All-Time National League Winningest Pitchers By Team
Most National League teams have existed longer than most American League teams, so on this list you will see lots of names that are from the early part of last century. There are also some more current names that may surprise you. Either way, enjoy the list!
Arizona Diamondbacks-Randy Johnson
In six-plus years with Arizona, lefty Randy Johnson racked up almost 2000 strikeouts. That's astonishing enough, but consider that Johnson also leads the D-backs all-time with 107 wins in that time, and it's almost mind-blowing. Johnson is in his second tour of duty with Arizona but also pitched for them from 1999-2004, and his career record with the team is 107-52 with a 2.69 ERA. His best season in Arizona was 2002, when he went 24-5 with a 2.32 earned run average and 334 strikeouts to just 71 walks. He also helped the team win a World Series title in 2001.
Houston Astros-Joe Niekro
Though often overshadowed by the fine career of his brother, knuckleballer Phil, Joe Niekro was a great pitcher in his own right. Niekro's best years were with Houston, and he pitched for them from 1975-1985, compiling a 144-116 record over that span with a 3.22 ERA and 1178 Ks. In 1979, Niekro won 21 games (to lead the National League) against 11 losses, with a 3.00 ERA. He also won 20 games in 1980. Niekro was a journeyman who also pitched for the Cubs, Padres, Tigers, Braves, Yankees and Twins before retiring in 1988. Sadly, he passed away in 2006 from a brain aneurysm at the age of 61.
Atlanta Braves-Warren Spahn
Lefty Warren Spahn pitched for the Braves for almost his entire career (1942-1964), but it was when the franchise was based in Boston and then later Milwaukee. Over that time, he was one of the most durable and consistent pitchers in baseball history, compiling a record of 356-229 with an ERA of 3.05 and 2493 strikeouts. Spahn won 20 or more games thirteen times while with the Braves, and his best seasons were 1953 and 1963, when he went 23-7 both years. The latter season is even more amazing, considering that Spahn was 42 years old at the time. Spahn went on to pitch for the Mets and Giants before retiring in 1965, and he passed away in 2003 of natural causes.
Milwaukee Brewers-Jim Slaton
Though he lost more games than he won with Milwaukee, Jim Slaton leads the Brewers all-time with 117 wins to go along with 121 losses. You could say it isn't his fault that he pitched for them during many lean years (1971-1977 and 1979-1983). Slaton's best season with the Brew Crew was 1979, when he went 15-9 with a 3.63 ERA. He also pitched for the Tigers and Angels before retiring in 1986. Currently, Slaton is the bullpen coach for the Seattle Mariners.
St. Louis Cardinals-Bob Gibson
Bob Gibson is one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, bar none. He pitched his entire career with the Cardinals, from 1959-1975, racking up 251 wins against 174 losses, with a 2.91 ERA and 3117 strikeouts. Gibson was probably one of the most feared pitchers in the game as well. Gibson won two Cy Young Awards and a National League MVP Award in 1968. That magical year of 1968, Gibson went 22-9 with a microscopic ERA of 1.12 with 268 strikeouts to just 62 walks. Gibson also led the Cardinals to two World Series titles (1964 and 1967).
Chicago Cubs-Charlie Root
Righty Charlie Root pitched for the Cubs from 1926 to 1941, and still leads the franchise all-time in victories with 201 against 156 losses. Root had his best years early on, especially the 1927 season when he went 26-15 with a 3.76 ERA and 145 strikeouts. That was also the only season Root won more than 20 games, but in the 8-year stretch of 1926-1933, he never won less than 15 games. Root also went to four World Series with Chicago and the team lost all four times.
Los Angeles Dodgers-Don Sutton
Don Sutton was one of the more consistently dominant National League pitchers of all-time, and leads the Dodgers' franchise with 233 wins against 181 losses, a 3.09 ERA and 2696 strikeouts. Sutton pitched for the team from 1966-1980 and again in 1988, and his best season was 1976, when he went 21-10 with a 3.06 ERA and 161 Ks. Sutton also had an astonishing seventeen straight seasons with double-digit wins (fifteen with L.A.), and he pitched for the Astros, Brewers, Angels, and Athletics before retiring in 1988. Currently Sutton is a television sportscaster.
