Tag: Whitey Ford

Sal "The Barber" Maglie Finished Just a Little off the Top in 1956

Ninth in an 11-part series examining the vagaries of awards voting.

Sal Maglie’s 1956 season combines the “Elston Howard factor” of collecting more MVP votes than worthier candidates largely because his team inched out theirs at the finish line with the “‘Indian Bob’ Johnson factor” of a hot stretch drive that stayed fresh in the memory of writers come ballot time.

Maglie enjoyed the double-whammy of earning lots of votes this way in two award races: the National League MVP and the very first Cy Young honor.

Not to paint a picture that Maglie reaped undue reward for a marginal season. On the contrary, he was a key starter who contributed mightily to a pennant winner—but in my opinion, his runner-up finishes for the MVP and Cy Young Award came at the expense of more-deserving candidates.

Sal Maglie’s story is well known: Struggling for several pre-war years in the mid-minors, he went home to work in a defense plant as America mobilized, until finally making his debut with the New York Giants just as the war drew to an end. Three of his five wins came by shutout, including one against the World Series–bound Chicago Cubs.

But nearing his 29th birthday as Opening Day of 1946 approached, Maglie, along with Max Lanier, Mickey Owen, Giants teammate Danny Gardella and more than a dozen other major leaguers, jumped to the Pasquale Brothers’ outlaw Mexican League, nearly aborting his career before it started.

Maglie pitched in Mexico for two seasons under the tutelage of hotheaded Cuban fireballer Dolf Luque, who had enjoyed a successful 20-year NL career, including a 27-win season in 1923.

Luque taught Maglie to be a more aggressive pitcher, soon transforming Maglie into one of the most feared moundsmen in the National League for his eagerness to throw high and inside, resulting in his sobriquet, “The Barber.” (Despite his nasty reputation, however, Maglie hit only 44 batters in his 10-year major league career.)

Temporarily banned from the majors for his outlaw days, Maglie pitched in Canada before returning to the Giants in 1950. Now a well-traveled 33-year-old, he unleashed his talent and temper on National League batters to the tune of an 18-4 record, pacing the NL in ERA, shutouts and winning percentage.

In the Giants’ legendary 1951 campaign, Maglie reached his apex, tying with teammate Larry Jansen for the major league lead in victories, with 23.

His 2.93 ERA claimed second best, and he finished third in strikeouts. In the Shot Heard ‘Round the World game, Maglie surrendered four runs in eight innings but took a no-decision when Ralph Branca spared him the goat’s horns.

Maglie followed 1951 with several more strong seasons, helping New York to a World Series championship in 1954 and remaining one of the hated nemeses of the Brooklyn Dodgers—and their fans—during his tenure in the Polo Grounds. While donning a Giants jersey, Maglie tortured the powerful Bums by taking 23 of 34 decisions.

In 1955, despite ringing up nine victories through July, the defending champs put Maglie on waivers. Quickly claimed by the Cleveland Indians, he hurled a mere 25.2 innings the rest of the season and looked to be near the end of the line.

Five innings into the 1956 campaign, the borough of Brooklyn did a collective double take as their defending champions, slow out of the gate, purchased the reviled Maglie from the Tribe.

During his first two months in Dodger blue, Maglie, used as both a spot starter and a reliever, did little to help Brooklyn’s fortunes, going 2-3 and carrying an ERA above 4.00.

Then, on July 28, The Barber found his groove. (He won his start previous to July 28 but did not pitch well and claimed victory thanks to Brooklyn’s 10-run assault.) Through the end of August, Maglie won four of five decisions, pitched three no-decisions in which he surrendered a total of two earned runs and dropped his ERA from 4.20 to 3.34

As Brooklyn slowly cut into the Milwaukee Braves’ summer-long lead—simultaneously rumbling with the revived Cincinnati Redlegs—Maglie maintained his magic.

On September 11, he went the distance to beat Milwaukee, 4-2, bringing Brooklyn into a tie for first. And in his next start, Maglie gutted out a narrow victory at Crosley Field to raise the Dodgers into the lead for the first time since April.

As Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Cincinnati played tug-of-war for the pennant, Maglie no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies on September 25. Although Milwaukee’s easy victory in Cincinnati that day kept Brooklyn from gaining ground, Maglie’s headline-making feat so close to the end of the season surely carried a lot of weight come awards time.

Four days later, his complete-game victory in the opener of a double-header against the Pittsburgh Pirates put Brooklyn one game in the lead for good. (After winning the back end of the double-header, Brooklyn clinched the pennant with a series sweep of Pittsburgh the next afternoon, despite Milwaukee also winning its final game.)

At season’s end, Maglie stood at 13-5, with a 2.87 ERA for Brooklyn—a fantastic ERA while hurling two-thirds of his innings in a home park among the toughest in which to pitch.

There is no doubt that Brooklyn—which edged Milwaukee by a single game and Cincinnati by two—won the pennant largely on the arm of Sal Maglie. From late July onward, Maglie was money—especially during the three-team race of September, when he went 6-1, with a 1.77 ERA.

For his heroics, Maglie finished second to teammate Don Newcombe in both the MVP race and the brand-new Cy Young Award, as Newcombe authored one of the monster seasons of the post-war era: 27-7, 3.06 ERA and a 0.989 WHIP—by far, baseball’s best.

Not to minimize in any way Maglie’s huge contribution to a pennant winner, but of the 11 NL pitchers who received MVP votes, only reliever Clem Labine collected fewer wins. Maglie also pitched the fewest innings of any vote-getting starter.

Especially considering that Don Newcombe and his 27 victories were the true anchor of Brooklyn’s staff—and rightfully rewarded as such—a Dodger who played every day deserved more recognition than Maglie for keeping the Bums churning through a daily dogfight.

How Duke Snider finished a distant tenth in the MVP is a real head-scratcher. Garnering a single first-place vote, the Duke’s vote share lagged well behind not only Maglie, but teammates Jim Gilliam and Pee Wee Reese—a part-time keystone combo having an excellent fielding season, with Gilliam cracking an even .300 and drawing 95 walks.

But Duke carried the biggest stick on an aging team suddenly replaced by Cincinnati as the most potent offense in the league.

Snider paced the Senior Circuit in home runs, walks and OPS, tying with Junior Gilliam for the lead in on-base percentage, all while chasing down fly balls to center field at his usual reliable rate. He also crossed the plate 112 times, second most in the league.

And as Newcombe struggled to clinch the pennant on the schedule’s final day—surrendering six earned runs on 11 Pirates’ hits—it was the Duke who saved Brooklyn’s season, slamming a pair of home runs and driving in four RBI.

Sandy Amoros also clubbed two homers, but Duke’s three-run blast in the bottom of the first set the tone and put Pittsburgh in a hole from which it could not fully emerge before Don Bessent relieved the fatigued Newcome and sealed the pennant.

Of course, no one knew from WAR at the time, but the Duke tied Willie Mays for the NL lead at 7.6. Having topped 130 RBI in the previous two seasons yet driving home “only” 101 in 1956, perhaps voters turned their pens elsewhere based on Duke’s “drop-off” in that coveted stat.

Already a potent lineup, the long-lost Redlegs—who hadn’t seen .500 since 1944—slugged their way from 75 to 91 wins largely on the addition of Frank Robinson.

Enjoying one of the greatest freshman campaigns ever—and copping a unanimous Rookie of the Year honor for it—the gritty Robinson smashed 38 home runs, a record that would stand for 31 seasons.

In doing so, Robinson also helped Cincinnati clout a record-tying 221 home runs. Exhibiting impressive bat discipline for a 20-year-old slugger, Robinson drew 64 walks to go with his solid .290 batting average, which, combined with a league-high 20 hit-by-pitches for the rookie who defiantly dug in against veteran hurlers, led to an NL-best 122 runs scored.

Robinson also tied teammate Ed Bailey for second in OPS, with .936. Considering Cincinnati’s dearth of starting pitching—only Brooks Lawrence chalked up more than 13 victories, and only Joe Nuxhall logged an ERA better than league average—Robinson, in my opinion, had more to do with Cincinnati’s sudden resurgence than any other Redleg.

One can argue that a seventh-place finish on the MVP ballot was amply complemented by the Rookie of the Year honor, but Robinson, a natural-born leader and the highest-scoring player on the highest-scoring team, should have finished higher in the vote.

Interestingly, both Snider and Robinson batted their best against each other as Brooklyn and Cincinnati jockeyed all summer for the inside track. Duke lit up Redlegs hurlers for an even .400 and slugged a monstrous .787, while driving in 18 runs and scoring 23 times in 22 contests.

Nearly matching Duke’s mastery of Cincinnati pitching, the rookie Robinson still bruised Brooklyn for nine homers and .716 slugging, resulting in 13 RBI and 20 runs scored in the same 22 games.

Neither fared well against Milwaukee’s deep and stingy rotation.

Warren Spahn also probably should have ranked higher than Maglie. Arguably the best pitcher on what was, far and away, the best pitching staff in the NL (team ERA of 3.11nearly half a run better than runner-up Brooklyn), Spahn enjoyed a typical Warren Spahn season: 20-11, 2.78 ERA. He led the league in nothing but hurled 90 more innings than Maglie.

Over the course of an entire season, during which Spahn’s Braves spent 83 percent of its schedule within two games, either way, of first place, 90 high-quality innings is a huge difference to overlook.

Milwaukee’s strength on the mound may have actually worked against Spahn at voting time. Lew Burdette spun a season very similar to Spahn statistically (19-10, 2.70 ERA, in 256.1 innings), yet although voters barely took notice of Burdette or 18-game winner Bob Buhl at awards time, Spahn’s 20 wins might have lost some impact among his big-winning teammates.

Of course, had Milwaukee finished a game ahead of Brooklyn, Spahn likely would have received many of the votes that instead went to Maglie.

Unfortunately for Spahn, who went 7-1 and saved one game in September (including a 12-inning complete-game victory on September 13), he took a truly hard-luck loss in Milwaukee’s penultimate game of the season, which dropped the Braves a game behind Brooklyn and allowed the Dodgers to claim the pennant the following afternoon despite Burdette’s 4-2 win in St. Louis.

Tied with Brooklyn with two games to play, Spahn spun a masterful 11 innings, yielding only three hits and one earned run. But Cardinal Herm Wehmeier, an oft-wild thrower with a career mark of 80-100 going into the game, matched Spahn inning for inning.

With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 12th, Spahn yielded a double to Stan Musial. Intentionally walking Ken Boyer to get to Rip Repulski, Repulski ripped a double to left, scoring Musial and giving Brooklyn—busy winning the second game of a double-header against Pittsburgh after Maglie won the opener—a one-game edge going into the season’s final day.

As for the Cy Young Award—which, in 1956, was issued to a single pitcher selected from both leagues—Maglie again placed second to Newcombe. The same argument for Spahn (and Burdette) in the MVP race becomes stronger for this vote. With Newcombe deservedly running away with the inaugural award, Maglie earned four of the remaining six votes, outpacing both Spahn and Whitey Ford.

The ace of the eventual world-champion New York Yankees, Ford went 19-6, with a Major League–topping 2.47 ERA. But the Bronx Bombers peeled away from the rest of the AL in July and coasted to the pennant, so Ford enjoyed none of the hero-making drama of a close race, as did Maglie.

Yet a pitcher superior that season both to Spahn and Ford, let alone Maglie, was completely ignored. Herb Score, coming off a Rookie of the Year effort in 1955, took another step toward the superstardom he’d sadly never reach (see his entry, No. 2, in my series for a fuller explanation).

Flame throwing his way to a 20-9 season, garnished with an AL-high five shutouts and 263 strikeouts—best in the Majors and 71 more than anyone else—Score unfairly went missing at ballot time thanks to an 88-win Cleveland Indians squad made irrelevant by the machine-like Yankees.

As good as was Maglie down Brooklyn’s stretch drive, Score, with his adjusted ERA of 166, pitched at the highest caliber virtually all season.

Pitching in his third—and final—World Series, in 1956, Maglie went the distance in the opener, whiffing 10 Yankees in a 6-3 victory at Ebbets Field. In Game 5, he had the misfortune of pitching against history, as his gutsy eight innings were no match for Don Larsen’s perfection. (Along with the Shot Heard ‘Round the World game, this made Maglie a starting pitcher in perhaps the two most famous contests in baseball annals.)

New York, of course, went on to reclaim the crown Brooklyn had usurped the previous year.

Maglie pitched one more season in Brooklyn, but now 40 years old, the Barber’s days were numbered. He bounced to the Yankees—becoming one of only 14 players who made the stop at all three New York boroughs—before concluding his short but eventful career with the St. Louis Cardinals, in 1958.

Etching a most impressive 119-62 record, with a career ERA 27 percent better than league average, Sal Maglie enjoyed one helluva ride for a guy who didn’t stick in the Majors until age 33.

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Casey Stengel’s Yankees Weren’t Desperate After Losing First 2 1958 WS Games

Casey Stengel had been there before and won.

The defending world champion Brooklyn Dodgers led the New York Yankees two games to none in the 1956 World Series. The Yankees had to win four of the next five games.

And that is what they did.

Warren Spahn beat the Yankees in the opening game of the 1958 World Series. Bob Turley started Game 2 against Yankees nemesis Lew Burdette in an effort to even the series.

Mickey Mantle hit a pair of home runs, and Hank Bauer hit one as the Yankees scored five runs off Burdette.

The problem was that the Milwaukee Braves blasted 21-game winner Bob Turley for seven runs in the first inning. The game was over almost before it started.

After the game, the Yankees put up what seemed to be a brave front, which was real.

Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Hank Bauer, Gil McDougald, Moose Skowron and Game 3 starter Don Larsen expressed confidence that things would change at Yankee Stadium.

Stengel was more than a bit touchy when asked if the Yankees’ situation was desperate.

“Desperate? Desperate? Who says things are desperate? This has happened before, for me, as well as against me. I don’t think the situation is desperate at all. We gotta get more hitting…and we gotta get more pitching.”

Whitey Ford believed that the World Series was far from over.

“They’ve had the good pitching and the hitting so far. Now we start. Larsen will beat the Braves Saturday. If Casey comes back with Turley on Sunday, Bob will even the series. Then, if the manager starts me, I’ll try to beat them on Monday.”

Berra explained why Turley lasted only one-third of an inning. He said the Braves were hitting Turley’s fastball so he switched to the curve, but Turley couldn’t control it.

They had to go back to the fastball. Then, Stengel had to bring in another pitcher.

Losing the first two games to the Braves in 1958 seemed different from losing the first two games to the Dodgers in 1956.

The Yankees had lost four times to Lew Burdette without ever beating him, and Warren Spahn always pitched strong games against them. 

After Bob Rush in the third game, the Yankees would face Spahn in the fourth game and Burdette in Game 5, if necessary.

Brooklyn’s Don Newcombe was hardly ever a problem for the Yankees. The only time he pitched a great game against the Yankees, in the 1949 World Series, Allie Reynolds shut out the Dodgers and beat Newk 1-0 on Tommy Henrich’s home run.

In 1956, it took Don Larsen’s perfect game to beat Sal Maglie, who held the Yankees to a pair of runs after he beat them 6-2 in the opener.

The Yankees were facing a difficult situation. But they remained undaunted.




By Louis Effrat in The New,York Times. (1958, Oct 03). Stengel angrily denies Yankees’ plight is desperate after second defeat. New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. 35-35

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The Cleveland Indians’ Great Sweep of the New York Yankees

It happened on Sept. 18, 1954, but it really happened before then.

The New York Yankees would go on to win 103 games, which would be the most the perennial World Champions would ever win under their greatest manager of all time, Casey Stengel, but the Cleveland Indians would be American League Champions.

On Sept. 12, the Yankees were in Cleveland to face the Tribe in a doubleheader before a record crowd of 86,563 paying customers. Yes, the Indians were a force during the early and mid-1950s.

The Indians were World Champions in 1948, but from 1949-1953, the Yankees won five consecutive pennants and followed each pennant by winning the World Series.

Nineteen fifty four was different. The best the Yankees could produce would not be good enough.

The Indians led the Yankees by six a half games. The Yankees had to sweep in order to keep their slim pennant hopes alive. They sent Whitey Ford to the mound to face Bob Lemon.

Whitey struggled through six innings, allowed five hits and four walks, but the Indians could score only one run which the Yankees matched. Stengel pinch-hit for Ford in the seventh inning, but the Yankees didn’t score. Allie Reynolds lost the game in relief.

The second game proved that Cleveland really was the better team. Early Wynn held the Yankees to three lonely hits on his way to a 3-2 win. The Yankees jumped off to a 2-0 lead in the first, but they couldn’t score again.

Mickey Mantle struck out six times in the twin bill. The last was his 100th of the season, which was an ignominious achievement in those days. It is still an ignominious achievement today, but it is not recognized as such.

Less than a week later, the Indians beat the Detroit Tigers to clinch their first pennant since 1948. The paid attendance was 6,913.

Early Wynn beat former teammate Steve Gromek, but needed help from ace relief pitcher Ray Narleski.

Gromek outdueled Wynn until Dale Mitchell belted a pinch-hit two run homer in the seventh to put the Tribe up by a run. Before the inning was over, catcher Jim Hegan hit a home run for a 3-1 lead, but Wynn had problems with the Tigers.

Bill Tuttle, one of the greatest defensive center fielders who is hardly remembered today, led off the bottom of the seventh with a ringing single to center field. After catcher Frank House struck out, pinch-hitter Bob Nieman singled to right field, sending Tuttle to second.

Wynn got the dangerous Harvey Kuenn on a fly ball to center fielder Larry Doby for the second out, but then the Indians’ big right-hander walked the offensively challenged Freddie “Scrap Iron” Hatfield to load the bases.

When Wynn walked Jim Delsing to force in run, Narleski came in to face Ray Boone.

Boone grounded out to third.

The Indians had snapped the Yankees’ streak of pennants. They went on to win a record 111 games, a mark that stood until the 1998 Yankees won 114 games, but the Tribe’s winning percentage was .721 compared the Yankees’ .704.

The 1954 Yankees were an outstanding team in a weak league. After the Indians and Yankees, the Chicago White Sox won 94 games, for a .610 percentage, but the fourth place BoSox won only 69 times to finish 42 games behind the Tribe.

The Baltimore Orioles, in their first season since moving from the great city of St. Louis, managed only 54 wins, and the once-great Philadelphia Athletics, in what turned out to be their last season in Philly, were 51-103, finishing 60 games out of first place.


By LOUIS EFFRAT Special to The New York Times.. (1954, September 13). Indians Sink Yanks Twice Before Record 86,563; Magic Number Is Three :LEMON, WYNN HURL 4-1, 3-2 TRIUMPHS They Help Indians Lift Lead to 8 1/2 Games Over Yanks — Berra Wastes Homer. New York Times (1923-Current file),27. Retrieved December 18, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2007). (Document ID: 93409424).

By The United Press.. (1954, September 19). TRIBE TOPS TIGERS :Mitchell, Hegan Homers in 3-Run Seventh Win, 3-2, and End Race INDIANS WIN FLAG WITH 3-2 TRIUMPH. New York Times (1923-Current file),S1. Retrieved December 18, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2007). (Document ID: 92606757).

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2010 World Series: Texas Rangers Ace Cliff Lee in Select Company

Few things have been more certain that Cliff Lee’s dominance in the playoffs over the last two seasons.

Sure, there’s the sunrise and, nearly as certain, sunset.

There’s Glenn Beck angering liberals and Jon Stewart offending conservatives. 

And there’s MTV killing the brain cells of children with Jersey Shore.

But other than those things, there are few things you could set your clock by with more certainty than Cliff Lee shutting down opponents in October. Going into last night’s Game 1 of the World Series, Lee had allowed only two postseason earned runs while striking out 35 and walking one.


Nevertheless, Lee got shellacked last night. Courtesy of baseballreference.com blogger “Andy”, we now know that Lee’s performance is tied for the 13th-worst Game Score in World Series Game 1 history.

Wow again.

Never fear, though, Cliff Lee fans. The company he’s keeping on this list is actually pretty impressive. Here is a look at the top seven pitchers to have sucked as bad as Cliff Lee did in Game 1 of a World Series.

Begin Slideshow

Pressure Pitchers: The Top 50 Pitchers You Want Starting a Game 7

There may be nothing in professional sports that quite measures up to starting the final game of a seven-game playoff series in Major League Baseball. It can either mean going home, moving on, or winning it all.

Before the advent of the expanded playoff system in 1969, only two teams were eligible in MLB, the pennant winners of the American and National Leagues. For 66 seasons this was the accepted format, and the Fall Classic brought us many great memories from that period of time.

When both leagues split into two divisions, the League Championship series was formed, and was a best-of-five format up until 1985, when it was increased to seven games to increase revenue and match the length of the World Series.

When the Division Series was introduced in 1995, five games were determined to be the length, and has remained so ever since. Even though we are looking at who we would consider to start a Game 7 of a series, we could certainly count Game 5 of division series as well, considering it’s a one-and-done proposition, and still determines whether a team marches onward or out.

So, the upcoming list is a ranking of the top 50 pitchers to start a Game 7, or deciding game of a playoff series.

The list does NOT reflect how a pitcher performed during the regular season, it only reflects their performance DURING the playoffs. Major difference here.

Performances in big games during the season might be important, but don’t reflect the type of pressure that pitchers are under when given the ball to get their team a championship.

And here we go…

Begin Slideshow

CC Sabathia vs. Tim Lincecum: Which Pitcher Is More At Risk for Injury?

Two pitchers with heavily decorated resumes.

The first, CC Sabathia, has more of a track record and is completing his 10th full season in the Majors.

The second, Tim Lincecum, affectionately known as “The Freak,” is in his fourth season, and has two Cy Young Awards.

However, both are known as workhorses, the proverbial baseball term that gives revered status to those pitchers who miss very few starts to injury and normally throw 200-plus innings per season.

Based upon their sizes, both Sabathia and Lincecum are on the opposite ends of the spectrum of pitchers you would consider workhorses.

CC is a hulky 6’7″ 290-pound behemoth, while Lincecum stands 5’11” and 170 pounds. Yes, even though Tiny Tim appears more slight, he is listed at 170.

Both have thrown a lot of innings in their careers. Sabathia has averaged 31 starts and 210 innings during his first nine full seasons, while Lincecum has averaged 32 starts and 226 innings in his only two full seasons.

In today’s game, those are huge amounts of innings…but somewhere Steve Carlton is laughing.

Both pitchers are headed for similar (if not higher) numbers this year. CC has made 20 starts and Lincecum 19, with both having double-digit wins once again.

Interestingly enough, Sabathia is the only active MLB pitcher who has double-digit wins and a winning record in each season of his career.

But with the similarities between the two pitchers (team workhorse aces) and their differences (body type), which hurler is the more likely pitcher to eventually break down?

I don’t think either one will break down anytime soon. Both have pretty good pitching mechanics. Their arm actions are great, putting less stress on their elbows and shoulders.

But history does provide a glimpse of those types of pitchers who have long careers, and they are not usually the slight of build guys.

There have been 70 pitchers in baseball history who have thrown 3500-plus innings. The leader, of course, is Cy Young, with a ridiculous 7,356 innings. It doesn’t matter what era you are pitching in, that is a preposterous amount of innings.

So, of all these 70 pitchers, only eight are of the recent era. They are Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Jamie Moyer, Dennis Martinez, Jack Morris, and Mike Mussina.

All of the other 62 pitchers played the bulk of their careers before the 1980s.

Almost all of these 70 pitchers were six feet tall or bigger. Ten were under six feet tall, and all but one played before the 20th century, when pitchers threw with less velocity but more often during a season.

The only pitcher under six feet tall who pitched in the modern era was Whitey Ford, who tipped the scales at a robust 5’10”, 178 pounds.

But Ford was a soft-tossing left-handed pitcher who would pepper the corners with moderate fastballs, change ups, and cut pitches (literally). Similar to Glavine, minus the cut balls.

There are not many smallish built pitchers who throw many innings, especially hard-throwing slight of build pitchers like Lincecum. Even Pedro Martinez and his lengthy career, has thrown only 2,827 innings, and he is similar in size to Lincecum with the same velocity.

Martinez, who had tremendous pitching mechanics, ended up having rotator cuff surgery in 2006. His rotator cuff issues began back in 2001 (at age 29) when he missed a good chunk of that year to the injured shoulder.

Lincecum is now 26 years old, but at the same age, Pedro had thrown about 300 more innings than Lincecum will throw this season.  

Sabathia, as of this writing, has thrown 2,027 innings. That is good for 404th place all time. At his current rate, CC will move into the 360th-place range.

He has a workhorse frame, and even with the seven postseason series (and 61 more innings), Sabathia looks as strong as the day he broke into the Majors.

With his slight build, Lincecum should not compile as long a Major League career as Sabathia. He may not break down for major arm surgery like Pedro, but I would not bet against it.

History shows us smaller guys do not last as long or throw as many innings as bigger guys.

But both smaller and bigger guys end up getting surgery. That is the nature of the beast with pitchers.

They say pitchers’ careers are made with their legs, and the arms are just along for the ride. When the legs get tired, the arm gets tired, and that is when injuries occur.

That is why a Major League pitcher who is throwing around 120 pitches can still throw more if his legs are strong, but a guy can be wiped out after 90 if his legs are weak.

From the looks of both pitchers, it appears Sabathia’s legs have a bunch more strength than Lincecum’s.

For that reason, his size, and the longer history of sustained work with no ill effects, I believe CC Sabathia will have the longer career, logging many more innings than “The Freak.”

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