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Cliff Lee’s consecutive shutouts and Kyle Lohse’s 0 BB, 0 K game

Posted by Andy on June 23, 2011

In last night's Phillies-Cardinals game, both starting pitchers did something pretty unusual.

Cliff Lee pitched his second consecutive complete-game shutout. JA already posted some of this info but here are the longest consecutive shutout streaks going back to 2001:

Rk Strk Start End Games CG SHO IP H BB SO Tm
1 Brandon Webb 2007-08-05 2007-08-17 3 3 3 27.0 14 2 20 ARI
2 Roy Halladay 2009-09-25 2009-09-30 2 2 2 18.0 10 2 15 TOR
3 Roy Oswalt 2008-09-06 2008-09-11 2 2 2 18.0 4 2 10 HOU
4 Jeremy Sowers 2006-07-22 2006-07-28 2 2 2 18.0 9 2 7 CLE
5 John Lackey 2006-07-07 2006-07-14 2 2 2 18.0 6 2 20 LAA
6 Brandon Webb 2006-05-20 2006-05-26 2 2 2 18.0 11 2 13 ARI
7 Jon Garland 2005-04-25 2005-05-01 2 2 2 18.0 8 2 9 CHW
8 Dontrelle Willis 2005-04-08 2005-04-13 2 2 2 18.0 8 2 10 FLA
9 Cory Lidle 2004-08-29 2004-09-04 2 2 2 18.0 7 1 12 PHI
10 Dontrelle Willis 2003-06-16 2003-06-21 2 2 2 14.0 3 2 12 FLA
11 Matt Morris 2003-05-19 2003-05-24 2 2 2 18.0 13 2 11 STL
12 Curt Schilling 2003-05-09 2003-05-14 2 2 2 18.0 6 1 24 ARI
13 A.J. Burnett 2002-06-15 2002-06-20 2 2 2 15.0 5 7 14 FLA
14 Mark Mulder 2001-07-06 2001-07-12 2 2 2 18.0 7 1 16 OAK
15 Freddy Garcia 2001-07-01 2001-07-06 2 2 2 18.0 12 3 7 SEA
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/23/2011.

Pretty good group there, although Jeremy Sowers sticks out. I wonder if he had the shortest major-league career for a player ever to throw back-to-back shutouts? That's a question that we can actually answer with the new two-level PI search feature. (But I don't have time to answer it now!)

Meanwhile, Lee's opposite number, Kyle Lohse, pitched 8 innings without issuing a single walk or registering a single strikeout.

Here are the last 22 times that's happened, which goes back to 1988:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 Tommy Hunter 2010-08-22 TEX BAL W 6-4 GS-8 ,W 8.0 5 3 3 0 0 1 95 73 60
2 Justin Verlander 2006-05-17 DET MIN W 2-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 6 0 0 0 0 0 103 64 70
3 Joel Pineiro 2006-05-01 SEA MIN W 8-2 CG 9 ,W 9.0 9 2 2 0 0 1 106 77 61
4 Scott Karl 1999-05-05 MIL FLA W 2-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 7 0 0 0 0 0 105 69 68
5 Pedro Astacio 1994-04-24 LAD MON W 7-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 7 1 1 0 0 0 108 67 69
6 Zane Smith 1993-08-13 PIT FLA W 8-3 GS-8 ,W 8.0 10 3 3 0 0 0 93 61 50
7 Tom Glavine 1993-06-15 ATL NYM W 2-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 6 1 1 0 0 1 79 53 71
8 Bill Wegman 1992-07-11 MIL KCR W 5-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 13 1 1 0 0 0 134 84 57
9 Bill Gullickson 1992-05-26 DET KCR W 8-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 6 1 1 0 0 0 84 55 71
10 Bob Tewksbury 1991-09-01 STL SFG W 14-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 7 1 1 0 0 1 95 65 69
11 Bob Welch 1991-04-26 OAK CAL W 4-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 5 1 1 0 0 0 101 66 68
12 Bob Tewksbury 1990-08-29 STL CIN W 9-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 6 1 1 0 0 1 75 58 71
13 Bill Swift 1990-07-15 SEA CLE W 7-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 3 0 0 0 0 0 74 52 76
14 Dennis Rasmussen 1990-04-24 SDP CHC W 13-3 GS-8 ,W 8.0 9 3 3 0 0 2 95 59 52
15 Jeff Ballard 1989-08-21 BAL MIL W 5-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 7 0 0 0 0 0 112 73 73
16 Tom Browning 1989-06-29 CIN ATL L 1-2 GS-8 8.0 8 1 1 0 0 0 75 55 62
17 Mike Witt 1989-05-18 CAL BOS L 2-5 GS-8 ,L 8.0 10 5 5 0 0 2 111 74 42
18 Buddy Black 1989-04-30 CLE MIN L 1-2 CG 8 ,L 8.0 11 2 2 0 0 0 97 66 52
19 Don August 1988-09-11 MIL SEA W 5-3 GS-8 ,W 8.0 7 3 3 0 0 0 115 76 56
20 Allan Anderson 1988-08-04 MIN TOR W 2-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 4 1 1 0 0 1 102 65 75
21 Bob Ojeda 1988-07-23 NYM ATL L 1-6 GS-8 ,L 8.0 6 3 3 0 0 0 96 64 58
22 Jerry Reuss 1988-06-27 CHW KCR L 1-2 CG 8 ,L 8.0 6 2 2 0 0 1 78 49 62
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/23/2011.

