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Original Issue

Consider This By Baseball Prospectus

Many people think Tom Glavine might be the last pitcher to reach 300 career wins. After all, there are no active hurlers who seem to be headed for 300—Randy Johnson, 43, the most likely candidate with 284 victories, just had season-ending and career-threatening back surgery—and few young pitchers have advanced far enough to be considered at this point. That doesn't mean that we've seen the last of this milestone, though. While five-man rotations and extensive use of relievers make accumulating wins more difficult for starters, Glavine, Roger Clemens (above) and Greg Maddux all won 300 or more games pitching under those conditions. Those three happen to be the active leaders in games started. (Clemens had 701 at week's end, Maddux 696 and Glavine 659.) No other active pitcher is within 100 starts of Glavine's total, and that's what separates Johnson (556 starts), Mike Mussina (493 starts, 246 wins) and Pedro Martinez (375 starts, 206 wins) from the 300-game winners. To achieve this feat, a pitcher has to be effective, stay healthy and sustain greatness deep into his career.