Alfredo Aceves (pictured) and Jake Northrop (1918) have something in common.
How many of you are familiar with the career of Jake Northrop? That's what I thought.
Jake pitched for the Boston Braves in 1918 and 1919. He didn't make his debut until age 30. He totaled 77.1 innings pitched, 13 strike outs and 13 walks, and sported a 5-5 record. So why am I writing about Jake today?
Because he owns the record for most wins in a single season for a pitcher that had more wins than strikeouts.
In 1918, Northrop pitched in seven games, starting four of them. He threw four complete games and managed to earn five wins that year. What's amazing is that he only struck out four batters all year in route to earning his five wins. More amazingly, he did manage to sport a 1.33 K/BB ratio on account of only walking three batters that year.
All told, there have been 49 separate instances where a pitcher posted a season where their wins outpaced their strike outs (minimum one win). There have been nine instances where the pitcher earned greater than two wins, two instances where the pitcher earned greater than three wins, and only once where the pitcher earned more than three wins--Jake Northrop's 1918 season.
Alfredo Aceves is the most recent pitcher to turn the trick, notching 3 wins in 2010 while only striking out 2 batters.
The only pitcher to ever turn the trick twice--that would be George Herman Ruth.