From time to time, I like to look at who the best pitchers and hitters are since the All-Star break, or the 2nd half of the season. Looking at the best NL pitchers from the 2nd half, based on the number of quality starts, yielded the names most people would expect like Sabathia, Santana and Webb, and a couple surprises like Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm and Colorado's Jorge de Larosa. But the two that caught my eye were 44 year old Randy Johnson, and 45 year old Jamie Moyer.
These two pitchers have had very solid stats since the All-Star break, and have kept their teams in the playoff race with their performances. Arizona's Randy Johnson, once the ace of any staff, is now their number 3 pitcher in the D-backs rotation, but has pitched like the ace he once was with 7 quality starts in 7 starts, with 4 wins, a 1.52 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Moyer has 6 quality starts in his 7 games started, with 3 wins, a 2.47 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
The quality start is defined as a pitcher throwing at least 6 innings while giving up 3 earned runs or less. Who would have expected two of the oldest pitchers in baseball to be still helping their teams, as well as many fantasy teams, at this point in the season? Certainly not me.
Here is the list of the top 20 NL pitchers since the ASB, based on number of quality starts:
|Sabathia, CC SP MIL||64||8||8||6||0||60||9||1.41||1|
|Johnson, Randy SP ARI||47.3||7||7||4||2||44||6||1.52||0.99|
|Santana, Johan SP NYM||57.3||8||7||4||0||39||12||2.2||1.01|
|Webb, Brandon SP ARI||53||7||7||6||0||41||12||1.53||0.94|
|Cain, Matt SP SF||50.3||7||6||3||2||36||19||2.15||1.19|
|Dempster, Ryan RP CHC||46||7||6||5||1||49||15||1.76||1.13|
|Lilly, Ted SP CHC||45.7||7||6||3||1||40||15||3.15||1.25|
|Looper, Braden SP STL||50||8||6||3||3||29||10||3.24||1.1|
|Maholm, Paul SP PIT||55||8||6||2||2||47||14||2.95||1.24|
|Moyer, Jamie SP PHI||43.7||7||6||3||1||29||17||2.47||1.15|
|Nolasco, Ricky SP FLA||55||8||6||3||3||59||7||3.44||1|
|Perez, Oliver SP NYM||52||8||6||3||2||53||19||3.12||1.21|
|Arroyo, Bronson SP CIN||46.7||7||5||4||3||36||14||3.86||1.14|
|Billingsley, Chad SP LA||46.3||7||5||3||1||40||15||2.72||1.23|
|De La Rosa, Jorge SP COL||36.7||6||5||3||2||38||22||3.68||1.45|
|Hamels, Cole SP PHI||46||7||5||2||2||36||9||3.33||1.11|
|Jimenez, Ubaldo SP COL||51||8||5||5||2||41||21||3.35||1.33|
|Johnson, Josh SP FLA||43.7||7||5||3||0||34||17||3.3||1.44|
|Jurrjens, Jair SP ATL||45.3||7||5||2||5||31||13||3.97||1.35|
|Kershaw, Clayton SP LA||38||7||5||2||2||36||14||3.79||1.47|
The other thing that comes to mind about their performances is: does this shoot down those who questioned how Roger Clemens was able to continue to pitch at such a high level into his 40's? Probably not, but Randy Johnson can still dominate a game at the age of 44. I wonder how many other players would be on the Mitchell list had he been given more time and money to research this issue. Baseball is already addressing the PEDs with more stringent drug testing, but the question still remains, in my mind, how many other players, and possible Hall-of-famers, were doing the same thing Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds got caught doing?
Or a better question: Does anyone care?