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Consecutive 1(or less) Hitters

Posted by Raphy on June 15, 2010

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of Johnny Vander Meer's second consecutive no hitter. While no pitcher has ever matched Vander Meer's feat, there have been pitchers in the same ballpark.  Here are the pitchers (1920-1939, 1952-2010) with back to back starts allowing 1 hit or less in at least nine innings.

1 Dave Stieb 1988-09-24 1988-09-30 2 2 0 2 2 2 0 0 18.0 2 0 0 3 12 0 0.00 2 0 0 TOR
2 Sam McDowell 1966-04-25 1966-05-01 2 2 0 2 2 2 0 0 18.0 2 0 0 11 18 0 0.00 0 0 0 CLE
3 Johnny Vander Meer 1938-06-11 1938-06-15 2 2 0 2 0 0 2 0 18.0 0 0 0 11 11 0 0.00 0 0 0 CIN
4 Lon Warneke 1934-04-17 1934-04-22 2 2 0 2 0 0 2 0 18.0 2 2 1 8 18 0 0.50 0 0 0 CHC
5 Dazzy Vance 1925-09-08 1925-09-13 2 2 0 2 2 1 0 0 18.0 1 1 0 1 15 0 0.00 0 0 0 BRO
6 Howard Ehmke 1923-09-07 1923-09-11 2 2 0 2 2 2 0 0 18.0 1 0 0 2 6 0 0.00 1 0 0 BOS
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/15/2010.

The number of walks in a lot these games surprises me. I thought Vander Meer's total was high, but he was matched by McDowell and Warneke was high, as well.

The oldest 2 games on the list involved no hitters. Vance followed a 1 hitter with a no-hitter, while Emke followed  a controversial no hitter (a double was removed by a ruling that the batter missed first and a later misplayed ball was changed from a hit to an error) with a controversial one-hitter  (a first inning hard ground ball that bounced off the chest of the third baseman was ruled a hit).

It should be noted that the list above does not include the player who came the closest to matching Vander Meer.  After pitching a no hitter on June 18, 1947, Ewell Blackwell followed it up with 8-1/3 no hit innings on June 22. However, Blackwell gave up 2 hits before closing the game out and history had eluded him.

References: A lot of the information about the near double no-hitters came from the Mark Stang website. He has more information that I presented. Its a good read.

30 Responses to “Consecutive 1(or less) Hitters”

  1. Tony Pavon Says:

    Today is also the 72nd anniversary of the 1st night game at Ebbets Field...
    The Cincinnati played Brooklyn that night. Do you think that might of had
    something to do with JVM 2nd consecutive No-hitter???

  2. jakajaka Says:

    The amazing thing about Stieb's two 1-hitters: both were no-hitters that were broken up with 2 outs in the 9th. Talk about bad luck

  3. JDV Says:

    For Dave Stieb, his two consecutive one-hit SHOs were in his final two starts of the '88 season, and they followed a four-hit shutout in his 3rd to last start. He then opened the '89 season allowing 1 ER in 8 IP before following that with yet another one-hit SHO. So over five consecutive GS, he allowed only 1 ER on 11 H in 44 IP. Not quite Hershiser or Drysdale, but a heckuva stretch.

  4. JDV Says:

    McDowell threw a league-leading 5 SHO in '66 despite finishing only 9-8. Is that the fewest W by any leader in SHO? I do realize that a couple of pitchers (including Gibson [59%] and Drysdale [57%] in '68) had a greater percentage of his season's wins via SHO than McDowell's 56%?

  5. Dave Robbins Says:

    You left off Whitey Ford who also threw two consecutive complete game one-hitters on September 2nd and 7th, 1955. For verification, please surf to the box scores at my references below:

  6. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Dave, I suspect that Ford's 9/2/55 and 9/7/55 one-hitters in consecutive starts didn't make the list because he pitched in relief of Bob Turley on September 4, 1955 and got a save.

    Great catch!

  7. Raphy Says:

    Tuna is correct. Ford wasn't on the list because he pitched in relief (and earned a save) between those starts (on September 4). If we limit the list to consecutive starts Ford is the only player added to the list (in the current PI era).

  8. Frank Clingenpeel Says:


    I think the night lighting might have had something to do with it, especially since hitters hated to dig in against Vander Meer in broad daylight. He was like Ryne Duren and Nolan Ryan, in that taking such a chance required an unacceptably high-percentage chance of having a wild pitch perferate a vital organ.

  9. statboy Says:

    How come it says 0 shutouts for Vander Meer?

  10. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Now that you mention it, it also says he got no CGs, either. And since my Dad raised me with the story of the one against the Bees -- he was at that one -- I know better.

  11. David Says:

    Stieb finally got his no-hitter in 1990.

  12. steven Says:

    McDowell hurt his arm in that 1966 season, resulting in his meager win total. Cleveland started that year on fire, but Baltimore hung with them. McDowell and shortstop Larry Brown got hurt, Rocky Colavito got old, and Manager Birdie Tebbets quit. They finished 81-81.

  13. Jeff James Says:

    "JDV Says:

    McDowell threw a league-leading 5 SHO in '66 despite finishing only 9-8. Is that the fewest W by any leader in SHO? I do realize that a couple of pitchers (including Gibson [59%] and Drysdale [57%] in '68) had a greater percentage of his season's wins via SHO than McDowell's 56%?"

    Jeremy Sowers, 2006?

  14. nightfly Says:

    @Jeff - that looks like the leader in the clubhouse. The CG and SHO are just so out of fashion, however, that it's just a matter of time before someone throws one for his only win of the year and splits the league lead. Six different times since 1993, a league leader has had only 2.

    From '93 back, NOBODY led a league with anything less than four SHO until all the way back in 1930: the AL lead was shared by Clint Brown (11-13 for Clv), George Earnshaw (22-13 for the A's, and led the league in walks allowed), and New York's George William Pipgras (15-15).

    In the National League you have to dial it back to 1921 before finding such low shutout levels for the league leaders: EIGHT different guys tossed three shutouts - including our friend from a previous thread, Boston's own Joe Oeschger.

  15. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Speaking of Oescher, isn't he the one who won the longest game in which both pitchers went the distance?

  16. Jim Says:


    Your right, Joe Oeschger and Leon Cadore both pitched 26 innings in a 1-1 tie. Thanks to the updated box scores we can now check it out.

    Personally, this is my favorite bit of baseball trivia. A few facts,
    Both pitchers had a game score of 127(!)

    Neither pitcher gave up a run after the 6th inning, with Oeschger giving up his only run in the 5th.

    Both guys only struck out only 7 of the 90+ batters they faced meaning there was some exhalted defense that day.

  17. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    What always fascinated me about that game was that both catchers had to be relieved in latter innings -- but neither Cadore nor Oescher was relieved. Let's remember that the next time we rave about Strasburg heroics.

  18. Jim Says:

    Catching is a very demanding physical position. I'm not saying pitching isnt, but having to crouch for 26 innings will take a toll on any man. In 1920, pitchers were expected to complete what they started, especailly if they are effective.

  19. Jim Says:

    Heres something interesting

    check out the lines for each pitcher
    Leon Cadore 26 IP 15H 1ER 5BB 7K
    Joe Oeschger 26 IP 9H 1ER 4BB 7K

    They both ended up with a game score of 127.

    When I do the math, I get a game score of 85 for Cadore, and 101 for Oeschger.

    If you only take the additions (ie, outs+innings pitched after 4th+strikeouts) then each pitcher has a GS of 127. I wonder why the game score only reflects that. Should this be bought to the attention of andy or sean?

  20. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    The list correctly states that Dazzy Vance allowed one hit and registered one shutout in eighteen innings over two consecutive starts in September 1925. What tickled me is that the shutout was his one-hitter; he allowed the unearned run in his next start, a no-hitter!

  21. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Jim, I think the game scores are wrong too, but I get different numbers than you:

    Cadore: 50 + 78 outs + 22 IP completed after the 4th (*2) + 7 K - 15 H (*2) - 1 ER (*4) - 5 BB = 140
    Oeschger: 50 + 78 outs + 22 IP (*2) + 7 K - 9 H (*2) - 1 ER (*4) - 4 BB = 153

  22. Jim Says:


    Your right, I forgot to start at 50 and I only gave them 21 IP after the 4th.
    Still, the scores are wrong.

  23. nightfly Says:

    Game scores are darned impressive - but think that the average batter sees something like 3.5 pitches per plate appearance. Cadore faced 96 hitters! It entirely possible that the two men each threw THREE HUNDRED pitches that day.

    Not too surprisingly, Cadore had eight days off, and Oeschger twelve. Oeschger also got rocked in his next three starts, but Cadore, after a rough day May 9, shut out the Reds in his next start, May 21.

  24. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    When I run the game scores for Cadore and Oeschger I get the same figures JT got.

  25. Raphy Says:

    Johnny and Jim - I asked Sean about this awhile back and he said that the column in which the game scores are calculated were originally set as a tinyint(3)which is 0 to 127. He plans on fixing in the next update.

  26. Raphy Says:

    BTW . There's a game from Carl Hubbell that is also a problem.

  27. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Color me dense, Raphy, but what is the problem?

  28. J. B. Rainsberger Says:

    Stieb's two no-hit bids in 1988 were broken up on two-strike counts with two out in the ninth inning. Julio Franco hit a grounder to second that hit either a pebble or the lip of the grass and bounced over Manny Lee's head. Jim Traber fisted a liner that fell a foot or two over Fred McGriff's head down the first-base line. Stieb had a third one-hitter that year giving up an early hit to Jamie Quirk. No surprise, though, that he hit two batters in those games. 🙂

  29. Djibouti Says:

    Ha, they broke the game score column, that's awesome.

    @Frank: It's like if a team had 100 hits in Fenway Park, the scoreboard wouldn't be able to capture it because it can only fit 2 digits under Hits (they still have that manual scoreboard there right?). So it would either stay on 99 no matter how many hits there were - which is what the game scores are doing - or it would reset to 00 (01 02...) with everyone realizing there's already been 100 hits - which wouldn't work well for game scores.

  30. fabio Says:

    Sorry to go a little off tangent here, but it's somewhat related. I remember that Tom Browning pitched a perfect game and later I believe took another perfect game into the 9th inning. Have any other pitchers taken more than 1 perfect game into the 9th inning?