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The Jays started playing baseball again yesterday, even if it didn't count. So, naturally, I want to think about the last baseball game that most of us saw.

Remember? October 27, 2004; the final game of the 100th World Series. That night we all saw something we had never seen before.

No, not Boston winning a big game.

That night we saw the first four-pitcher shutout in World Series history: Derek Lowe started, followed by Bronson Arroyo, Alan Embree, and Keith Foulke.

There have been 107 shutouts in World Series play, and... here they are!

Year Starter/Winner Team Game # Hits Allowed Score Losing Pitcher
1903 Bill Dineen Bos (AL) 2 3 3-0 Sam Leever
1903 Bill Dineen Bos (AL) 8 4 3-0 Deacon Philippe
1905 Christy Mathewson NY (NL) 1 4 3-0 Eddie Plank
1905 Chief Bender Phi (AL) 2 4 3-0 Joe McGinnity
1905 Christy Mathewson NY (NL) 3 4 9-0 Andy Coakley
1905 Joe McGinnity NY (NL) 4 5 1-0 Eddie Plank
1905 Christy Mathewson NY (NL) 5 6 2-0 Chief Bender
1906 Ed Walsh Chi (AL) 3 2 3-0 Jack Pfiester
1906 Miner Brown Chi (NL) 4 2 1-0 Nick Altrock
1907 Miner Brown Chi (NL) 5 7 2-0 George Mullin
1908 Miner Brown Chi (NL) 4 4 3-0 Ed Summers
1908 Orval Overall Chi (NL) 5 3 2-0 Bill Donovan
1909 George Mullin Det 4 5 5-0 Lefty Leifield
1909 Babe Adams Pgh 7 6 8-0 Bill Donovan
1913 Christy Mathewson NY (NL) 2 8 3-0 Eddie Plank
1914 Seattle Bill James Bos (NL) 2 2 1-0 Eddie Plank
1917 Rube Benton NY (NL) 3 5 2-0 Eddie Cicotte
1917 Ferdie Schupp NY (NL) 4 7 5-0 Red Faber
1918 Babe Ruth Bos (AL) 1 6 1-0 Hippo Vaughn
1918 Hippo Vaughn Chi (NL) 5 5 3-0 Sam Jones
1919 Dickie Kerr Chi (AL) 3 3 3-0 Ray Fisher
1919 Jimmy Ring Cin 4 3 2-0 Eddie Cicotte
1919 Hod Eller Cin 5 3 5-0 Claude Williams
1920 Burleigh Grimes Brk 2 7 3-0 Jim Bagby
1920 Duster Mails Cle 6 3 1-0 Sherry Smith
1920 Stan Coveleski Cle 7 5 3-0 Burleigh Grimes
1921 Carl Mays NY (AL) 1 5 3-0 Phil Douglas
1921 Waite Hoyt NY (AL) 2 2 3-0 Art Nehf
1921 Art Nehf NY (NL) 8 4 1-0 Waite Hoyt
1922 Jack Scott NY (NL) 3 4 3-0 Waite Hoyt
1923 Art Nehf NY (NL) 3 6 1-0 Sam Jones
1925 Walter Johnson Wsh 4 6 4-0 Emil Yde
1926 Jesse Haines StL 3 5 4-0 Dutch Reuther
1930 Bill Hallahan StL 3 7 5-0 Rube Walberg
1930 Earnshaw/Grove (W) Phi (AL) 5 3 2-0 Burleigh Grimes
1931 Bill Hallahan StL 2 3 2-0 George Earnshaw
1931 George Earnshaw Phi (AL) 4 2 3-0 Syl Johnson
1933 Earl Whitehill Wsh 3 5 4-0 Fred Fitzsimmons
1934 Dizzy Dean StL 7 6 11-0 Eldon Auker
1935 Lon Warneke Chi (NL) 1 4 3-0 Schoolboy Rowe
1939 Monte Pearson NY AL 2 2 4-0 Bucky Walters
1940 Bobo Newsom Det 5 3 8-0 Junior Thompson
1940 Bucky Walters Cin 6 5 4-0 Schoolboy Rowe
1942 Ernie White StL 3 6 2-0 Spud Chandler
1943 Spud Chandler NY (AL) 5 10 2-0 Mort Cooper
1944 Mort Cooper StL 5 7 2-0 Denny Galehouse
