Major League pitchers are probably the most churned over breed of sportsman today. They come and go by the dozens, some never to return again. Consistency, the most important feature, is absent and that makes pitching one of the hardest tasks out there on the field. These ten pitchers have been the difference between winning and losing on more than one occasion. Since 2000, these pitchers have been the best amongst the rest and we take a look at those who are truly consistent with their ability and skill to beat their opponents.
10. Jamie Moyer
He may be 47 years old, but Jamie Moyer has 140 wins and 94 losses since 2000. Impressed? Well, think about the 91 starts he made at his age and you will know why he is one of the best controllers of the pitch in MLB today.
09. Pedro Martinez
Entering 2000, Martinez was easily one of the best in the Major League. However, things slowed down for him from there on. Martinez was so far ahead of the chasing pack that despite the slowdown, he stayed ahead of most with his fantastic speed and ability. He will always be one of the greatest to play the game, even though his career may be on the downward slope now.
08. Roy Oswalt
Coming into MLB in 2001, Oswalt lost out the Rookie of the Year award only because a certain Albert Pujos had come in at the same season. With 137 wins and 70 losses, Oswalt has been in the running for the Cy Young award almost every single season. A three-time all-star, Oswalt certainly has a long way to go to get to the top, however, he also has time on his side.
07. Mike Mussina
Mussina may have made all his five all-star appearances in the 90s, but he has been one of the few rare pitchers to be fantastic over two decades. With 134 wins and 87 losses, Mussina struck out 1,488 batters and has had 17 seasons with 10 wins or more. A sure-fire candidate for the MLB Hall of Fame, Mussina became the oldest first time 20-game winner in the MLB, when he had 20 wins for the 2008 season.
06. Javier Vasquez
With 2001 strikeouts, Vasquez has led the race in that department since 2000. A consistently long pitcher within games, Vasquez tends to accumulate more losses because he continues to pitch even when a loss is inevitable. Extremely underrated, Vasquez’s true worth is only known by those who step up to bat against him.
05. C. C. Sabathia
Sabathia lost out on the Rookie of the Year title, in 2001, because Ichiro Suzuki happened to come in at the same time. Since then, Sabathia has been a regular member of the Top-10 pitchers when it comes to strikeouts, innings pitched, complete games and strikeouts per 9 innings. He won the Cy Young award in 2007 and has already been one of the biggest names to come up in MLB, despite his 10 years at the top level.
04. Andy Pettitte
One of the best pitchers in regular and post season, Pettitte has a 148-89 record since 2000. He has had 1441 strikeouts and never ended with a single losing season in this decade. Although a two-time All-Star and a 4-time MLB Champion, Pettitte has always been overshadowed by Roger Clemens and C.C. Sabathia.
03. Roy Halladay
With an average of 7 innings pitched per outing, Halladay is an old-school pitcher. Since 2000, he has pitched 47 complete games and has accumulated a 139-69 record with 1400 strikeouts. The 2003 Cy Young award winner is also a 6-time All Star pitcher and has one of the best strikeout to walk ratios in the MLB today.
02. Johan Santana
Arguably the most dominant pitcher in the MLB today, Johan Santana only moved into the starting line-up in 2003. He slowly built up his place in the team with sensational performances, going on to win the pitching triple-crown in 2006. He has a 122-60 record and 1733 strikeouts since 2000 and despite missing most of 2009 with injury, Santana remains second on this list.
01. Randy Johnson
Johnson’s record of 143-78 is undoubtedly amongst the best in the decade, as are his 2,182 strikeouts. From 2000 to 2002, Johnson had 9 shutouts with over 1000 strikeouts to become the Cy Young award winner three seasons in a row (If you consider the 1999 season, then that would make it four in a row). In 2004, Johnson pitched a perfect game and despite a major drop in his longevity towards the latter half of the decade, Johnson continues to be one of the most prolific pitchers in the game today.