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The Unbreakables

One of my favorite series of movies is “The Expendables”. Non stop action, a bunch of old action stars, and some pretty decent comedic breaks. While thinking about that series of films, I thought about which major league records will never be broken.

511 wins is completely safe. In this era of baseball, the starting pitcher is more about pitch count and quality starts and getting to the bullpen with a lead. 20 game winners are few and far between now. The last time a pitcher in the NL won more than 22 games, was 2004 when Randy Johnson won 24.

Verlander won 24 in the AL in 2011. They haven’t had a 20 game winner since 2019. The modern record of 41 wins in a season is safe too. Of course the last 30 game winner was Denny McLain in 1968. The last pitcher to win more than 25 games was Bob Welch with the A’s in 1990, he had 27.

I am pretty sure no pitcher will ever lose as many games as Cy Young lost either. 316. Pud Galvin is the only other pitcher to lose 300 with 306.

So here are some I think are pretty safe. Nolan Ryan’s 5,714 strikeouts. Randy Johnson was his closest rival and he only had 4,875. Cy Young’s 749 complete games. Pitchers do not go the distance much anymore. For example, Kershaw has 25 in his career and has never recorded more than six in any season.

One I had never heard of, most consecutive complete games, 202. This record was set by Jack Taylor. From June 20, 1901, to August 13, 1906. He also set the record for most consecutive complete games in a season, since 1901 with 39 in 1904.

I also think it would be very hard to break the single game strikeout number, 20. Three pitchers have accomplished this, Roger Clemens twice, Kerry Wood and Max Scherzer. But if someone got on a roll, it could happen.

Most career shutouts, 110 by Walter Johnson. Grover Alexander is second with 90. Warren Spahn had 63. In order to break Johnson’s record, a pitcher would need 5 shutouts a year for 22 years.

I do not think any relief pitcher will approach the 106 appearances by Mike Marshall in 1974, nor do I believe any relief pitcher will win 18 games like Elroy Face did in 1959. The Dodger record is 16 by Perranoski in 1963. Most in the majors since 1986 is the 14 by Ryan Yarbrough when he was with Tampa in 2018.

652 saves in a career by Mariano Rivera seems pretty safe too. Jansen and Kimbrel are tied as the active leaders with 426. Trevor Hoffman is the only other reliever over 478 with 601.

Jesse Orosco has 1252 career games pitched. No current pitcher is even close. The most shutouts in a season, 16. But the modern record is 13 set by Bob Gibson in his incredible 1968 season. The lowest ERA in a single season, .64 by Robert Keyes, a reliever in 1944. Best by a starting pitcher is Dutch Leonard’s 0.961 in 1914. Gibson’s was 1.12 in 68.

I doubt any pitcher will come close to Ryan’s seven no-hitters. Koufax is the only other pitcher with more than three. Justin Verlander could possibly join Koufax since he has three. Ryan also has the most walks issued with a whopping 2,795. Carlton is second with 1833. Active leader is Verlander with 935 as of the end of the 2023 season.

It is also pretty safe to assume that the career record for the highest batting average for a career is safe also. Ty Cobb hit .366 for his career. His closest rival, Rogers Hornsby who finished at .358. For a player who played his entire career in the live ball era, the leader is Ted Williams .344. Second to Williams is Tony Gwynn .338.

After Miguel Cabrerra retired, Jose Altuve is the active leader at .307. Six points above #2, Freddie Freeman. The high for a season is unattainable also. Hugh Duffy hit .440 in 1894. Rogers Hornsby hit. 424 in 1924. Ted Williams is the last player to hit .400 with a .406 in 1941. No player has hit higher than Gwynn’s .396 in 94.

We all know how hard it would be to pass Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak. Closest anyone has come is 44 by Pete Rose in 1978. By comparison, the Dodger record is 31.  It was set by Willie Davis in 1969.

The longest streak of getting on base is 84. This was set by Ted Williams in 1949. I consider this pretty unbreakable too. Way too many free swingers these days in baseball.

Most homers, Bonds, also pretty much out of reach. 73 in a season seems unreachable also. Judge hit 62 back in 2022. He did that while hitting .311. He also struck out 175 times that year.

Judge has 270 homers. I think it is safe to say that while there is a good chance he will get to 500, 600 is out of reach. He is already 32 years old. 500 home run hitters might become a thing of the past. Mike Trout, currently second on the all-time active leaders list, has 378. He also has 5 more years left on his deal. He has been injury prone for the last several years which probably killed his shot at 600. He could still reach 500 with some luck and a little health.

Stanton is the only one on the active list with more than 400. He is at 413 right now. He also has three full seasons and an option year on his Yankee contract. So 500 could be in the cards if he also stays healthy.

Which brings me to Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani presently has 13 homers which brings his total to 184. Ohtani is 29 years old. If he were to hit his average number of homers, 40, for the next 9 years plus, he would finish with 571 homers. But the chances he does that are pretty slim.

