BY Steve Rudman 03:37PM 05/18/2011

Nobody Asks But Us: Pineda, and strikeouts to walks

The so-far-special debut of Mariners rookie Michael Pineda is illuminated by a stat that puts him in the same flattering sentence as Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson.

Michael Pineda's strikeouts-to-walks ratio is a fairly dazzling 4.00 / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

How does Michael Pineda’s strikeouts-to-walk ratio compare to other starting pitchers in Mariners history?

When Michael Pineda (5-2) fanned seven and walked none in beating the Minnesota Twins on Monday night at Safeco Field, he pushed his season strikeout total to 52 and kept his walk total to 13, a strikeouts-to-walk ratio of 4.00.

If extended over a full season, this would constitute the second-best strikeouts-to-walk ratio in franchise history, behind Randy Johnson’s 4.52 mark in 1995, the year he went 18-2 and won the first of his Cy Young awards.

Of more intrigue than Pineda’s comparison to the Big Unit is that only a dozen pitchers under the age of 25  – Pineda is 22 years old — have posted a strikeouts-to-walk ratio of 4.00 or higher since 1900. The list includes three Hall of Famers (Tom Seaver, Walter Johnson and Don Sutton) and the last man to win 30+ games in a season (Denny McLain).

Best single-season strikeouts-to-walk ratios by pitchers under the age of 25 (since 1900):

Year Pitcher Team Age Record Walks Strikeouts SS/BB
1967 Jim Merritt Twins 23 13-7 30 161 5.37
2003 Mark Prior Cubs 22 18-6 50 245 4.90
1968 Denny McLain Tigers 24 31-6 63 280 4.44
2005 Jake Peavy Padres 24 13-7 50 216 4.32
1968 Tom Seaver Mets 23 16-12 48 205 4.27
1985 Bret Saberhagen Royals 21 20-6 38 158 4.15
1910 Walter Johnson Senators 22 25-17 76 313 4.11
2007 Cole Hamels Phillies 23 15-5 43 177 4.11
1998 Steve Woodard Brewers 23 10-12 33 135 4.09
2002 Odalis Perez Dodgers 24 15-10 38 155 4.08
1966 Don Sutton Dodgers 21 12-12 52 209 4.02
1988 Greg Swindell Indians 23 18-14 45 180 4.00
2011 Michael Penada Mariners 22 5-2 13 52 4.00

Pineda’s 4.00 strikeouts-to-walk ratio is exceeded in Mariners annals only by Johnson’s in 1995.  The best single-season strikeouts-to-walks ratios by Seattle pitchers:

Year Pitcher RHP/LHP Age Record Walks Strikeouts SS/BB
1995 Randy Johnson LHP 31 18-2 65 294 4.52
2011 Michael Pineda RHP 22 5-2 13 52 4.00
1997 Randy Johnson LHP 33 20-4 77 291 3.78
1998 Jamie Moyer LHP 35 15-9 42 158 3.76
2010 Felix Hernandez RHP 24 13-12 70 232 3.31
2004 Freddy Garcia RHP 27 4-7 32 82 3.19
1989 Mark Langston LHP 28 4-5 19 60 3.16
1993 Randy Johnson LHP 29 19-8 99 308 3.11
2007 Felix Hernandez RHP 21 14-7 53 165 3.11
1990 Erik Hanson RHP 25 18-9 68 211 3.10
2011 Felix Hernandez RHP 25 4-3 18 55 3.06

YourThoughts

  • Jasonweaver2

    Jake I was thinking the same thing.

  • sportspressnw

    Thanks for the note, we have corrected it.