Making Wins Matter Again for MLB Pitchers
The days of consistent 20-win seasons by pitchers are behind us. I also don't think we'll see another 300-win career anytime soon. That is, unless, we change the way wins are awarded to pitchers. I have an idea.
CC Sabathia is the active wins leader with 247 in what is his 19th and final season. Justin Verlander is second among active pitchers, but at the age of 36, the right-hander is still 95 wins short of 300. Clayton Kershaw is considered by many to be the best pitcher of this generation and at 31 years old, the Dodgers great is only halfway to 300; 153 to be exact.
I'd like to see more 20-game winners and more automatic berths into the Hall of Fame with that career number of 300. As a quick disclaimer, I was completely on board with Jacob deGrom winning the Cy Young last season despite his 10-9 record. He was the best pitcher in baseball. My eyes told me that and my brain tells me there should be a way to hand out more wins to the pitchers who deserve them, so here's my proposal: The same way there is an official scorer to determine errors and hits, there should be someone in charge of determining who is most responsible for his team winning.
For instance, in Sabathia's first start of the 2019 season, he allowed only 1 hit over five scoreless innings and the Yankees won 4-0. Sabathia, however, did not get credit for the win because New York didn't score until the seventh inning. Domingo German was the pitcher of record for the Yanks that day with two shutout innings. Sabathia was the better pitcher and most reasonable minds would agree he should be remembered as the winner in that game.
Part of my purpose here is based in nostalgia, when wins used to mean something. Part of it is common sense. Let's find a way to make wins important again.