Most hits in a career. Safe. Rarely do hitters get more than 200 anymore. Rose’s 4,236 are pretty safe. The active leader is Freddie Freeman with just over 2100. Ichiro’s 262 base hits in a season seem pretty safe too. Darin Erstad had 240 in 200.

Rose also leads with 15,890 plate appearances. Rose played 24 years, so that seems safe too. Hank Aaron had over 6000 total bases. Freeman is the active leader with over 3600.

Bonds holds the record for the most base on balls in a season, and the most intentional walks. 232 and 120. Both were set in 2004.

Most career triples, 309, Sam Crawford. Musial is the live ball era leader with 177. The active leader, Charlie Blackmon with 63. Triples in a season, 36, set by Chief Wilson in 1912. Only three players have ever had 30. Last player to reach 20, Jimmy Rollins in 2007.

Most career doubles, 792 set by Tris Speaker. Unbreakable. You would have to have 40 or more for at least 20 seasons. Most doubles in a season is 67. Set by Earl Webb in 1931. We all know this because of Freddie’s run at 60 last year. Nick Castellanos had 58 in 2019. This could be broken if a player was a good contact hitter with some speed.

Most homers in a game, 4. It would take a very special hitter to connect for 5. First his manager would have to be willing to leave him in for 5 at bats. Since hitters today face so many different pitchers in a game, it would be very hard to hit one hard off of different styles of pitchers. 2 Grand Slams in an inning is pretty safe too.

No one is even close to the highest OBP ever. Ted Williams with a .482. Most RBIs. Hack Wilson’s 191 is still the most almost 100 years later. Babe Ruth’s 198 runs scored in a season seems pretty safe too. Highest total since 1950? Jeff Bagwell, 152 in 2000.

Most games played in a regular season, 165, Maury Wills in 1962. Unbreakable since a three game playoff to win the division would not be played anymore.

Consecutive game streaks are safe also. Managers like to rest their stars. Ripken’s 2,632 will no doubt stand.  One that is also safe I would assume, unless Ohtani’s hits when he pitches. 37 career homers by a pitcher. Wes Ferrell owns that one.

Henderson’s career and season stolen base totals could be challenged, especially with the new rules. But players just do not steal 100 bases anymore. And finally, Ty Cobb stole home 54 times in his career. Steals of home in today’s game are unheard of. This one is safe.

 

 

 

 

 

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Oldbear48

Ohtani is nursing a bruised hammy.

Singing the Blue

That would explain why he barely made it to third on that triple.

I assume he’ll be out for awhile.
First Doc will tell us he’s day to day but available to pinch hit on Sunday, and then it will turn out that we won’t see him again until late June.

Maybe it’s time to bring back JT. He isn’t having much of a season and the Jays would be happy to ship him back to us. He could DH and play a little third base and pinch hit. As bad as our bench is, he’d be an upgrade. And putting on the Blue again would probably rejuvenate him

Last edited 18 days ago by Singing the Blue
Bumsrap

Is bruised the same as strained in this context? A bruise sounds a lot better than a strain.

Badger

He got hit with a thrown ball on a pickoff attempt. He should be fine.

Oldbear48

He might be fine, but he definitely is slumping.

Duke Not Snider

If Mason Miller played for a perennial contender and stayed healthy, he might have a shot at Mariano Rivera’s save record. Rivera got 5 rings, right? Being on a winner matters.
Skenes sure looks like he’ll get 20 Ks in a game someday… maybe 21.

Oldbear48

To get that many he would have to average close to 50 a year for 14 years. Not likely. Skenes has the stuff to K 20 or more. Problem lies with the pitch count.

Last edited 17 days ago by Oldbear48
Duke Not Snider

Well, Rivera’s save record is 652. (Just looked it up.)
So let’s say about 50 per year for 13 years, not 14. Definitely implausible, but don’t we all remember when Ruth’s HR record seemed unreachable?
I do love the Mason Miller highlights. Pitching Ninja calls him Medieval Mason Miller.
He’s converted 10 out of 10 save opportunities, but did have a bad outing recently when he entered the game in the 10th, with a place runner on 2B, which is tough for any reliever. And not being Josh Hader, Miller started the 11th as well. (Maybe the placed runner is his kryptonite.)
Miller followed that outing with his 10th save, striking out the side. He’s had 45 Ks against only 6 walks in 23 innings.
But as I look at the closer data, I’m surprised to see that in many ways the Cleveland’s Emanuel Clase is leading the way.
Remember when we Dodger fans were chattering about trading for a closer? Clase seemed like a good candidate.
Right now, Clase is tied with the Cards’ Heisely for the ML lead in saves with 17. His ERA is an absurd 0.33 ERA and his WHIP is 0.62 WHIP. He’s clearly one of the reasons the Guardians are leading the AL Central.

Badger

In 1938 Johnny Vander Meer threw back to back no hitters. Not only will that record never be broken it won’t ever be matched.

Does Bonds record have an asterisk? Does Clemens 20 Ks?

Interesting article addressing those two:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/32806209/barry-bonds-roger-clemens-far-less-great-subtract-ped-factor

Last edited 18 days ago by Badger
Oldbear48

You are right about back to back no hitters. Neither of those guys records have asterisk’s.

OhioDodger

Well they should. Their stats should be treated like NCAA football team violations. They should be vacated.

Oldbear48

I agree. But baseball has not seen fit to do that. They also should have vacated the Astros World Series win, but did not.

OhioDodger

Manfred totally mishandled the Cheatros affair.

Oldbear48

I also agree with that. Manfred is a tool for the owners, nothing else.

Wally Moonshot

Back to back no hitters by an individual pitcher will never be seen again. I seem to remember Nolan Ryan coming close with the Angels. I think he had a no hitter going for about 6 innings after pitching a no hitter in his previous start. It was a long time ago so I could be wrong.

Oldbear48

2015, Max Scherzer pitched a 1-hitter with 16 K’s and no walks, in his next game, he pitched a no-hitter with 10 K’s, a walk and a hit batter. The first game got him a game score of 100, just one of 12 such scores in a 9-inning game. His game score for the no-hitter was 97. In his no-hitters, Vander Meer walked 3 in the first one and 8 in the second. The only other pitcher with scores over 95 in back-to-back games, R.A. Dickey in 2012. Back-to-back one hitter. 95 and 96 game scores.

Bumsrap

I wonder what the record for the number of consecutive times a team fails to get a hit with risp is.

Oldbear48

That would be interesting.

Oldbear48

Offense right now is pathetic. They are about to lose their fifth straight game.

OhioDodger

Well, rain won’t help now. Game is official.

Badger

I don’t recognize these guys. They appear to be sleep walking. Maybe they’ve been hypnotized. Afghanistan Bananastan!! When you wake up you will hit.

Oldbear48

Guys, this is totally unwatchable baseball. No patience at the plate, getting themselves out instead of forcing the pitcher to make good pitches. The second string on this team is pitiful. No one except Betts is consistent. Ohtani has been slumping his last 10 games and is hitting around .200. Way too many first pitch outs. Change is needed. Pages is not playing well either. Play Vargas, give him a shot, or trade him for someone who actually can hit the ball.

SandyAmoros

Agree Bear unwatchable the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing and expecting different results.

porpoiseboy

Actually in my opinion, baseball is a game where sometimes you do the exact same thing and get completely different results. That’s one of the reasons it can be so frustrating.
Cheers
PS….. I thought the definition of insanity was being crazy.

Oldbear48

Acuna Jr pulled from Braves game with an apparent knee injury

OhioDodger

How long is Pages’ leash? He is in over his head.

Oldbear48

I think it is getting shorter. Might need the Outman treatment.

TennisMenace (TM)

Interesting that the bottom 5 guys all went hit less today.
0-16.

I wont mention Pages’ name any more…I made my point and now I see others have as well.

I have nothing to say anymore….I know this too will pass….but for now, it is not easy to watch. Let’s hope the top 3 stars don’t go cold in the playoffs like they have been this week.

tm

Bluto

Our former neighbor was in Expendables (1 and 2, I think)

Oldbear48

Who is your neighbor?

Badger

My neighbor is Bill. He wasn’t in any movies.

Bottom of the order and hitting with runners in scoring position. Both must be fixed.

OhioDodger

How about a trade for Bryan de la Cruz of the Marlins? What would it take?

Singing the Blue

A few people have mentioned de la Cruz. Please explain what’s so special about him. Lifetime batting line of .262/.311/.422/.733 with an OPS+ of 99 and a negative dWAR. Why would we want to give up a prospect or prospects for those kind of numbers?

Duke Not Snider

Because he’s better than a prospect? Because there aren’t many better options on the market?
And now Atlanta is surely shopping for an outfielder too.
The stats suggest De La Cruz is an average player. Right now average would be an upgrade over Taylor, Vargas, Outman and (maybe) Pages too.
If Vargas plays full-time and delivers a league-average performance, wouldn’t that be considered a success?

Duke Not Snider

Bear’s headline, “The Unbreakables,” initially had me thinking that it would be a piece about seemingly indestructible players like Ripken or Freddie Freeman.
And definitely not Ronald Acuna.
Right now, Dodgers fans are fretting a bit about a hamstring boo-boo that Shohei is playing through. How lucky we are.
The Braves losing Acuna would be like the Dodgers losing Mookie, even if Acuna is off to a slow start (probably because he’s been playing hurt).
Sure hope I’m not jinxing our Dodgers by bringing this up…

Oldbear48

Acuna out for the year, again, with a torn ACL

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