Currently historic: A surprising comparison

Welcome to week three of Currently historic. All stats are through Monday’s games. I’m sorry you don’t get Tuesday, but I have to go to bed and stuff.

Let’s highlight this week’s big achievement with a fun comparison:
Pitcher A: 200-102, 2,080 Ks, 3.33 ERA
Pitcher B: 199-104, 1,814 Ks, 3.41 ERA

Pretty close, right? I mean, you’d probably give it to pitcher A if you had to pick, but you aren’t going wrong with either of these guys. If you’ve been paying attention, you know who each of these guys is. Pitcher A is Roy Halladay. Pitcher B is Tim Hudson. How many of you, until right now, thought of them as similar? I didn’t.

And they aren’t really that similar. Halladay strikes out a fair bit more batters, and Hudson walks a fair bit more. Yet, somehow, the results have been almost exactly the same. Halladay, however, blows Hudson away in WAR 68.4 to 47.0. And most of that is because while Halladay’s FIP (3.34) is right in line with his career ERA, Hudson has beat his (3.78) substantially.

Do I think Tim Hudson has been as good as Roy Halladay? No, I do not. But it’s a fun comparison to make and given that Hudson has thrown 2,700 innings, I have to wonder if FIP might be missing something with him. He might just be lucky, of course, but I don’t think anyone believes FIP is perfect.

So, perhaps, when Tim Hudson wins his 200th game here soon, we should look at him with a little more respect than we have been.


Adam Dunn, you may have heard, has changed his hitting approach. So far, it’s not working out for him. Since he seems to be actively trying not to walk, I’m not going to worry about his TTO outcomes for a while. However, I am going to keep track of his strikeouts. He currently has 16, and while that’s not quite enough to put him on pace to break the record, it’s early, and there’s still plenty of time.


With the caveat that it is, of course, still very early, I feel I must inform you that Joey Votto is on pace for 262 walks. He currently leads baseball with 21. Number two is Albert Pujols with 11. Last year, Votto lead the NL in walks, despite playing in only 111 games.

So this has been coming. Votto’s walk rates have been climbing steadily since he broke into the league and he said in the offseason that he has “decided not to make outs,” and he seems to be keeping that promise. Even if you take out his intentional walks, Votto would be on pace to walk 224 times, just eight short of the single season record. He probably won’t break the record, but it would be pretty cool and he has separated himself from the pack enough to merit our attention.

Now, onto the lists…

Todd Helton managed two doubles and now has 572. Two more and he will enter the top 20.

Adrian Beltre did not double this week and still needs 35 more to reach 500 for his career.

Home runs:
Pujols added no new homers and is still sitting on 477. He needs 23 to reach 500 and 35 to enter the top 20.

Prince Fielder hit two, however, and needs 36 to get to 300.

A comparative study on an unwritten rule of baseball.

Extra base hits:
Pujols doubled three times this week and now has 1001 extra base hits. I guess he’s probably a Hall of Famer now, or something. Todd Helton still needs 40 more to get there.

Runs batted in:
Albert Pujols had two this week and needs 59 to reach 1,500.

Stolen bases:
Juan Pierre stole his first base of the year this week and needs eight to reach 600. He was is still two caught-stealings away from 200.

Michael Bourn (277) didn’t steal any this week and holds steady in his pursuit of 300.

Showing up:
Mariano Rivera has three appearances so far this season and needs six more to have the seventh most appearances ever.

Andy Pettitte (493), Mark Buehrle (399), Barry Zito (396), Halladay (380), CC Sabathia (386), and Bartolo Colon (377) continued their various marches toward 400 or 500 games started.

The aforementioned Halladay got to 200. Tim Hudson (199) should get there any day. Sabathia (193) is a bit behind those two, but well on his way.

Jonathan Papelbon (260) needs 40 to get to 300.

A.J. Burnett needs just two strikeouts to reach 2000. Ryan Dempster needs 57.

With four walks this past week, Dempster officially has 1,000. Pettitte walked three and now needs just 13 to get there.

Team accomplishments:
Pittsburgh had a solid week and needs 33 wins to reach 10,000.

That’s it for this week. Let me know in the comments what I’m missing, especially as we start to get more of the season under the belt and potential in-season accomplishments become more trackable.

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Jason teaches high school English, writes fiction, runs a small writing program and writes about education and literature. He also writes for Redleg Nation and both writes and edits for The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @JasonLinden, visit his website or email him here.
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Professor Longnose
Professor Longnose

Slightly interesting: The Angels and Diamondbacks are neck and neck for all-time franchise winning percentage, expansion division. Both are at .499 and can finish the season at .500. The Angels need to go 16 games over .500 and the D’Backs 7.

Robert Haymond
Robert Haymond

Out of interest, what is the single season walk record and who owns the record?

Professor Longnose
Professor Longnose

For hitters, the single-season walk record is 232 by Barry Bonds.

Braves Fan
Braves Fan

Halladay hasn’t always been a high strikeout guy. He was known more for his ability to get batters to ground out.


Statheads (& I consider myself a stathead) need to remember that FIP isn’t perfect either. There are certainly pitchers for whom FIP just doesn’t completely predict ERA over the long haul – Jamie Moyer is another guy who outperformed his FIP and Javy Vazquez underperformed it. When it starts happening over that many innings, there’s just something there for some pitchers that FIP just isn’t getting.