Tonight's starter for the Angels, Bartolo Colon, had some odd numbers during the regular season.
He went 18-12, struck out 158 or just under seven per nine innings, and pitched 208 innings. That sounds like a great season, but he had a 5.01 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. His home record is even odder: 10-8 with a 5.42 ERA. The last time he had an ERA under five was May 14. He went into the All-Star break with a 6-8 record and 6.38 ERA. Since then he is 12-4 with a 3.63 ERA, and even though he pitched exactly 104 innings in each half, he allowed 16 fewer homers (27 to 11). He also cut his WHIP by 30+ points (1.54 to 1.21).
So who knows which Colon will appear tonight? For that matter, which Pedro Martinez will pitch for the Sox? In the last three months, Martinez had monthly ERAs of 5.46 (July, oddly with a 3-1 record), 2.25 (August, also 3-1), and 4.31 (September, 2-3).
Anyway, I wondered who had the most wins all-time with an ERA at or above 5.00. Two men have won twenty, but Colon is just one of ten in baseball history to win at least 18 and the first since 1938: