Over at the Fens last night, a big cheer went up with the announcement that Mike Timlin was entering the game, and would be making his 1,000th big league appearance, which is good for 13th on the all-time list. (Of course, the cheers would have been muted if the fans had known that Timlin was headed for a 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB line.)
The all-time list of career games pitched is an intriguing one. A few expected names (Dennis Eckersley (4th all-time, Hall of Famer), Hoyt Wilhelm (5th, HoF), Lee Smith (8th, likely HoF) and Goose Gossage (12th, 1002 G, should-be HoFer), mixed in with Mike Stanton (2nd, active leader), John Franco (3rd), Dan Plesac (6th), Jose Mesa (9th, active), Mike Jackson (10th), and Roberto Hernandez (11th, active).
Two other pitchers of note on the list: Kent Tekulve (7th) is probably not a Hall of Famer, although his resume is not shabby: 1050 G, 2.85 ERA, 184 Saves. Like Sparky Lyle and Mike Marshall (and for that matter, Gossage) he suffers from the lack of clarity about closers' standards in the pre-Eck era.
The all-time leader is Jesse Orosco with 1252 G. Orosco's record is similar to Tekulve's (87-80 for Orosco; 94-90 for Tekulve; 3.16 ERA vs. 2.85; 144 S vs. 184); but Orosco, no matter his numbers, holds a special place in the 'hearts' of Red Sox fans.