San Francisco Giants-Christy Mathewson
Christy Mathewson had an amazing career, compiling 372 wins while with the Giants' franchise (all when they were in New York, from 1900-1916). In all, Mathewson went 372-188 with a 2.12 ERA and 2499 strikeouts while in a Giants' uniform. His best season was 1908, when he went 37-11 with a 1.43 ERA and 259 strikeouts to just 42 walks. Mathewson pitched briefly for the Reds before retiring and becoming the team's manager for three seasons. He served in WWI and passed away in 1925 from complications of tuberculosis.
Florida Marlins-Dontrelle Willis
Though currently struggling in 2007, Dontrelle Willis has had a fine start to his career, all with the Marlins beginning in 2003. Willis has 65 career wins against 50 losses, a 3.65 ERA and 706 strikeouts. His rookie year, he helped the Marlins to a World Series title, but his best season so far was 2005, when he went 22-10 with a 2.63 earned run average and 170 Ks.
New York Mets-Tom Seaver
Tom Seaver won over 300 games during a stellar career, but had his best seasons overall as a member of the Mets, who he pitched for from 1967 to 1977 and again in 1983. In all, Seaver went 198-124 with a 2.57 ERA and 2541 strikeouts while with New York, and helped them to a World Series title in 1969. Seaver won 25 games that season, but his best season overall was 1971 when he went 21-10 with a 1.76 ERA and 289 strikeouts. He didn't win the Cy Young Award that year, but did so in 1969, 1973, and 1975. Seaver went on to pitch for the Reds, White Sox and Red Sox before retiring in 1986, and is currently a broadcaster.
Washington Nationals-Steve Rogers
Steve Rogers never pitched in Washington, but played his entire career for this franchise when they were the Montreal Expos (1973-1985). During that time, Rogers compiled a record of 158-152 with a 3.17 ERA and 1621 strikeouts, and despite losing 16 games in 1977, that was Rogers' best season overall, as he went 17-16 with a 3.10 ERA and 206 Ks. Rogers also led the National League in shutouts twice, with 5, in both 1973 and 1979.
San Diego Padres-Eric Show
Though he didn't exactly have a Hall of Fame career, righty Eric Show leads the Padres' franchise all-time with 100 wins. Show pitched for the Padres most of his career (1981-1990) and racked up the 100 victories against 87 losses with a 3.59 ERA and 951 strikeouts. Show led the Padres to a National League pennant in 1984, and pitched one season in Oakland (1991) before retiring. His life was sadly cut short in 1994 due to drug abuse.
Philadelphia Phillies-Steve Carlton
Lefty Steve Carlton began an incredible career with the Cardinals, but had his best seasons with Philadelphia (1972-1986), and he remains the franchise leader with 241 wins against 161 losses, as well as a 3.09 ERA and 3031 strikeouts. While with Philly, Carlton led the National League in wins four times and his best season was 1972 when he went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA and 310 Ks, when he also won the first of four National League Cy Young Awards. Carlton also helped the team win a World Championship in 1980. After the Phils, Carlton went on to pitch for the White Sox, Giants, Indians and Twins before retiring in 1988.
Pittsburgh Pirates-Wilbur Cooper
Lefty Wilbur Cooper pitched for Pittsburgh from 1912 to 1924, and remains the franchise leader in pitching victories with 202 against 159 losses, with a 2.74 ERA and 1191 strikeouts. Cooper's best season was 1920, when he went 24-15 with 114 strikeouts and a 2.39 earned run average. He was also the first National League lefthander to win 200 games. Cooper pitched for the Cubs and Tigers before retiring in 1926, and passed away from a heart attack in 1973 at the age of 81.
Cincinnati Reds-Eppa Rixey
With all of the great pitchers over the decades that have been a part of this storied franchise, Eppa Rixey still leads the Reds all-time with 179 wins. Rixey pitched for Cincinnati from 1921 to 1933, compiling a record of 179-148 with a 3.33 ERA. His best season with the Reds was 1922, with a 25-13 record, 3.53 ERA, and 26 complete games.
Colorado Rockies-Jason Jennings
The Rockies have only been a major league franchise since 1993, but with a ballpark that favors offense, it isn't a major surprise that the team's all-time leader in pitching wins is Jason Jennings with just 58. Jennings pitched for Colorado from 2001-2006 and compiled a 58-56 record with a 4.74 ERA and 622 strikeouts. His best season was 2002, when he went 16-8 with a 4.52 ERA and 127 Ks. Currently Jennings pitches for the Houston Astros.