Minnesota Twins: Looking back at the incredible 2005 season of Carlos Silva

Minnesota Twins pitcher Carlos Silva did something in 2005 we all missed, yet was one of the greatest stats we have seen in more than 100 years

Minnesota Twins pitcher Carlos Silva
Minnesota Twins pitcher Carlos Silva / Kirby Lee/GettyImages
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Browsing my favorite website (baseball-reference.com), I found what might be one of the more ridiculous seasons no one has talked about ... the 2005 season of Minnesota Twins pitcher Carlos Silva.

Carlos Silva was about as middle-of-the-road type of pitcher as you can find. He ended his career with a 70-70 record. His 4.68 ERA is maybe a bit less than middle of the road. Even his 2005 season was middle of the road. He was 9-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 27 starts. To be fair, I would consider that number-three starter material all the way. The one stat that should leap out at you is that walk ratio: 0.4 walks per 9 innings. He walked 9 batters in 188 innings!

The insane historical note for this Minnesota Twins pitcher

Now, let’s put that into historical perspective. As far as the actual stat, it ranks seventh all time (very impressive). The other players from first to 25th all did it over 120 years ago. Up until 1880, a walk was given to the batter after nine “unfair balls” were thrown. It was reduced to eight that year and later changed to six in 1884. All six players before Silva had the luxury of throwing eight balls before giving up a walk. This is a stat I am having trouble getting my head around.

As an added bonus to his incredible season, he also led the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.89) despite finishing dead last in strikeouts per 9 innings for a qualified pitcher (3.4).

For the month of August he walked one batter (one!) in 42.2 innings. In fact, if you stretch it out a bit to include his July 29 and September 5 start, he walked two in 56.2. Simply incredible.

Name anybody who you think is a great control pitcher, and they don’t hold a candle to him. Greg Maddux, the best control pitcher I’ve seen, had an 0.8 in 1997, and he went 19-4. Bob Tewksbury was someone who came to mind for me, but he was well short (0.8), but he did do it in consecutive years (1992 and 1993). Even bringing it to this past year, Seattle Mariners starter George Kirby led the league at 0.9, which is great ... but not Carlos Silva great.

I’m not sure we are ever going to see a year like that, and I believe most of us baseball fans missed it. It’s a year that should be remembered.

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