Can David Price and Fernando Rodney make MLB history this season?
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Tampa Bay Rays lefty David Price takes the mound tonight looking for his league-leading 17th win. Over his last 10 starts, Price has gone 7-0, allowing only 12 earned runs in 71.1 innings of work. He has gone seven or more innings in each of his last 10 starts.
If Price goes seven innings and the Rays are ahead in the game, there’s a good chance reliever Fernando Rodney will get the ball in the ninth to preserve the win and grab a save. Not only is Price leading the American League in wins, but Rodney is also leading the AL in saves.
Since 1950, teammates have led the league in wins and saves 21 times. The last duo was last season when Detroit’s Jason Verlander led the AL with 24 wins and teammate Jose Valverde topped the league with 49 saves.
The last National League teammates to lead the league in wins and saves was in 1988 (24 years ago) when Cincinnati starter Danny Jackson led the NL with 23 wins and John Franco topped the league with 39 saves. Is it possible we could we have teammates lead the NL in wins and saves this season? As of August 20, Pittsburgh’s Joel Hanrahan leads the league with 34 saves, while starter A.J. Burnett has 15 wins, one behind league leaders Johnny Cueto of the Reds and Washington’s Gio Gonzalez.
Following are the 21 sets of teammates that have led the AL and NL in wins and saves since 1950.
2011, Detroit: Jason Verlander, 24 wins; Jose Valverde, 49 saves
2005, L.A. Angels: Bartolo Colon, 21 wins; Francisco Rodriguez, 45 saves
1996, N.Y. Yankees: Andy Pettitte, 21 wins; John Wetteland, 43 saves
1981, Milwaukee: Pete Vukovich, 14 wins; Rollie Fingers, 28 saves
1978, N.Y. Yankees: Ron Guidry, 25 wins; Goose Gossage, 27 saves
1970, Minnesota: Jim Perry, 24 wins; Ron Perranoski, 34 saves
1961, N.Y. Yankees: Whitey Ford, 25 wins; Luis Arroyo, 29 saves
1960, Cleveland: Jim Perry, 18 wins; Johnny Klippstein, 14 saves
1959, Chicago White Sox: Early Wynn, 22 wins; Turk Lown, 15 saves
1958, N.Y. Yankees: Bob Turley, 21 wins; Ryne Duren, 20 saves
1955, Cleveland: Bob Lemon, 18 wins; Ray Narleski, 19 saves
1988, Cincinnati: Danny Jackson, 23 wins; John Franco, 39 saves
1984, St. Louis: Joaquin Andujar, 20 wins; Bruce Sutter, 45 saves
1978, San Diego: Gaylord Perry, 21 wins; Rollie Fingers, 37 saves
1974, L.A. Dodgers: Andy Messersmith, 20 wins; Mike Marshall, 21 saves
1966, L.A. Dodgers: Sandy Koufax, 27 wins; Phil Regan, 21 saves
1960, St. Louis: Ernie Broglio, 21 wins; Lindy McDaniel, 26 saves
1959, Milwaukee: Lew Burdette and Warren Spahn, 21 wins; Don McMahon, 15 saves
1958, Pittsburgh: Bob Friend, 22 wins; Elroy Face, 20 saves
1956, L.A. Dodgers: Don Newcombe, 27 wins; Clem Labine, 19 saves
1955, Philadelphia: Robin Roberts, 23 wins; Jack Meyer, 16 saves
Here’s a few more notes about teammates leading the league in wins and saves: Of the 21 times when teammates led the league in wins and saves:
* Twelve of those teams finished first in their division or league.
* Eight of those teams went on to play in the World Series that year.
* Four of those teams went on to win the World Series that year (all Yankees teams: 1958, 1961, 1978, 1996). Ironically, the three seasons when the Dodgers pitchers led the league in wins and saves the team lost in the World Series.
* Twenty of those teams finished the season at or above .500. The only exception: The 1960 Cleveland Indians who were 76-78 that year when Jim Perry led the league in wins and Johnny Klippstein led the AL in saves.
One final note: The last season in which teammates led both the AL and NL in wins and saves was in 1978 (San Diego’s Gaylord Perry and Rollie Fingers; the Yankees Ron Guidry and Goose Gossage).
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