Major League Baseball today, the 20-game winner has become increasingly rare.

Five-man rotations, limited pitch counts, and the emergence of setup men (not to mention the alarming prevalence of elbow and shoulder injuries), are all key reasons why there are fewer 20-game winners than there were two decades ago.

Of course, wins and losses are no longer the end-all, be-all statistics for pitchers. With modern analytics, there are countless other, more accurate, ways in which to gauge a pitcher’s effectiveness—both in individual games and over the course of a season.

Still, you have to be some kind of good to win 20 games, no matter what the era. I’m a child of the ’70s and ’80s, when it seemed like every season produced eight or nine 20-game winners.

The 1971 Baltimore Orioles, in fact, tied a record by having four pitchers who won at least 20 games. It was only the second time that had ever happened in baseball history. To find the first team to do it, we have to go all the way back to the 1920 Chicago White Sox.

It is a mark that is a virtual certainty never to be broken.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/teams-four-20-game-winners

Originally published: December 13, 2016. Last Updated: December 13, 2016.