I could probably throw harder if I wanted, but why? When they’re in a jam, a lot of pitchers…try to throw harder. Me, I try to locate better.
Cy Young winner Greg Maddux signed with the Atlanta Braves on December 9, 1992. The five-year, $28 million contract was the most lucrative guaranteed contract ever granted to a pitcher.
A quality start refers to when a starting pitcher goes at least six innings while giving up three earned runs or less. Sportswriter John Lowe of the Philadelphia Inquirer coined the term in 1985. While a quality start does not guarantee that a pitcher will walk away with a winning decision for the game, it implies that he has put his team in a position to win the game. Critics of the statistic argue that 3 earned runs in six innings translates into a 4.50 ERA. In spring 1992, however, David W. Smith published an article pointing out that from 1984 to 1991, the average ERA in a quality start was 1.91, indicating that 3 earned runs in six innings was at the extreme end of the spectrum, rather than the norm.
In 1995, Greg Maddux recorded 24 quality starts out of 25 games pitched, giving him the highest single-season quality start percentage (96%). Thus far in the 2014 season, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw leads the league with 19 quality starts in 21 games (90%).
Congratulations to the Hall of Fame Class of 2014! The induction ceremony for these six greats took place yesterday in Cooperstown, New York. Those inducted: 300-game winners Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, slugger Frank Thomas and managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and La Russa. Having been witness to the Braves of the ’90s as I grew up, a part of me wishes fervently that I could have attended the ceremony. Maddux and Glavine were masters of their craft, and it was always a treat to watch these pitchers pinpoint their pitches with remarkable accuracy. These men were proof that one did not have to be big, strong, and bulky to be successful in professional sports, and that style, brains, and finesse, in many ways, counts for so much more than brawn.