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The Phillies are still chucking shutouts

Posted by Andy on June 29, 2011

Since 1969 (the year the pitcher's mound was lowered to its current height), here are the most team shutouts within the first 80 games of the year:

In sports, it seems so often that reality fails to live up to hype. This is not the case with the Phillies' rotation, which has been dynamite.

23 Responses to “The Phillies are still chucking shutouts”

  1. rogerbusby Says:

    Claude Osteen to Tim Belcher covers quite bit of history. Impressive run by the Dodgers segues nicely into 1990s Braves who took up the mantle of high quality pitching with few World Series results.

    Also witness the greatness of JR Richard.

  2. Raphy Says:

    Any idea why clicking on individual games give you every shutout for every team on the first 80 games of that season?

    I assume it is a bug. Do you have another explanation?

  3. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Most of the teams listed above are NL teams, and indeed, this time period is only slightly longer than the DH era.

    In fact, it's worse than that - There's only one DH-era AL team listed, and even that one is from the first year, 1973, of the DH.

  4. KB Says:

    Amazingly, the '81 Dodger played only 110 games that year!

  5. kenh Says:

    Imagine what those 90's Braves teams could have done had they not had to pitch in the steroid era?

  6. John Autin Says:

    ... and this on the heels of Philly setting their live-ball franchise record with 21 shutouts last year.

    Phils are allowing 3.21 runs per game (not counting tonight's 2-1 win). Only 4 times have they had a lower average, none since 1916. Their lowest R/G allowed in the live-ball era was 3.44 in 1976.

    Can this be right? -- the Phils have made only 34 errors this year, and allowed just 13 unearned runs?!? Yikes!

    Oh, and by the way ... with tonight's win, they're on pace for a club-record 102 wins.

  7. ToddWE Says:

    Andy -

    I probably couldn't pick a more inappropriate post for this tangent, but you recently wrote about the number of games in which the Red Sox scored exactly 14 runs. Do we need an update in light of the Mets' last four games?

  8. ToddWE Says:

    Never mind - they just scored two more! That puts them at 52 runs over the last four games (14, 8, 14, 16 and counting).

  9. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Todd We,

    Check this out, in the Mets last 4 games, they have had 5 different guys have 4 RBIs. That has to be a record.

  10. Random Sports Guy Says:

    The Phillies will implode in the playoffs. Roll Tide.

  11. John Autin Says:

    @9, Duke -- That didn't feel "record-y" to me, but then I checked a handful of the highest-scoring 4-game spans in recent history and didn't find more than 4 players with 4+ RBI, so who knows. I can't think of an efficient way to check it.

  12. Markjazz Says:

    I surprised Halladay still hasn't tossed at least one SO this year, given his history and his current ERA this year.

  13. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Also witness the greatness of JR Richard.

    I grew up a Dodgers fan in the '70s. It always seemed as if facing Richard was an automatic loss.

    Richard pitched pretty well against the Dodgers in his formative years. Through mid-'76, after 1-0 and 2-1 losses and a 10-inning no-decision that the Astros lost 1-0, Richard was 2-4 in his career against L.A.with a 2.59 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 73 innings. He'd made eight starts and four relief appearances, with four complete games and a shutout.

    Beginning on August 4, 1976, Richard owned the Dodgers. In his final 16 career appearances against them (all starts), 15 of which the Astros won, Richard pitched 10 complete games, including four shutouts, owned a 13-0 record, struck out 151 in 135 innings, had a WHIP well below 1.000 and a 1.47 ERA. He won his final eight starts against L.A. As a fan, I can tell you that he pretty much toyed with the Dodgers every time out. I can't think of another pitcher who consistently dominated an opponent, especially a good opponent, the way J.R. Richard did the Dodgers.

    Then again, Richard was a .500 pitcher against the NL East, and never won a game in Pittsburgh, so his success against the Dodgers isn't the whole story.

  14. Raphy Says:

    @9 - I don't know the record, but the Mets don't have it.
    Check out these 2 consecutive Pirate games in 1925: 6 different players with 4 RBI.

  15. John Autin Says:

    @13 -- Well done, Raphy!

    And how about this trio from the first of those games?:
    Glenn Wright -- HR, 3B, 2B (no 1B)
    Kiki Cuyler -- 2 HR, 3B, 1B (no 2B)
    Max Carey -- cycle in 4 hits

    And poor Nelson Greene: after 2 Brooklyn pitchers were knocked out in the first 2 innings, Greene took one for the team, finishing the game with 6.2 IP, 18 hits, 15 earned runs; the last figure is a record for a GF in the searchable era.

  16. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    1950 Red Sox: Five different players with 5+ RBI in consecutive games.

    Red Sox 20, Browns 4

    Red Sox 29, Browns 4

    The 1925 Pirates and 1950 Red Sox are the only two teams to score 20+ runs in consecutive games.

    No cycles in either of these games, although three players accomplished the feat in June 1950.

  17. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Referring to Andy's table, the 1971 Brewers wound up with 23 shutouts . . . and 69 wins. The .333 shutouts-to-wins ratio is a post-1968 team record.

  18. John Autin Says:

    Re: the 2nd of Kahuna's games @15, you've gotta love a game in which:

    -- the starting pitcher goes 2 for 3 with 4 walks (the latter tying the searchable record, done 3 times before that and not since);

    -- Al Zarilla ties the (searchable) record with 4 doubles;

    -- Ted Williams has 2 HRs and 5 RBI, but doesn't lead the team in either category;

    -- ditto Walt Dropo with his 2 HRs and 7 RBI;

    -- Bobby Doerr sets career highs with 3 HRs and 8 RBI;

    -- Browns SP Cliff Fannin allows 8 runs, a figure exceeded by both succeeding relievers, Cuddles (!) Marshall and Sid Schacht;

    -- Browns closer Tom Ferrick is needed to bring a merciful end to the home 8th inning, after Schacht serves up 3 HRs (4 months later, Ferrick would be the winning pitcher for the Yankees in game 3 of the 1950 WS);

    -- the Red Sox set (searchable) records with 17 extra-base hits and 6 players with 2+ XBH; and

    -- only 5,000 fans are in Fenway to see it.

  19. John Autin Says:

    Whoops -- I meant Kahuna's games @16.

  20. John Autin Says:

    @17, Kahuna -- The '71 Brewers had a tremendous closer in Ken Sanders, who closed out 77 games, a new record for GF by a margin of 10.

    Sanders had a hand in 8 of those 23 shutouts, with 7 saves and a win.

    He led all pure relievers with 3.5 WAR in '71, the same mark he had the year before.

    But then, you knew all that! 🙂

  21. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ JA,

    i think that Nelson Green fella might fit Andy's criteria for 95+ pitches in relief.
    Amazing how close they came to 3 cycles. That woulda been something.

  22. Dave Says: "quirk" or injustice about 1981 that I'm sure we're all aware of...Cincinnati Reds have best W/L in MLB that year and don't make the playoffs because of the 2-half seasons thing.

  23. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    John, I probably know more about the 1971 season than about any MLB season before or since. Christmas 1972 I received a paper-and-dice Sports Illustrated Baseball game covering the 1971 season, and before inventing my own teams and players as a teenager I played many hundreds of games featuring the likes of RoY Chris Chambliss, benchwarmer Ernie Banks, third baseman Steve Garvey, and Fireman of the Year Ken Sanders (at least on paper, Detroit's Fred Scherman was nearly as good).

    One of my favorite trivia items relates to the 1971 Brewers bullpen. In 1970, while pitching for the White Sox, reliever Floyd Weaver ("Weaver the Reliever"?) gave up the only career home run hit by reserve outfielder Floyd Wicker, who was playing for the Brewers at the time.

    Weaver was awful for Milwaukee in 1971 — the only game he "finished" that the Brewers won (by one run), he didn't receive credit for a save. Pitching in relief of Marty Pattin, Weaver had given back one run of a two-run lead and put runners on second and third with one out in the seventh. Sanders came in to warm up, at which point the game was delayed, and ultimately called, because of rain. B-Ref credits Weaver with a hold. Generous of them, I'd say.