Happy birthday to former Milwaukee Brewers RHP Bill Wegman, who was born on Dec. 19, 1962.
Wegman would pitch for 11 seasons in the majors, with his best year coming in 1991 when he was 15-7 with a 2.84 ERA in 193.1 innings.
What’s notable on alifeofknuckleballs.com too regarding Wegman is that he was one of the three young pitchers the Brewers chose to keep in 1986 instead of Tom Candiotti, who was released and went on to sign with Cleveland.
The Brewers kept Wegman, Juan Nieves, and Chris Bosio – and had high hopes for the trio as the three youngsters were expected to make up the back end of the rotation behind Teddy Higuera, No. 2 man Tim Leary, and Danny Darwin.
Instead, Wegman (5-12, 5.13), Nieves (11-12, 4.92), and Bosio (0-4, 7.01) combined to win the same number of games as Candiotti (16-12, 3.57) did in Cleveland in 1986.
While Candiotti would go on to win 151 games, Bosio turned out to be the winningest out of that Milwaukee trio. He went 94-93, pitching a no-hitter for Seattle in 1993 and helping the Mariners to the playoffs in 1995.
Wegman, our birthday boy today, finished his career with an 81-90 record, winning his final major-league game on August 8, 1995 against Toronto.
Here’s a vintage video of a Tom Candiotti interview. Candiotti, then with the Indians, discuses his pitching style the day following a 3-1 win over the Brewers on May 10, 1988.
Well, Christmas is a couple of weeks away, so have you bought a gift yet for the sports lover in your family?
If not, then why not one of these two books?
The hockey book is about the Boston-Montreal rivalry from 1988-1994, when the Bruins won five of the six series played between the two clubs, ending a streak of 18 consecutive playoff series losses to the Canadiens. Click to purchase this book here.
The baseball book is a biography of Tom Candiotti, the former knuckleball pitcher who pitched in the 1980s and 1990s. Candiotti won 151 major-league games and this book highlights his career. You can purchase this book here.
Get them for the sports lover in your family! 🙂
I meant to spend some time writing about how Corey Kluber went from stud in September to flop in October as the Indians lost 3-2 to the Yankees in the ALDS. Just didn’t get a chance to.
I mean, Kluber was lights out in September and surpassed 200 innings in his final start of the year, making it four years in a row that he’d gone 200+ innings for Cleveland. So, Tom Candiotti’s status of being the last Indians pitcher with five consecutive 200-inning seasons with Cleveland will be in jeopardy in 2018.
As a Candiotti fan, I wished Kluber’s two abbreviated outings in the ALDS would have come in September, so he might not have cracked 200 innings for the fourth straight year! But oh well.
And I can also say something about this “advantage” that division winners have. What advantage is it if you win your division and then have to sit for days before the playoffs begin? I don’t think players are used to that since you play every day during the season! I would think it takes some edge off your team if you’re forced to sit for days before starting the postseason – but the wild-card games are for TV, so that’s not going to change.
Oh yeah, I was on TSN1040 on Friday, Oct. 13, to talk baseball with Rob Fai. Here’s the program in its entirety – I came on at the 41-minute mark.
On this day, September 17, in history, 24 years ago, the Colorado Rockies set an attendance record and also pounded Dodgers knuckleballer Tom Candiotti in the process.
In that September 17, 1993 game, Colorado ripped Candiotti for seven runs–all earned–in just 1.2 innings. Candiotti’s ERA went from 2.58 to 2.88, and his shot at the NL ERA title was essentially done.
Not many people remember this, but going into September, his ERA was 2.43, which lead the major leagues. The Dodgers that year, however, averaged 2.81 runs of support in his starts, according to Baseball-Reference.com, so he was only 8-10 on the year.
Interestingly, though, teammate Kevin Gross was 13-13–despite an ERA of 4.14. How did he manage 13 wins? Well, according to Baseball Reference, the Dodgers gave him an average of 5.22 runs of support in his starts.
Imagine being on the same team but getting completely different kinds of run support!
If the Dodgers had scored five runs in each of Candiotti’s starts in 1993–the same number of runs they averaged for Gross–he could have gone 24-7. He finished with a 3.12 ERA, seventh-best in the NL.
Hey, 24-7 wouldn’t have been a stretch. That same year, the Giants’ John Burkett was 22-7 with a 3.65 ERA. Tom Glavine was 22-6 with a 3.20 ERA. Consider that from May 1 to August 25, Candiotti had a 1.85 ERA in 22 starts–that’s a lot of games he should have won. Instead, he was just 8-2 with 12 no-decisions.
Anyway, here’s a video of him striking out the Phillies’ Mariano Duncan from April of that season.