1945 Hank Borowy Chi (NL) 1 6 9-0 Hal Newhouser
1945 Claude Passeau Chi (NL) 3 1 3-0 Stubby Overmire
1946 Harry Brecheen StL 2 4 3-0 Mickey Harris
1946 Dave Ferriss Bos (AL) 3 6 4-0 Murry Dickson
1948 Johnny Sain Bos (NL) 1 4 1-0 Bob Feller
1948 Gene Bearden Cle 3 5 2-0 Vern Bickford
1949 Allie Reynolds NY (AL) 1 2 1-0 Don Newcombe
1949 Preacher Roe Brk 2 6 1-0 Vic Raschi
1950 Vic Raschi NY (AL) 1 2 1-0 Jim Konstanty
1952 Allie Reynolds NY (AL) 4 4 2-0 Joe Black
1955 Johnny Podres Brk 7 8 2-0 Tommy Byrne
1956 Don Larsen NY (AL) 5 0 2-0 Sal Maglie
1956 Clem Labine Brk 6 7 1-0 Bob Turley
1956 Johnny Kucks NY (AL) 7 3 9-0 Don Newcombe
1957 Lew Burdette Mil 5 7 1-0 Whitey Ford
1957 Lew Burdette Mil 7 7 5-0 Don Larsen
1958 Larsen/Duren NY (AL) 3 6 4-0 Bob Rush
1958 Warren Spahn Mil 4 2 3-0 Whitey Ford
1958 Bob Turley NY (AL) 5 5 7-0 Lew Burdette
1959 Wynn/Staley Chi (AL) 1 8 11-0 Roger Craig
1959 Shaw/Pierce/Donovan Chi (AL) 5 9 1-0 Sandy Koufax
1960 Whitey Ford NY (AL) 3 4 10-0 Wilmer Mizell
1960 Whitey Ford NY (AL) 6 7 12-0 Bob Friend
1961 Whitey Ford NY (AL) 1 2 2-0 Jim O'Toole
1961 Ford/Coates NY (AL) 4 5 7-0 Jim O'Toole
1962 Jack Sanford SF 2 3 2-0 Ralph Terry
1962 Ralph Terry NY (AL) 7 4 1-0 Jack Sanford
1963 Don Drysdale LA 3 3 1-0 Jim Bouton
1965 Claude Osteen LA 3 5 4-0 Camilo Pascual
1965 Sandy Koufax LA 5 4 7-0 Jim Kaat
1965 Sandy Koufax LA 7 3 2-0 Jim Kaat
1966 Jim Palmer Blt 2 4 6-0 Sandy Koufax
1966 Wally Bunker Blt 3 6 1-0 Claude Osteen
1966 Dave McNally Blt 4 4 1-0 Don Drysdale
1967 Jim Lonborg Bos 2 1 5-0 Dick Hughes
1967 Bob Gibson StL 4 5 6-0 Jose Santiago
1968 Bob Gibson StL 1 5 4-0 Denny McLain
1969 Gentry/Ryan NY (NL) 3 4 5-0 Jim Palmer
1971 Nelson Briles Pgh 5 2 4-0 Dave McNally
1972 Billingham/Carroll Cin 3 3 1-0 John Odom
1973 Koosman/McGraw NY (NL) 5 3 2-0 Vida Blue
1975 Luis Tiant Bos 1 5 6-0 Don Gullett
1979 Candelaria/Tekulve Pgh 6 7 4-0 Jim Palmer
1981 John/Gossage NY (AL) 2 4 3-0 Burt Hooton
1982 Mike Caldwell Mil 1 3 10-0 Bob Forsch
1983 Scott McGregor Blt 5 5 5-0 Charles Hudson
1985 John Tudor StL 4 5 3-0 Bud Black
1985 Bret Saberhagen KC 7 5 11-0 John Tudor
1986 Hurst/Schiraldi Bos 1 4 1-0 Ron Darling
1988 Orel Hershiser LA 2 3 6-0 Storm Davis
1989 Dave Stewart Oak 1 5 5-0 Scott Garrelts
1990 Rijo/Dibble/Myers Cin 1 9 7-0 Dave Stewart
1991 Jack Morris (10 IP) Min 7 7 1-0 Alejandro Pena (relief)
1993 Curt Schilling Pha 5 5 2-0 Juan Guzman
1995 Glavine/Wohlers Atl 6 1 1-0 Jim Poole (relief)
1996 Maddux/Wohlers Atl 2 7 4-0 Jimmy Key
1996 Pettitte/Wetteland NY (AL) 5 5 1-0 John Smoltz
1998 Pettitte/Nelson/Rivera NY (AL) 4 7 3-0 Kevin Brown
2001 Randy Johnson Ari 2 3 4-0 Andy Pettitte
2003 Josh Beckett Fla 6 5 2-0 Andy Pettitte
2004 Lowe/Arroyo/Embree/Foulke Bos4 4 3-0 Jason Marquis

