StaTuesday: Davies entering rare Brewers ‘win’ territory

In this advanced Major League Baseball statistical word we live in, pitcher wins has taken something of a hit in recent years.

Yet, the stat is still kept tracked of and while it might mean less than it used to when pitchers completed the majority of games they started, it certainly doesn’t mean nothing.

With that out of the way, it’s time to appreciate the season Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Zach Davies is having.

With 18 games left on the regular-season schedule, Davies has won 17 games — just the 13th time in franchise history a pitcher has won that many games and 10th pitcher overall (both Mike Caldwell and Teddy Higuera reached that mark twice).

Another win, and Davies can reach 18 wins for just the eight time in Brewers history. No one has ever won exactly 19 games and three have hit the magical 20 mark.

PITCHER YEAR WINS
Jim Colborn 1973 20
Mike Caldwell 1978 22
Lary Sorensen 1978 18
Pete Vukovich 1982 18
Mike Caldwell 1982 17
Teddy Higuera 1986 20
Teddy Higuera 1987 18
Jaime Navarro 1992 17
Chris Capuano 2005 18
Yovani Gallardo 2011 17
Wily Peralta 2014 17
Zach Davies 2017 17

Only Lary Sorensen, who was 22, was younger than the 24-year-old Davies on that above list.

Davies has an outside shot to join Caldwell, Colborn and Higuera and win 20 games. OK, very outside. With likely just 3-4 starts left, well, you can do the math. It might be improbable, but it’s not impossible.

Seeing as how 20-game winners are decreasing — there were 34 from both 1990-99 and 2000-09, but just 19 so far in 2010-17 — it would be quite the accomplishment.

In addition, it would move Milwaukee to the top of the list of the last time each team has had a 20-game winner. Currently, only two teams have gone a longer stretch that the Brewers: Baltimore (1984) and San Diego (1978), although Colorado, which came into the league in 1993, is still waiting for its first.

TEAM YEAR PITCHER
Red Sox 2016 Rick Porcello
Blue Jays 2016 J.A. Happ
Nationals 2016 Max Scherzer
Cubs 2015 Jake Arrieta
Astros 2015 Dallas Keuchel
Cardinals 2014 Adam Wainwright
Reds 2014 Johnny Cueto
Dodgers 2014 Clayton Kershaw
Tigers 2013 Max Scherzer
Mets 2013 R.A. Dickey
Angels 2012 Jered Weaver
Rays 2012 David Price
Diamondbacks 2011 Ian Kennedy
Phillies 2010 Roy Halladay
Yankees 2010 CC Sabathia
Indians 2008 Cliff Lee
Marlins 2005 Dontrelle Willis
Twins 2004 Johan Santana
Braves 2003 Russ Ortiz
Mariners 2003 Jamie Moyer
White Sox 2003 Esteban Loaiza
Athletics 2002 Barry Zito
Rangers 1998 Rick Helling
Giants 1993 Bill Swift
Pirates 1991 John Smiley
Royals 1989 Bret Saberhagen
Brewers 1986 Teddy Higuera
Orioles 1984 Mike Boddicker
Padres 1978 Gaylord Perry
Rockies n/a n/a

And say what you want about wins as a statistic, but Davies certainly has earned most of his.

In 12 of his 17 victories, Davies allowed two or fewer runs. In the other five he allowed 4, 4, 4 (3 earned), 4 and 6 (5 earned). However, he also has one no-decision in which he allowed one run (none earned) and two when he allowed two runs. He also picked up losses in games in which he twice allowed two runs — one time with only one of those earned and the other with both being unearned.

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns