Skip to content

Phil Hughes rolls to 14th win, sports third best K/BB ratio ever

Aug 21, 2014, 6:14 PM EDT

Phil Hughes AP

Phil Hughes outdueled Corey Kluber on Thursday, allowing one run over seven innings as the Twins beat the Indians 4-1. It was his fourth straight victory and 14th of the season. It was also his 15th consecutive start with one or no walks, the longest such streak for a starter since Cliff Lee had 20 in a row from July 2012-April 2013.

Hughes now has a 148/15 K/BB ratio in 165 innings on the year. If the season ended today, that’d be the third best ratio for a qualified starter since 1901.

11.0 – Bret Saberhagen – 1994 Mets (143/13 in 177 1/3 IP)
10.3 – Cliff Lee – 2010 Mariners/Rangers (185/18 in 212 1/3 IP)
9.9 – Phil Hughes – 2014 Twins
9.6 – Curt Schilling – 2002 Diamondbacks (313/33 in 259 1/3 IP)
8.9 – Pedro Martinez – 2000 Red Sox (284/32 in 217 IP)
8.9 – Greg Maddux – 1997 Braves (177/20 in 232 2/3 IP)
8.5 – Pedro Martinez – 1999 Red Sox (313/37 in 213 1/3 IP)
8.3 – Ben Sheets – 2004 Brewers (264/32 in 237 IP)
7.9 – Carlos Silva – 2oo5 Twins (71/9 in 188 1/3 IP)
7.9 – Greg Maddux – 1995 Braves (181/23 in 209 2/3 IP

Of course, the season isn’t ending today. And Hughes doesn’t actually have the best ratio in baseball this year. That belongs to Hisashi Iwakuma, who is at 120/12 K/BB in 147 innings. Plus, Clayton Kershaw isn’t far behind at 9.2, having struck out 174 and walked 19 in 145 1/3 innings.

Barring disaster, both of those guys will join Hughes in qualifying for the ERA title, and the entire top 10 above could get rewritten. Heck, David Price is at 7.6 right now and could squeeze in himself with a stellar finish. It’s certainly a new era as far as K/BB ratios go.

  1. bigharold - Aug 21, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    Not surprised, .. Hughes can pitch. It was obvious when he was here in NY. Too bad it took a change of scenery for him to become the pitcher he is now.

    • dondada10 - Aug 21, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      There were times that Hughes’ stuff looked untouchable in N.Y. Too bad the stadium didn’t suit him well.

      An aside, does any other starter have a greater percentage of a team’s wins than Hughes?

      • Kevin S. - Aug 21, 2014 at 8:50 PM

        Tanaka probably did when he got hurt.

      • chew1985 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:50 AM

        Steve Carlton in 1972 won 27 games. The Phillies won 59 as a team. He won 45.7% of this teams total wins for the season.

  2. serbingood - Aug 21, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    So the next time he plays at Yankee Stadium they will play Sinatra’s NY NY backwards in his honor? Or will it be Peter, Paul and Mary’s Leaving on a Jet Plane?

  3. pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    Good for Phil. I wish he could have done this more often in a Yankees uniform but I’m happy to see him show the talent he has.

  4. genericcommenter - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    I blame the Yankees’ outdated facial hair policy. Some guys just need to relax to perform. Maintaining some kid of corporate or military-style grooming standards seems ridiculous for a team of athletes.

    • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      You’re not actually saying that Phil’s beard is the difference here are you?

      • genericcommenter - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        No, but there can be performance issues related to lifestyle expectations and appearances. Interestingly, I grew a beard 5 years ago and immediately did much better in business. That was after being clean cut and “professional” looking for a long time and mostly feeling defeated. My whole attitude and performance changed when I grew a beard. And I was mostly half/fully-joking also because Joba is doing better this year, too.

  5. pisano - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Good for Phil, he was a good guy and gave it his all, I wish him well, he was just one of many that can’t play in NY, whether it be pressure or the media, who knows, but no one tried harder than Phil. Have a great career, you deserve it.

  6. randygnyc - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    This isn’t an accurate stat in determining the quality of pitcher Hughes is. He’s given up 180+ hits in 160+ innings. He’s not getting into 3 ball counts because the hitters are comfortable. He’s essentially been pitching to contact. Joel Sherman discussed this premise on MLB channel today and it makes a lot of sense

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (2359)
  2. B. Crawford (2304)
  3. Y. Puig (2282)
  4. G. Springer (2051)
  5. D. Wright (2007)
  1. J. Hamilton (1987)
  2. J. Fernandez (1969)
  3. D. Span (1910)
  4. H. Ramirez (1876)
  5. C. Correa (1840)