Games marked in bold were the final game of that year's Series. Which also means that the following men took the mound with everything on the line, with the World Series all tied up; and went out and threw a shutout to lead their team to ultimate victory: Babe Adams, Dizzy Dean, Johnny Podres, Johnny Kucks, Lew Burdette, Ralph Terry, Sandy Koufax, Bret Saberhagen, and Jack Morris. (What about Stan Coveleski in 1920, you ask? They played best of 9 series from 1919 through 1921, and Coveleski's Indians were ahead 4 games to 2.)

If you actually do the counting, 90 of these efforts were complete game shutouts tossed by a starting pitcher. As you can imagine, we have seen this less and less often. Of the first 62 World Series shutouts, from 1903 through 1957, exactly one involved a relief pitcher: Lefty Grove took over when George Earnshaw was lifted for a pinch hitter in the 8th inning of a 0-0 tie in the 5th game of the 1930 series. The A's scored twice in the 9th for a 2-0 win.

There have been 45 shutouts pitched in the 46 World Series played since 1958. Just 29 of those have been old-fashioned complete games from the starter. In fact, Randy Johnson's blanking of the Yankees in the 2001 classic was the first CG shutout since Curt Schilling, blanked the Blue Jays in 1993. There had been four shutouts in between: two started by Andy Pettitte, and one each from Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. But each of those had been turned over to the bullpen.

Lefty Grove, in relief of Earnshaw, is the only man to win a shutout in relief. On two occasions a reliever has taken the loss, both times in a Series-deciding game. Jim Poole relieved Dennis Martinez in the fifth inning (OK, why?) of a scoreless tie in 1995. He retired his man (Fred McGriff) but allowed a solo HR to Dave Justice in the 7th. And surely everyone remembers Alejandro Pena being scored upon in the 10th inning in 1991; Pena was working in relief of John Smoltz.

Jack Morris' effort that night was not the only extra-inning shutout in World Series play. In the 6th game of the 1956 series, Clem Labine of the Dodgers pitched 10 shutout innings, and then led off in the bottom of the inning. He made an out, but the Dodgers scored a run anyway, on a walk to Jim Gilliam, a sac bunt (with one out? Meet Walter Alston) and an RBI single by Jackie Robinson, to give him the 1-0 victory.

Morris' game, great as it was, is obviously not the best World Series pitching performance. Morris does get bonus credit because it was: a) a seventh game, and b) a 1-0 game. Which is very similar to the circumstances behind Ralph Terry's 4-hitter to beat Jack Sanford and the Giants in 1962. That's the game that ended with the tying run (Matty Alou) on third base and the winning run (Willie Mays) on second base. Terry worked to Willie McCovey (what? No LOOGY?) and induced a screaming line drive that fortunately (for the Yankees) went straight into Bobby Richardson's glove at second.

Eleven days earlier (this was a World Series with a bunch of rain-outs), Sanford had pitched a shutout to beat... Ralph Terry. This is something we find quite a bit, actually; the same guys who pitch the shutouts are often taking the loss when some other guy throws a shutout. It stands to reason: these are the best pitchers on the best teams, they're the guys who are going to be taking the ball.

One man stands out, however, as the poster boy for hard luck in October. Gettysburg Eddie Plank of the old Philadelphia A's was on the hill four times when the other guy threw a shutout. Four times! That's harsh. And naturally, Eddie Plank is the only man to lose two World Series game by 1-0 scores: once on an unearned run in the 4th (1905), and once on a 9th inning single (1914).

It's bad enough to lose 1-0, and it's really bad when it was an unearned run. Here, Eddie Plank has company in his misery. Roger Peckinpaugh's 1st ininng error led to the only run Waite Hoyt would allow in his 1-0 loss to Art Nehf in 1921. In 1986, Tim Teufel's 7th inning error led to the only run Ron Darling would allow in a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox. And while it's hard to feel sorry for any of today's Atlanta Braves, John Smoltz could use a little luck. Five years after matching Jack Morris zero for zero only to have his bullpen lose in ten, Smoltz's outfielders (Dye and Grissom) got crossed up behind him in his 1996 start against the Yankees. Grissom's error put leadoff man Charlie Hayes on second, where he eventually scored the game's only run.

