Thursday, June 16, 2011

Zero Strikeouts in a Game

The Kansas City Royals have become famous for all the wrong reasons. Since the George Brett Era, the team has been a losing team for a very long time. As mentioned many times here this year, there is hope for the Royals with an infusion of young players, the  tip of the iceberg we have already seen this year with Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer. But until the Royals get all their pieces in place, they will still make headlines occasionally for all the wrong reasons. Take this fact from last night's game: The Royals have pitched three nine inning games this season without recording a strikeout. That's right, no strikeouts...three games.

Last night it was Luke Hochevar for seven innings and then Tim Collins in relief. Zero strikeouts. Tim Collins was part of another such game for the Royals back on May 6 against the same Oakland A's. In that game, Sean O'Sullivan pitched eight innings without striking out anyone and Collins did the same in his one inning of relief. The third game also featured Sean O'Sullivan against the Yankees on May 12 when O'Sullivan combined with Blake Wood to pitch the entire game without a strikeout. The Royals even won that game.

And so the Royals are pacing the league in a strange category. The feat has only been done six times this season and the Royals have done half of those. No other team has more than one. In the last ten years, only the 2005 Giants performed the same feat more often. Those Giants did it six times. The Giants of 2005 had noted fireballers such as Kevin Correia, Brett Tomko (who was a part of two of those games), Kirk Rueter and Jarrod Washburn. Yeah, that was sarcasm. The Giants also had zero strikeouts in three games in 2003. The Twins did it three times in 2003 as well and the Tigers performed the feat three times in 2002.

And so in the last ten years, the Royals find themselves in rare company. By the way, if you happened to be asking the question, the last time both teams in a game threw zero strikeouts was on June 29, 1985 when the Blue Jays played the Tigers and there wasn't a single strikeout in the entire game. In that game, the Tigers beat the Blue Jays 8-0. Walt Terrell threw a complete game shutout on two hits with no strikeouts. Louis Leal, Dennis Lamp and Ron Musselman all pitched for the Blue Jays and didn't strike out anyone either.

The Royals have done something no team has done in six years and with more than half the season to go, they could still catch those 2005 Giants.

1 comment:

Howard G. Singer said...

Undoubtedly the most famous game in MLB history which had zero strikeouts was the 7th game of the 1960 World Series between the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. That Pittsburgh Pirate victory by the final score of 10-9 in the seventh 7th game of the 1960 World Series also marked the first time in MLB history that a World Series ended with a walk-off home run. When Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski led off the ninth 9th inning, he slammed the second pitch delivered by Yankee Ralph Terry over the left field wall at Forbes Field, ending what World Series historian Howard G. Singer has described as The Greatest Game Ever Played.