MLB All-Star Game 2022: Tony Gonsolin, ERA & wins leader, should start

Tony Gonsolin contributed to his dream season on Friday night, throwing in the eighth inning for the first time in his career. It’s pretty clear that Gonsolin will be selected for the National League All-Star team, but now the question is will Gonsolin start at Dodger Stadium on July 19th?

That’s not as far-fetched as it once seemed, although there are other candidates.

The Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara is batting like an old-school horse, averaging a staggering 7.21 innings per start. He has a 1.95 ERA, leads the NL in xERA (2.67) and has served 33⅔ more innings than Gonsolin while recording 101 more outs than the Dodgers right-hander.

Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes of the Brewers has a 2.36 ERA, ranks fourth in the NL and leads the league with 124 strikeouts. He’s served 17⅔ more innings than Gonsolin.

Cases can also be made for Max Fried, Aaron Nola, Joe Musgrove and Carlos Rodón to start the Midsummer Classic.

But sometimes the blunt instruments of baseball’s past can be swung like a hammer, which is perhaps Gonsolin’s best argument for starting the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium: He’s the major league leader in ERA (1.54 ) and wins (10). undefeated and would start the game at his home park.

Sure, MLB has evolved well beyond wins and ERA over the past two decades, adopting a variety of stats to measure pitcher performance. Gonsolin, for example, is sixth in the NL in xERA (2.88), eleventh in FIP (3.31), and largely due to his relatively low innings total (81⅔), third in Baseball Reference WAR (3.5) and 14. in FanGraphs WAR ( 1.7). He’s not exactly chopped liver, however, and still leads the majors in WHIP (.820), batting average vs (.156), and OPS vs (.514).

In general, a pitcher who leads their league in both wins and ERA is still pretty good. And every time in the last six decades a pitcher has led the league in both wins and ERA at the time of the All-Star break, that pitcher started on the mound in the All-Star game.

Pitchers lead their league in both wins and ERA in the All-Star break

Year jug team EPOCH recording Comments
Year jug team EPOCH recording Comments
1934 Lefty Gomez Yanks 2.03 14-2 led MLB in both
1936 Left Grove Red Sox 2.83 11-3 led AL in both
1937 Monty Stratton* White socks 1.95 10-4 led MLB in ERA, AL in victories
1938 Johnny VanderMeer Red 2.28 10-3 led MLB in ERA, NL in victories
1940 Bucky Walters* Red 2.48 11-4 led NL in both
1947 Ewell Blackwell Red 2.10 14-2 led NL in ERA, MLB in victories
1947 Spec Shea* Yanks 1.91 11-2 led MLB in ERA, AL in victories
1948 Bob Lemon* Cleveland 2.39 13-7 led AL in ERA, MLB in victories
1951 Bob Feller* Cleveland 2.86 12-2 led AL in ERA, MLB in victories
1954 Johnny Antonelli* Giants 2.12 13-2 led NL in ERA, MLB in victories
1966 Sandy Kufax dodgers 1.60 15-4 led MLB in both
1970 Tom Seever meads 2.40 14-5 led NL in ERA, MLB in victories
1971 Vida Blue As 1.42 17-3 led MLB in both
1971 Dock Ellis pirates 2.11 14-3 led NL in both
1986 Roger Clemens Red Sox 2.48 15-2 led AL in ERA & MLB in wins
1987 Bret Saberhagen kings 2.47 15-3 led AL in ERA & MLB in victories
1988 Frank Viola Twins 2.24 14-2 led AL in both
1990 Jack Armstrong Red 2.28 11-3 led NL in both
1991 Tom Glavine brave 1.98 12-4 led NL in ERA & MLB in wins
1998 Gregory Maddux brave 1.54 12-2 led MLB in both
1999 Pedro Martinez Red Sox 2.10 15-3 led MLB in both
2000 Randy Johnson To press 1.80 14-2 led NL in both
2002 Derek Lowe Red Sox 2.36 12-4 led AL in both
2010 David Price rays 2.10 12-4 led AL in both
2019 Hyun-jin Ryu dodgers 1.73 10-2 led MLB in ERA, NL in victories

*Didn’t start the All-Star Game

Whit Wyatt was the first Dodgers pitcher to start an All-Star game, winning the bid at Briggs Stadium (which was renamed Tiger Stadium 20 years later) in Detroit in 1941, and nearly joined that list. Wyatt led the National League with 13 wins at break and was in second place with a 2.01 ERA, the latter just behind Cardinals left-hander Ernie White (1.98).

Only six of the 25 pitchers who led their league in both wins and ERA at the break did Not Start the All Star Game. Any of the last 15 to have started the game and dates back to Sandy Koufax in 1966.

Hyun-jin Ryu is the Dodgers’ other pitcher to lead the league in wins and ERA at breaks, and started the 2019 All-Star Game.

The 1971 All-Star game is a classic given the Hall of Famer talent and many memorable home runs. Also starting in this game was A’s Vida Blue, the Major League leader in both wins and ERA (17-3, 1.42 ERA) against the Pirates’ Doc Ellis, the NL leader in both categories (14-3, 2.11). It’s the only time both Siege and ERA leaders have started the Midsummer Classic.

Since the All-Star game began in 1933, there have only been five times that a pitcher has led the majors in both wins and ERA at breaks. Every five times, this pitcher started the All-Star Game for his league.

After Friday, Gonsolin leads the majors with a 1.54 ERA. The Rays’ Shane McClanahan is No. 2 at 1.77. Gonsolin is tied with the Astros’ Justin Verlander on 10 wins. The Braves’ Kyle Wright and three American League pitchers (Alek Manoah, Logan Gilbert, and Jameson Taillon) have nine wins.

We’ll find out next Sunday, July 10th if Gonsolin will make the All-Star Team. He’ll likely have two more starts before the break to argue he should be the first pitcher on the mound at Dodger Stadium on July 19.

Leave a Comment