The Twins had a rather disappointing season in 2005, losing the division crown they had owned for three seasons and falling all the way to third with an 83-79 record. The Twins revamped their lineup with a number of young players (Justin Morneau, Lew Ford, Joe Mauer, etc.). In fact, they had no starting position player over 31 (Shannon Stewart). Unfortunately, they ended up dead last in runs scored in the American League.
However, their pitching staff was very good all around. They finished with a 3.71 ERA and 118 adjusted ERA and had a good young rotation built around three 26-year-olds. They were Johan Santana, arguably the best pitcher in the AL; Kyle Lohse; and Carlos Silva.
Since being traded by the Phils with Nick Punto for Eric Milton in a deal that is true to the execrable Phils' trading history (though nowhere near as bad as the Sandberg and Jenkins deals), Silva has been one of the most surprising young starters in the AL. He won 14 games in 2004 after having started just one game in his previous major-league career. Then in an injury-plagued 2005, he posted a 3.44 ERA, good for fifth best in the AL.
He also did something that has been done just once since 1919, something that I completely overlooked until a message started floating around the SABR-L online news letter. So what did he do? Silva walked as many men (9) as games he won.
Big deal, right? Well, the poster at SABR-L wanted to know if any other starter had performed such a feat, to allow no more walks than games won. And aside from Bret Saberhagen in 1994, no starter since 1919 has appeared in at least ten games and been able to walk fewer men than the games he won (that's 10 games pitched and at least half being games started).
OK, if that doesn't float your boat. He averaged under one-half walk per nine innings pitched (actually .430). No starter has done that over a full season in over 120 years (.433 by Guy Hecker in 1882). And no one has bettered his walks per nine innings ratio in 125 years (.276 by George Bradley in 1880). The last time someone had a better walks-per-nine-innings ratio, the National League had just changed the bases on balls rule from nine to eight called balls (!).
I have not much more to add, but, "Wow." You just don't see something happen all that often in baseball that hasn't been done in 125 years. I guess that's why they haven't happened in 125 years. It sure beats Haley's comet (and destroys Frehley's Comet).
By the way, no one since 1876 has had fewer strikeouts than wins. Of course, they had not yet arrived at the three-strikes-yer-out rule. And for the truly trivia-starved, only eighteen starters have had fewer strikeout and fewer walks than wins.
All of the above is listed below in tabular form for the insomniacs in the crowd: