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Alfredo Aceves has the best winning percentage of all time

Jul 18, 2011, 1:20 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

Alfredes Aceves was the winning pitcher in last night’s 16-inning marathon between the Red Sox and Rays, throwing three scoreless innings before Dustin Pedroia‘s hit finally broke a 0-0 tie.

With the victory Aceves improved to 19-2 for his career, which is a .905 winning percentage that ranks as the best mark in MLB history among all pitchers with at least 20 decisions. Seriously.

Of course, by making the cutoff just 20 decisions the whole list is basically filled with pitchers like Aceves, who while very effective weren’t exactly Cy Young contenders:

                     W      L     WIN%
ALFREDO ACEVES      19      2     .905
Luis Aloma          18      3     .857
Howie Krist         37     11     .771
Brendan Donnelly    32     10     .762
Brad Clontz         22      8     .733

Brad Clontz! All five of those guys are non-closer relievers who vultured wins because of how they were used as much as how well they pitched, but 19-2 is still pretty remarkable for someone with just 189 total innings.

Bump the decision cutoff up to, say, 250 and the leaders are Whitey Ford (.690), Pedro Martinez (.687), Lefty Grove (.680), Roy Halladay (.669), and Christy Matthewson (.668), which is a slightly more impressive list.

  1. Ari Collins - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    He also has a 4.57 career xFIP and a 5.05 xFIP this year. He’s a flyball pitcher who doesn’t get strikeouts. I was going to remark that he seems like he should be starting instead of Kyle Weiland, but then I saw his numbers. (Maybe he should still be starting in Kyle’s place, actually.)

    • patsandsox - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      I like Aceves. Yes he is not Pedro Martinez, but he reminds me alot of Tim Wakefield. A dependable pitcher you can call on to start, to relieve, and to eat innings to save the rest of the staff.
      I think his best role is just the way they are using him now. He probably could be a good fifth starter for the sox, but who else do they have to throw long relief when the starter gets knocked out early?
      Keep him for spot starts, middle relief, and the games that look like they will never end. He was perfect for the role last night.
      Its too early in his career to pigeon hole him or compare him to all those nobodys in that list above.
      I would imagine the Yankees would still like to have him back, but who knows, I am glad the Sox signed him.

  2. joshshaine - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    With the decisions set at 100, you get these names (courtesy of
    Rank Player (age) Win-Loss % Throws
    1. Al Spalding+ .7950 R
    2. Spud Chandler .7171 R
    3. Jon Lester (27) .7100 L
    4. Whitey Ford+ .6901 L
    Dave Foutz .6901 R
    6. Bob Caruthers .6877 R
    7. Pedro Martinez .6865 R
    8. Don Gullett .6855 L
    9. Lefty Grove+ .6803 L
    10. Jim Hughes .6748 R
    11. Smoky Joe Wood .6724 R
    12. Babe Ruth+ .6714 L
    13. Roy Halladay (34) .6691 R
    14. Bill Hoffer .6667 R
    Vic Raschi .6667 R

    Lester just makes the cut.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      Lester’s Win % is neat. It’s what happens when you have an ace who also has happened to get amazing run support throughout his career (even during his early years, when he wasn’t an ace yet).

  3. ryanmallettsbluntwrap - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    He has had a couple bad games , but he has had alot more good games . While he didn’t do bad as a starter , he is much more useful in my opinion as a middle reliever , when a pitcher has a high pitch count early in the game he can come in and eat enough innings to get you to bard or papelbon . Regardless it was a steal for the Red Sox not only that he is on their team , but that he is not on the Yankees .

  4. cur68 - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Its funny but all I know of Aceves before this is that he can really, really, REALLY sweat. Like, mega. He should win an award for sweating. He is the Kokopelli of pitchers. Corn grows wherever he walks.

  5. foreverchipper10 - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    The name Brad Clontz makes me want to dig out my old baseball game for the playstation circa 1995 and smash the ball with other lesser known Bravos such as Mike Mordecai.

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