If you look at the App,Dec column, you'll see that Lohse is the first guy to lose such a game since 1988.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 at 7:42 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

43 Responses to “Cliff Lee’s consecutive shutouts and Kyle Lohse’s 0 BB, 0 K game”

  1. Detroit Michael Says:

    It's fitting to see Bob Tewksbury did it twice in your last list.

  2. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Wow, forget how GOOD Webb was. What a shame.
    another in a list of guys who blew out a great or promising career.
    Joel Zumaya
    Mark Prior
    Ben Sheets
    Stausburg

    I hate seeing great chuckers never hit potential, although Webb did get the Cy.

  3. Sowers also did it in his 5th and 6th major league games.

  4. Love these starts that feature pitch counts in the 70s for a complete game. The one start by Tewksbury was 2 hours flat, even with the Cards scoring 9 runs.

  5. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ Tim L.

    I think a Tewk/Maddux match up circa '92-'95 would of been a 60 minute game with one and 175 pitches total.

  6. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    one BB i meant

  7. Really surprised to see Verlander on the 0K/0BB list, but it was his rookie year and his K/9 was only 6.0 that year.

    @1 and 5. I loved to watch Tewksbury pitch.

  8. surprised to see so many NL pitchers to so this 0k/0bb list

  9. The proliferation of K's in the past decade make this rare indeed. I think I'm a dinosaur now but I prefer seeing defense win games than strikeouts.

    I wasn't around at the time but I've read about Spahn's duel with Marichal at age 42. His line:

    15.1 IP 1 walk 2 strikeouts

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/sports/baseball/02nohit.html

  10. As a Phils fan, I love seeing Halladay and Oswalt near the top of the list. Cliff Lee has been terrific in his last four starts.

  11. Andy --

    Jeremy Sowers' major league career was longer than that of Karl Spooner, who threw back-to-back shutouts for Brooklyn in the final week of the '54 season -- his MLB debut -- and pitched much of '55 (8-6 W-L) but no more. So Spooner, not Sowers, is in the running for shortest major-league career for a player who threw back-to-back shutouts.

  12. If you look at the App,Dec column, you'll see that Lohse is the first guy to lose such a game since 1988.

    except for the two guys who did it in 1989 (Witt, Black).

    How many of these games featured 0 HBP to go along with 0 BB/K?

  13. @ #5

    Tewksbury faced Maddux 3 times in his career and all 3 games were quick, though thanks to commercials, more than an hour long.

    Tewksbury got the win vs. Maddux on 9/7/1990 in 2:18

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN199009070.shtml

    Maddux hurled a CG win on 6/15/1992 in 2:01

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN199206150.shtml

    Tewksbury got a SHO win on 7/8/1994 in 2:00, he nearly had a 0 BB 0 K game but struck out Javy Lopez in the 8th.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL199407080.shtml

  14. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    One of my favorite Play Index searches turned up two games (from a very long time ago) in which both starting pitchers pitched complete games, walked none and struck out none.

    Indians 7, White Sox 0 (8/28/1924, game 1), shutout by Sherry Smith over Sloppy Thurston.

    Braves 3, Robins 2 (6/30/1922), Dana Fillingim over Leon Cadore.

    Neither game went to the bottom of the ninth.

  15. Webb has the 12th highest ERA+ among pitchers who had 1000+ IP under the age of 30 (144). Here is the top 25

    Player ERA+
    Pedro Martinez 170
    Walter Johnson 166
    Old Hoss Radbourn 152
    Roger Clemens 152
    Jim Devlin 151
    Ed Walsh 150
    Smoky Joe Wood 148
    Kid Nichols 146
    Dave Foutz 145
    Johan Santana 144
    Addie Joss 144
    Brandon Webb 144
    Christy Mathewson 144
    Whitey Ford 143
    Roy Oswalt 143
    Rube Waddell 143
    Tom Seaver 142
    Pete Alexander 142
    Cy Young 141
    Lefty Grove 138
    Greg Maddux 137
    John Clarkson 137
    Kevin Appier 137
    Mel Parnell 135
    Bob Feller 135

    Webb is also 21st in Cy Young award shares

  16. John Autin Says:

    @13, Oneblankspace -- Four games in that 0 BB/0 K list had at least one HBP: Verlander, Welch, Tewksbury 1990, and Ballard.

  17. John Autin Says:

    @15, Welcome back, Kahuna Tuna!!! Where ya been keepin'? (Or have we just been failing to catch your interest?)

  18. There was a guy back in the 1980s who pitched back-to-back shutouts. He was 29 and at that point in his career he had 1368 IP with an ERA+ of 104. After those two shutouts, he pitched only 132 more innings in his career with an ERA+ of 61. He was done pitching at age 32. He apparently had no injuries.

