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Josh Tomlin – Part 2 : No SB or CS to Start a Season

Posted by Raphy on July 27, 2011

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.

Rk Strk Start End Games W L GS CG SHO GF SV IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA HBP WP BK Tm
1 Dave Johnson 1990-04-14 1990-08-14 24 11 8 24 3 0 0 0 145.2 159 72 71 33 56 26 4.39 3 1 2 BAL
2 Julian Tavarez 2007-04-07 2007-09-30 23 6 11 23 0 0 0 0 120.2 135 77 70 45 68 12 5.22 7 4 0 BOS
3 Josh Tomlin 2011-04-05 2011-07-26 21 11 5 21 0 0 0 0 134.2 122 62 60 16 73 18 4.01 3 2 0 CLE
4 Kenny Rogers 2002-04-02 2002-07-24 21 11 5 21 2 1 0 0 135.1 124 55 50 43 62 13 3.33 6 2 1 TEX
5 Roy Oswalt 2007-04-02 2007-07-03 19 7 5 19 1 0 0 0 128.0 135 51 50 43 89 10 3.52 3 1 1 HOU
6 Randy Wolf 1999-06-11 1999-09-22 19 6 8 19 0 0 0 0 113.2 114 67 64 57 107 18 5.07 5 4 0 PHI
7 Carlos Zambrano 2007-04-02 2007-07-03 18 10 6 18 1 0 0 0 118.0 104 57 53 51 102 16 4.04 8 3 0 CHC
8 Travis Wood 2010-07-01 2010-10-01 17 5 4 17 0 0 0 0 102.2 85 45 40 26 86 9 3.51 4 0 1 CIN
9 Javier Vazquez 2011-04-03 2011-06-28 16 4 8 16 0 0 0 0 83.1 99 61 54 33 59 12 5.83 0 2 0 FLA
10 Mark Buehrle 2009-04-07 2009-07-02 16 8 2 16 0 0 0 0 107.2 97 40 37 24 62 12 3.09 3 2 1 CHW
11 Jason Simontacchi 2003-04-08 2003-09-02 16 5 4 16 1 0 0 0 85.1 102 63 60 30 52 19 6.33 5 1 0 STL
12 Terry Mulholland 2000-04-07 2000-06-28 16 8 6 16 1 0 0 0 102.0 133 64 62 20 47 18 5.47 3 2 0 ATL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/27/2011.

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.

 

Rk Strk Start End Games W L GS CG SHO GF SV IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA HBP WP BK Tm
1 Whitey Ford 1956-04-20 1956-09-05 26 16 5 26 15 2 0 0 188.1 160 64 56 69 116 11 2.68 4 4 0 NYY
2 Brooks Lawrence 1957-04-20 1957-07-28 20 10 6 20 8 0 0 0 140.1 135 65 52 38 64 16 3.33 3 0 0 CIN
3 Mike Cuellar 1966-04-25 1966-08-16 19 4 6 19 5 0 0 0 130.0 110 53 39 33 99 9 2.70 0 2 1 HOU
4 Bud Podbielan 1954-04-13 1954-08-07 17 6 5 17 4 0 0 0 96.1 104 54 45 41 33 13 4.20 2 0 0 CIN
5 Luis Tiant 1967-04-14 1967-07-17 16 7 4 16 4 1 0 0 114.0 98 44 35 38 120 15 2.76 1 1 1 CLE
6 Bob Keegan 1957-05-03 1957-08-30 16 8 5 16 6 2 0 0 98.2 96 41 36 20 24 14 3.28 2 0 0 CHW
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/27/2011.

 

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:

Rk Strk Start End Games W L GS CG SHO GF SV IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA HBP WP BK Tm
1 Whitey Ford 1956-04-20 1956-09-05 26 16 5 26 15 2 0 0 188.1 160 64 56 69 116 11 2.68 4 4 0 NYY
2 Max Lanier 1950-05-01 1950-09-18 21 10 5 21 9 1 0 0 146.1 127 50 43 54 72 12 2.64 0 0 5 STL
3 Vern Law 1965-04-18 1965-08-12 20 11 7 20 10 4 0 0 163.2 124 42 29 24 80 12 1.59 3 1 0 PIT
4 Brooks Lawrence 1957-04-20 1957-07-28 20 10 6 20 8 0 0 0 140.1 135 65 52 38 64 16 3.33 3 0 0 CIN
5 Mike Cuellar 1966-04-25 1966-08-16 19 4 6 19 5 0 0 0 130.0 110 53 39 33 99 9 2.70 0 2 1 HOU
6 Bud Podbielan 1954-04-13 1954-08-07 17 6 5 17 4 0 0 0 96.1 104 54 45 41 33 13 4.20 2 0 0 CIN
7 Luis Tiant 1967-04-14 1967-07-17 16 7 4 16 4 1 0 0 114.0 98 44 35 38 120 15 2.76 1 1 1 CLE
8 Bob Keegan 1957-05-03 1957-08-30 16 8 5 16 6 2 0 0 98.2 96 41 36 20 24 14 3.28 2 0 0 CHW
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/27/2011.

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.

9 Responses to “Josh Tomlin – Part 2 : No SB or CS to Start a Season”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I'm surprised by how many RHP are on these lists. I'm also surprised teams have already given up running on Tomlin since this is his first full season. And there were few attempts on him last season. One would think he'd have to prove he can't be run on before teams give up. Maybe they just time his delivery and decide he's too quick, so why bother.

  2. I enjoy the concept of "not having allowed a CS". LOL ;-)

  3. @2, yeah let's call them the Mike Piazza all-stars

  4. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    We can almost certainly knock Vern Law off your third list, Raphy. Law pitched eight innings against Milwaukee on 7/4/65, losing 5-2; the box score indicates that Hank Aaron stole a base. That game falls about two thirds of the way through Law's consecutive-game streak.

  5. Is there going to be a part 3??? Tomlin is 2-2 in his career as a batter, pretty impressive since he never had an at bat in the minors.

  6. John Autin Says:

    I haven't enjoyed a mini-series this much since "Rich Man, Poor Man"!

    Good stuff, Raphy -- the Prestidigitator of the Play Index!

  7. Echoing JA, Raphy, nice workaround on the limits of the play-by-play data.

    JT, my first reaction was the same as yours, Tomlin is a right hander.

    I wonder how many different catchers contributed to his streak? My point is, how much of shutting down the opposition running game is attributable to the pitcher and how much to the catcher's reputation? 50-50? No. 70-30? Maybe.

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    My point is, how much of shutting down the opposition running game is attributable to the pitcher and how much to the catcher's reputation? 50-50? No. 70-30? Maybe.

    This is something I've wondered about and I'm not sure there is one answer. There are pitchers who always shut down the running game, regardless who catches them, and there are catchers who can throw out runners throughout their careers, with many different pitchers on the mound. However, if either part of the battery is deficient, other teams will exploit that and run on them. Is a battery as strong as its stronger half, or as weak as its weaker? Have there been instances when a pitcher or catcher known for shutting down the running game teamed up with a battery-mate who was easily run on? What were the results?

  9. Tomlin was also used as a pinch runner on July 2, scoring a run.