Josh Tomlin has made 21 starts this season and while his pitching has had its ups and downs, one thing has remained consistent; nobody has (officially) attempted to run on Tomlin. Nobody, as in literally not a single stolen base has been attempted against the guy. Tomlin did pick a runner off of second on June 28th, but as we head into August, his SB and CS against totals remain the way they were heading into April, 0 and 0. Tomlin's accomplishment is difficult to examine historically because we need play by play data to examine pitcher SB and CS, however we can see where he fits in since 1973. Here are the pitchers since 1973 who started the most games in a season before allowing their first stolen base attempt.
Tomlin is in third place, only 3 starts behind Dave Johnson for 1st place. Meanwhile, #2 Julian Tavarez's streak covers every start he made during the 2007 season. He also did not allow any SB or CS in any of his relief appearances and holds the post 1973 record for most IP in a season without allowing a SB or CS. Coincidentally enough, Tomlin has now pitched 134.2 innings, exactly the same amount as Tavarez in 2007.
Prior to 1973, things become tricky. Any pitcher who had a start with no play by play data is automatically eliminated, so the information is far from complete. However, we do know of some pitchers who would make the list above.
Whitey Ford takes the lead! Ford went 26 starts in 1956 before Tony Roig stole second off of him in the Yankees 137th game of the season. Unfortunately for Ford, (and I'm sure he really cares) we are not quite done.
It is possible to create a list similar to the one above, which does not eliminate pitchers because of missing play-by play data. Here's how. Using the pitching streak finder:
1) Set years 1950-1972
2) Select Pitching Role: Starter
3) Set SB=0
4) Set CS=0
5) Select: "To start season"
6) Click on "Display additional, advanced criteria"
7) Set SB>=0
What this does is it only looks at games for which there is stolen base data in considering if the streak should continue. Here are the results:
If any of these guys are missing enough games, they could potentially be our leader. In fact, we don't have to look far to find someone to supplant Ford.
In 1950 Max Lanier made 27 starts. For 21 of those starts there is PBP data and as you can see in the chart Lanier did not allow a SB or CS in any of those starts. Fortunately for us, in the other 6 games which Lanier started, the Cardinals opponents did not attempt a stolen base. Therefore, we know for certain that Lanier went 27 starts and 181.1 innings without allowing a stolen base attempt. None of the other pitchers on the list had enough missing data starts to overtake him, so Lanier remains the leader 1950-2011.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 at 1:06 pm and is filed under Streak Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.