MLB’s best pitchers in April

Pedro Martinez: Is he baseball's all-time best pitcher in April?

Pedro Martinez: Is he baseball’s all-time best pitcher in April?

Getting off to a good start is important for MLB teams (Brewers?). It is equally important for players.

Five pitchers are already 3-0 this season: Two New York Mets pitchers (Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey), two Detroit hurlers (Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene) and San Diego’s Joaquin Benoit. Since 1914 there have been six pitchers who have won six games by the end of April. The six: Vida Blue (1971), Dave Stewart (1988), Randy Johnson (2000), Randy Johnson (2002), Brandon Webb (2008) and Jered Weaver (2011). All of the six except Vida Blue were 6-0 at the end of April; Blue was 6-1.

One of the interesting things about Stewart is that not only is he one of six pitchers to win six games in April, but he is also one of only four pitchers to lose six games in April. Stewart was 0-6 in 1984. The other pitchers with six losses at the end of April were Mike Maroth (2003), Barry Zito (2008) and Philip Humber (2013).

Roger Clemens leads all MLB pitchers with the most March/April wins with 57. He is followed by Greg Maddux (56), Tom Glavine(51) and Nolan Ryan (51). Phil Niekro has the most March/April losses with 39.

If we look at the pitchers with a minimum of 20 March/April wins in their careers, Pedro Martinez has the best winning percentage. Martinez was 35-8 in his career by the end of April, a .814 winning percentage. Here are the pitchers with the best March/April winning percentages since 1914:

Pedro Martinez 35-8 .814
Wes Ferrell 26-7 .788
Geoff Zahn 26-7 .788
Dave McNally 30-9 .769
Bob Lemon 23-7 .767

Eight different Brewers pitchers have won 10 or more games in April. Chris Bosio ranks as the Brewers’ best early-season pitcher as he was 18-5 (a .783 winning percentage) in his Milwaukee career in the March/April. His 18 wins tops the list. Here are the Brewers pitchers with 10 or more wins in the first month of the season:

Chris Bosio 18-5
Jim Slaton 17-14
Mike Caldwell 16-9
Ben Sheets 14-17
Yovani Gallardo 13-7
Teddy Higuera 12-4
Bill Wegman 11-13
Chris Capuano 10-6

Sheets’ 17 losses top the Brewers list of most March/April losses.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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