    Up to and including those 2 shutouts, his ERA+ was 142 for the season (in over 40 IP). The rest of the way it was just 68. Also in over 40 IP.

    Any guesses?

  19. John Autin Says:

    @19, I thought maybe Allan Anderson, but no....

  20. John Autin Says:

    ... but perhaps a different crafty lefty?

  21. topper009 Says:

    @ Tuna,
    Sherry Smith is probably most famous for losing the game with a 13+ IP CG against Babe Ruth's world series record 14 IP CG win in game two of the 1916 WS.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS191610090.shtml

  22. A lefty, yes. Crafty? Maybe. He struck out less than 4.5 batters per 9 IP. But he was just about average in walks per 9 IP.

  23. John Autin Says:

    @23, Yeah, I thought it was Randy Jones, but no.

  24. Steve Trout

  25. John Autin Says:

    @25, GreggA -- Ah, you must mean Steve "I Just Won You the Pennant [G.Steinbrenner]" Trout!

  26. I think GreggA is the winner...beat me to it

  27. I always thought Trout was perfect for Wrigley Field. Over his career, his ERA in Wrigley was 3.75 and 4.34 elsewhere. Considering that offense was 5-8% higher in Wrigley compared to "neutral", Trout was probably 20% better when pitching in a Cubs home uniform.

    I don't think he was ever well liked by the Jim Frey/Don Zimmer/Dallas Green old school types who were running the Cub then. Even so, I was shocked when he was traded immediately after throwing consecutive shutouts. And the Yankees seemed to be the worst possible destination for him.

    But, one of the players the Cub acquired in the trade for Trout was the aforementioned Bob Tewksbury. Of course, they couldn;t see his potential either and let him get away so he could sign with the Cardinals and he was 11-5 against the Cubs in his career.

  28. Yes, it is Trout. Sorry no prize. I wonder why he fell so far so fast. I also remember when this happened. How often are pitchers traded who are having a good year and just pitched back-to-back shutouts? Maybe the Cubs saw something that really worried them and thought it was a good time to trade hime.

    Does anyone know who initiated the trade? Had Trout been the subject of trade talks before this?

  29. Verlander? Must have been an imposter in a Tigers uniform.

  30. How about Jerry Reuss getting through 8 innings only throwing 49 strikes. I suppose if you HBP a bunch of guys you could do it on 8 pitches but in the common case just shy of half of those 49 strikes would have to result in outs.

  31. or going the other way... Bill Wegman throws 134 pitches without walking or striking out a guy? That's so 1957.

  32. @16
    Cyril, Brandon Webb's going to drop down on your list if he comes back to the majors this year.

    He's been roughed up in his Texas AA starts at age 32.

    @2
    Duke, Brandon Webb would be happy to take Ben Sheets' or Mark Prior's "longevity" at this point in his career wouldn't he?

    Also, I wouldn't be too quick to relegate Strasburg to your list. After all he is young.

    What can general managers around MLB learn from Washington's handling of their (former) prospect Stephen Strasburg?

  33. I only looked at guys up to the age of 30, so I don't think Webb will slip

  34. Steve Trout had a 3.94 career ERA in day games, 4.43 in night games. Lucky for him, he played for the Cubs for 4+ years.

  35. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Perhaps an Englishman named Harry Rodger Webb would be interested in the first table, since he shares his last name with Brandon Webb and his first name with Roy Halladay (whose full name is Harry Leroy Halladay). In the second table, he shares his first name with Harry "Buddy" [aka Bud] Black.

    Then again, he may also be interested in the accomplishments of Cliff Lee and maybe J.R. Richard, once of the Astros, and Clayton Richard, since the afore-mentioned Harry Rodger Webb is better known as Cliff Richard.

  36. Here's the game count of BB=0, SO=0, 8+ IP games for starters, by decade.

    1920-29: 159
    1930-39: 121
    1940-49: 64
    1950-59: 34
    1960-69: 11
    1970-79: 27
    1980-89: 26
    1990-99: 11
    2000-09: 2
    2010-11: 2

  37. I have to admit, I liked 1970-1986 baseball. I could have done without the turf. But different styles had equal footing in the game, defense mattered and you didn't average 5 pitching changes a game.

  38. How about Cliff Lee in as a pinch-hitter in the third inning of last night's Phillies game? That's enjoying the game.

  39. Wow... I had just about forgotten poor Steve Trout. I was going to guess John Tudor, who may as well have had "crafty lefty" on the back of his uni when he was a Cardinal bedevilling the Mets in the 80's.

  40. Interesting that the 60s and 90s had similarly low game counts, but probably for different reasons.

    - 60s had lots of complete games, but dominant pitching so very few lacked strikeouts

    - 90s and later, of course, had very complete games to begin with, regardless of strikeout or walk results

  41. Too bad one of Tewk's best games isn't on this list, his 2-0 loss in Game 1 of the WS to the Yankees and a highly touted Steve Nebraska.