The Top 10 Starting Pitchers in A's Franchise History

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IJune 10, 2010

The Top 10 Starting Pitchers in A's Franchise History

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    The A's have certainly had plenty of talented starting pitchers come along over the years. Narrowing down this list to the top 10 was no easy chore, although Robert Slye Jr. did a great job of analyzing the top 10 pitchers in the franchise's history.

    I'm concentrating on just the starting pitchers, and there have been some great ones for this franchise. In fact, half of the pitchers on the top 10 list are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Honorable Mentions:

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    Bob Welch was a very consistent pitcher with the Oakland A's. No pitcher in the past two decades had as many wins in a season as Welch did in 1990, when he recording 27 wins in the season.

    He went on to win the CY Young Award in 1990 and made his only All-Star appearance in an A's uniform. That season, he was 27-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 35 games starts, with two complete games. He struck out 127 batters while walking 77.

    For his career with the A's from 1988-1994, Welch went 96-60 with a 3.94 ERA. He had 14 complete games, five shutouts, and 677 strikeouts vs. 469 walks.

    Mark Mulder pitched for the A's from 2000-2004. In that span, he went 81-42 with a 3.92 ERA, with 22 complete games, eight shutouts, and 668 strikeouts.

    Rube Walberg pitched 11 years for the A's from 1923-1933, compling a record of 134-114 with a 4.11 ERA. He pitched 125 complete games, with 15 shutouts.

    Barry Zito went 102-63 with the A's from 2000-2006. He had a 3.55 ERA and pitched 9 complete games and four shutouts, striking out 1,096 batters while walking 560.

No. 10. Dave Stewart

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    Dave Stewart was an Athletic from 1986-1995 and he was known for his fierce demeanor on the mound.

    For the A's, he went 119-78 with a 3.73 ERA. He pitched 49 complete games and nine shutouts, and struck out 1,152 batters while walking 655.

Number 9: Jack Coombs

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    Jack Coombs played nine years with the Athletics from 1906 to 1914. In that span he went 115-67 with a 2.60 ERA, pitching 135 complete games and 28 shutouts. He had 870 strikeouts while walking 606.

    Coombs has one of the best ERAs in franchise history, and also had eight saves in his career as well.

Number 8: Tim Hudson

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    Tim Hudson was another fierce competitor with a bulldog like mentality. When the Oakland A's had the big three of Mulder, Zito, and Hudson, he was the best of the three.

    That's saying something, because both Mulder and Zito got more of the credit, With one coming in second for the Cy Young and one winning the award.

    Hudson was with the A's from 1999-2004, a span in which he went 92-39, good enough for a 70.2 winning percentage. He had a 3.30 ERA and pitched 16 complete games with eight shutouts, striking out 899 hitters.

Number 7: Eddie Rommel

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    Eddie Rommel ranks as number four all-time in A's history in wins. However, his ERA, his lack of control, and his win-loss percentage put him at number seven.

    Rommel pitched from 1920-1932 he had a record of 171-119 and a 3.54 ERA. He pitched 145 complete games and 18 shutouts, striking out 599 hitters while walking 724.

    But, those were his total amounts in terms of being a starter and reliever. As a starter he was 120-95 with a 3.49 ERA, 145 complete games, 18 shutouts, and 425 strikeouts to 504 walks.

Number 6: Vida Blue

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    Blue played nine seasons with the Athletics from 1969 to 1977.

    In that span he compiled a record of 124-86 and had a 2.95 ERA. He had 105 complete games, 28 shutouts, and 1,315 strikeouts to 617 walks.

Number 5: Jim "Catfish" Hunter

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    Hunter played 10 seasons for the A's from 1965-1974. He went 161-113 with a 3.13 ERA, and hurled 116 complete games, 31 shutouts. He struck out 1,520 batters while walking 687.

    He's most remembered for pitching a perfect game for the A's, he was an outstanding pitcher throughout his entire career in the Major Leagues. 

Number 4: Lefty Grove

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    Grove could easily be considered the second best pitcher in Athletics franchise history considering he had a 71.2 percent winning percentage in his starts. He had a lot of complete games and has the second most wins in franchise history.

    Still, even with that, he didn't have as high a percentage as the others on the list and his ERA was a little high compared to the other pitchers as well.

    Grove played nine seasons for the franchise from 1925 to 1933. He compiled a record of 195-79, pitched 179 complete games and 20 shutouts, and had 1,523 strikeouts to 740 walks.

Number 3: Rube Waddell

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    Waddell may be one of the most underrated left—handed pitchers in Major League history.

    He was outstanding as an Athletic, and he is the franchise leader in ERA. He completed a very high percentage of the games he started for the team, but the reason he's not number two on the list is he only played six seasons for the franchise, even if they were tremendous seasons.

    From 1902-1907, he compiled a record of 131-82 with a 1.97 ERA. Waddell pitched 168 complete games, 37 shutouts, and had 1,576 strikeouts to 495 walks.

Number 2: Chief Bender

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    Chief Bender ranks third in franchise history in wins and second in complete games. He's way ahead of Grove in terms of the number of complete games and nearly doubled Grove in shutouts as well.

    He was with the Athletics for 12 seasons from 1903-1914 and had a record of 193-102, a 2.32 ERA, 228 complete games, 36 shutouts, and 1,536 strikeouts to 614 walks.

Number 1: Eddie Plank

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    Another underrated lefty that hardly gets talked about in terms of the best in MLB history.

    Plank played for 14 years with the A's from 1901-1914. He's got a huge lead in most wins in franchise history and no pitcher that is active for the A's is close. He's also the A's franchise leader in complete games, shutouts and strikeouts.

    Plank went 284-162 with the A's, with 362 complete games and 59 shutouts. He had 1,985 strikeouts to 913 walks.