The Incompleat Starting Pitcher by Frank Jackson

Pitched 382 CG
In 21 Season Career


This tabular depiction of what’s happened to the complete game in baseball over the past twenty years speaks volumes for itself about a significant change in the game over these same two decades. It appears in an article from The Hardball Times by Frank Jackson on October 18, 2017, entitled “The Incompleat Starting Pitcher.”

See this link:

We also have our North Texas SABR compatriot, Mr. Paul Rogers, to thank for sending this whole package our way. We can’t thank you enough, Paul. This is really good support for the new culture as a big reason why Justin Verlander‘s “CG” performance in Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS for the Houston Astros stood out even more boldly last week. It was playing way above the lower expectations we all now have of starters in ordinary regular season games in these days – and Verlander was imposing this aberration upon our baseball minds in a critical ALCS playoff game.


Complete Games Overview, 1998-2017
Year MLB Total Team(s) with Most # CG Team(s) with Least # CG Avg Per Team
1998 302 Braves 24 Brewers 2 10
1999 237 Braves 16 Brewers 2  8
2000 234 Dbacks 16 Brewers 2  8
2001 199 Tigers 16 Rays 1  7
2002 214 Dbacks 14 Rockies 1  7
2003 209 A’s 16 Astros 1  7
2004 150 Expos 11 Yankees 1  5
2005 189 Cards 15 Rays 1  6
2006 144 Indians 13 Dodgers/Nationals/Twins 1  5
2007 112 Blue Jays 11 Marlins/Nationals/Rangers 0  4
2008 136 Blue Jays 15 Tigers/Yankees 1  5
2009 152 Giants 11 Dodgers/Brewers 1  5
2010 165 Phillies 14 Cubs/Pirates 1  6
2011 173 Phillies 18 Padres 0  6
2012 128 Reds/Tigers  9 Rockies/Brewers 0  4
2013 124 Rays  9 Braves/Rockies/Twins 1  4
2014 118 Giants/Cardinals  8 Cubs/Rockies/Mets 1  4
2015 104 Indians 11 Orioles/Marlins/Pirates 0  3
2016  83 Giants 10 Marlins/Brewers/Yankees/Blue Jays 0  3
2017  59 Indians  7 Braves/White Sox/Rays 0  2

We don’t have the average innings pitched for starters available to us over this same 1998-2017 period, but we would not be surprised to find 2017 starters in the 5.0 to 6.0 innings range. If a starter could become lights out proficient over 5 innings, then why not find his twin to be the second half starter in the top of the 6th? The idea doesn’t seem any crazier than the hodge-podge of other titles the game is now giving to the relievers who come in early, in the middle, or late in the game. And the two-starters game could better reenforce the idea of responsibility for outcomes among fewer pitchers entering the game. As of now, too many of the one inning pitchers just seem to go out there and leave all the accountability with the manager who put them on the mound. i.e., “If you don’t like the way I’m pitching today, take me out.”

Warren Spahn will always be my role model for pitching accountability. – Accountability apparently was the bug he picked up from seeing himself as a guy who expected to go 9 innings, or more, every time he took the mound.

Those were the days, my friend.



Just remember the words of a former Astro …..

“It ain’t over til it’s over!”



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle


3 Responses to “The Incompleat Starting Pitcher by Frank Jackson”

  1. Wayne Roberts Says:

    Two in a row in the Juice Box….ya gotta believe!

  2. Larry Dierker Says:

    Whatever. your game is, you are better at it some days than others. The problem with starting the bullpen parade sooner is that you end up using more relievers and increase the chance of one of them having a bad day. The manager usually knows when pitcher is on his game. I’m sure there’s a computer model that tells him when a pitcher who is performing well is about to crater. I’d like to see it.

  3. Eerie Timing of Words and Action Makes Point. | The Pecan Park Eagle Says:

    […] […]

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