MLB's 10 Best Pitchers Cursed with Losing Records: Why Me?

Brian Shannon@bshannon15Correspondent IAugust 13, 2010

MLB's 10 Best Pitchers Cursed with Losing Records: Why Me?

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    Not everyone can be a winner.

    These 10 pitchers have found this out the hard way this season. Despite pitching very well for their teams, each has a losing record.

    These 10 pitchers have suffered from a lack of run support, poor defense behind them, and a case of bad luck.

    Three of the pitchers on this list pitch for teams that are last place in their divisions, two play for teams that are still in the playoff hunt, and one pitcher on this list is actually on a first place team.

    These ten pitchers have combined for eight All-Star selections, two NLCS MVP's, a World Series MVP, a Cy Young, and a perfect game. Clearly losing can happen to anyone, but these 10 pitchers have pitched better than most and don't have the wins to show for it.

10. Jeremy Guthrie

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    You had to figure at least one Orioles' or Pirates' pitcher would make this list, and Guthrie is the right one to have on this list.

    Although a 6-11 record may indicate otherwise, Guthrie has been a solid starter this year in Baltimore. Unfortunately, the Orioles are one of the worst teams in baseball.

    Guthrie has an ERA of 4.04 this season with a respectable batting average against of .251. He isn't an overpowering pitcher—notching just 78 strikeouts in 147 innings pitched this season—but he has been effective getting hitters out nonetheless.

    Guthrie would be looked upon more highly if he wasn't playing for the Orioles.

9. Wandy Rodriguez

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    Rodriguez has had a solid season for the Astros this year, but has posted a record of 9-11.

    Rodriguez has an ERA of 4.18 and has struck out 111 hitters in 135.2 innings pitched.

    The Astros pitchers have not been nearly as big of a problem this season as the Astros hitters, who have scored the fourth-least amount of runs in baseball.

    Rodriguez has been one of the steadier performers for the Astros this year, but still has a losing record to show for his efforts.

8. Dallas Braden

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    Braden will forever be remembered for his May 9th start in Oakland against the Tampa Bay Rays in which he threw the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball history.

    Despite being one of the A's best pitchers this season, he has a record of 7-8. Braden has been up and down since his perfect game, but he has still managed a 3.56 ERA in 129 innings pitched this season.

    Braden ranks fourth in the AL with four complete games, and 11th in the league with a 1.18 WHIP.

7. Cole Hamels

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    Hamels has pitched very well for the Phillies this season, but has a record of 7-8.

    Hamels had the worst season of his career last year following the Phillies World Series win in which Hamels was named World Series MVP.

    Hamels has bounced back in a big way this season with an ERA of 3.45 and a batting average against of .247.

    He ranks sixth in the NL with 149 strikeouts this season in 146 innings pitched.

6. Hiroki Kuroda

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    Kuroda has been the second-best pitcher on the Dodgers staff this season behind Clayton Kershaw, but only has a record of 8-10 to show for it.

    Kuroda has an ERA of 3.65 and a WHIP of 1.27.

    He has struck out 108 batters in 133.1 innings pitched this season while walking only 35 hitters.

    Kuroda has suffered more than anyone this season because of the Dodgers' inconsistent play.

5. Ted Lilly

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    Lilly spent most of the season in Chicago with the Cubs before a deadline deal sent him west to the Dodgers.

    The move has worked out well for Lilly, who has won both of his starts thus far with LA.

    But he was only 3-8 for the Cubs despite having an ERA of 3.60 on the season.

    Lilly has proven to be tough for NL hitters to figure out this season as they have hit only .229 against him. Lilly ranks fifth in the NL with a WHIP of 1.08, but things may finally be looking up for him now that he is with the Dodgers.

4. Wade LeBlanc

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    LeBlanc has been a big reason why the Padres have the best pitching staff in baseball this season, but not all of their starters get great run support and LeBlanc has definitely suffered from a lack of it this season.

    LeBlanc has an ERA of 3.51 with 89 strikeouts in 123 innings pitched, but he has a record of just 6-10 this season.

    LeBlanc is a big reason why the Padres are holding on to first place in the NL West, now he just has to hope for more run support and better luck the rest of the way.

3. Zack Greinke

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    Greinke was outstanding last season when he won the AL Cy Young.

    However, this season he has gone back to being just an above average starter.

    Greinke has a record of 7-11 for the Royals this season despite ranking sixth in the AL in innings pitched with 160, and ninth in the league in strikeouts and complete games with 135 and two, respectively.

    Greinke has an ERA of 3.99 and has been by far the Royals best pitcher once again this season.

2. Roy Oswalt

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    If I were to ask you what pitcher leads the league in losses this season, would you guess Roy Oswalt?

    Probably not, but that is the correct answer.

    It is pretty unbelievable that a guy with an ERA of 3.34 in 148.1 innings pitched this season has 13 losses, but Oswalt does. Oswalt has a record of 7-13 this season, but like Lilly, Oswalt is now in a better place.

    He was traded from the Astros to the Phillies before the trade deadline and has gone 1-1 since the trade.

    Oswalt has 134 strikeouts this season and batters are only hitting .227 against him. Oswalt has been very good this season, but he is not quite the best pitcher with a losing record.

1. Felix Hernandez

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    The pitcher who has been the best this season with a losing record is the Mariners Felix Hernandez.

    King Felix has a record of 8-9 this season despite having an ERA of just 2.71, good for fourth in the AL. Felix is also first in the league in innings pitched with 182.1, tied for second in complete games with two, second in strikeouts with 165, and sixth in WHIP at 1.12.

    Felix would be a legitimate Cy Young candidate if he played on a winning team, but instead he is often a forgotten man in Seattle, as he was left off the All-Star team this season.

    Felix has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the league's worst-hitting team. Felix agreed to a contract extension to stay in Seattle before this season, but, right now, he's probably wishing he hadn't.