Brewers record likely never to be broken #7
Games started – Single season
Record: 1973, 1976 – Jim Slaton – 38 games started
Remarkably, Jim Slaton and Jim Colborn were in the same starting rotation for the Brewers in 1973 and Colborn set the record for innings pitched while making just 36 starts that season when Slaton made a record 38 starts. He also made 38 starts again in 1976.
Slaton, though, had “just” 276.1 IP in 1973 with two more starts under his belt, well behind Colborn.
Still, the records for either of these men will never be topped again.
Teams just simply don’t run starting pitchers out there for 38 starts a season anymore, unless you count being an “opener” but even then that trend hasn’t led to a pitcher starting that many games in a season.
The way the game is moving is to give starting pitchers more rest. Even before, if a starter never misses his turn in the rotation all season, he’s only making around 34 or 35 starts. Where are you going to get the extra three turns through the rotation to break this record? He would have to be pitching on three days rest for a couple weeks to make up those extra turns and that just doesn’t happen anymore, unless it’s the playoffs and even then, those starts don’t count for this record.
CC Sabathia pitched on three days rest for a number of starts to close out the 2008 season and he still only ended up with 35 starts on the year between Milwaukee and Cleveland.
We saw in 2021 that the Brewers operated with a six man rotation for a while, opting to give their starters extra days of rest throughout the season. Brandon Woodruff made every turn in the rotation and yet he only started 30 games. Plus, with the success the Brewers had giving their starters extra rest last year, it would only make sense that they continue to do so.
Granted, the Brewers won’t be coming off a shortened season the year before and the focus is no longer on a massive jump in innings from one year to the next, but the underlying concerns about keeping pitchers healthy is going to prevent anyone from starting 38 games in a season ever again. The Crew’s success with extra rest may lead to that trend starting across baseball as well.