One other tough defeat invites our sympathy. Bob Feller took a 1-hitter to the 8th inning of the first game in 1948. He allowed a walk to Phil Masi, a sac bunt, and an RBI single. But there was more to it than that: this was one of the most controversial games in World Series history. The Indians attempted to pick Masi off at second, and just about every witness thought they had succeeded. The umpire saw it differently and called Masi safe. Feller lost his two-hitter to Johnny Sain.

Exactly one of these World Series shutouts was settled by a walk-off homer. In 1949, Tommy Henrich of the Yankees led off the bottom of the 9th with a leadoff blast against Don Newcombe, making a winner of Allie Reynolds. Three other times a HR accounted for all the scoring in a 1-0 game. Paul Blair (off Claude Osteen) and Frank Robinson (off Don Drysdale) hit solo HRs to win 1-0 games for the Orioles in 1966, behind Wally Bunker and Dave McNally. We already came across Dave Justice homering off reliever Jim Poole, to break up a scoreless tie in the deciding game of the 1995 series.

One of the great pitching performances in World Series play doesn't even make this list. On October 10 1906, Ed Reulbach of the Cubs gave up just a solitary seventh inning single en route to a 7-1 victory over the White Sox. The Sox scored their only run earlier on a walk, a wild pitch, and a Joe Tinker error. Claude Passeau of the Cubs one-hit the Tigers in 1945, allowing a second inning single to Rudy York. Jim Lonborg of the Impossible Dream 1967 Red Sox was four outs away from a no-hitter when Julian Javier doubled in the 8th inning. And in 1995, Tom Glavine allowed just a 6th inning single to Tony Pena; Mark Wohlers worked the 9th in Atlanta's 1-0 victory.

Don Larsen, of course, did them all one better. Larsen is probably the only man in ML history to ever post a 3-21 win-loss record (for Baltimore, in 1953.) He was a hard thrower with shaky control; in his two best seasons, over 319.1 IP, he walked a total of 183 batters. But his game on October 8 1956 still stands as the only perfect game and the only no-hitter in World Series history. Larsen was once asked if he ever got tired of talking about his perfect game. He answered "No, why would I?"

I trust no one will be surprised to learn that the decade which featured the most World Series shutouts was the 1960s. This was the Second Dead Ball Era - more accurately, it was the High Mound and High Strike Zone Era. There were 17 shutouts thrown in the World Series from 1960 through 1969.

While 17 is the most shutouts during a decade, we realize that a decade is a purely random cutoff point. There were a couple of periods when World Series shutouts were even more common than in the 1960s.

One is the 1903-09 Period - this is the Original Dead Ball Era, and in those six World Series (no series in 1904), there were no less than 14 shutouts. In 1905 Series alone, won 4-1 by the Giants, each of the five games was a shutout. But even if you put that aside, you're left with 9 shutouts in 5 series.

Still, this was the Dead Ball Era - we're not too surprised. What we don't expect are the 15 shutouts pitched in the 8 series played from 1917-1923. This was the great Time of Transition, when they cleaned up the baseballs, when they started swinging for the fences. But there were three shutouts in each of the 1919, 1920, and 1921 series. Probably just One of Those Things?

The longest span between World Series shutouts is three years, and it's happened four times. Babe Adams pitched a shutout to win the 1909 series for the Pirates, and it wasn't until 1913 when another was tossed, against the A's by Christy Mathewson. Jesse Haines of the Cardinals shut out the Yankees in 1926; the next shutout had to wait until the Cardinals were back, in 1930, when Wild Bill Hallahan blanked the A's. Lon Warneke of the Cubs shut out the Tigers in a losing cause in 1935; that was the last until Monte Pearson helped cap off the great Yankee run of the late 30s with a two-hit gem against Cincinnati in 1939. And finally, after Luis Tiant shut down the Big Red Machine in 1975, the next scoreless effort didn't come until John Candelaria and Kent Tekulve teamed up to beat the Orioles in 1979.

Twenty-six shutouts have been thrown by pitchers now in the Hall of Fame. