HOW LONG IT'S STOOD:
Since Denny McLain won 31 in 1968 (38 years ago).
CLOSEST CALL SINCE:
27, by Steve Carlton in 1972 and Bob Welch in 1990.
Welcome back to the same debate we faced with .400. Want to call McLain's 31 the new "modern record"? Fine. Want to go with 27? Cool.
But we live in a world that loves its round numbers. And 30 is another one of those numbers that would rev up pulse rates all over America if any pitcher ever got to Aug. 1 with 20 wins.
Then again, no pitcher has done that since Wilbur Wood in 1973. Furthermore, only three pitchers in the last 20 years (Greg Maddux in 1988, Pedro Martinez in 1999 and David Wells in 2000) have won 15 by the All-Star break.
So in a sport in which no non-knuckleballer has made 40 starts in almost a quarter-century (Jim Clancy, 1982), 30 wins might not be much more reachable than Jack Chesbro's 41.
"But if anybody ever did it, there'd be an unbelievable buzz," says Indians assistant GM Chris Antonetti, "because he'd have to do it in 36 starts. So what would his record be -- 30-1, with five no-decisions?"
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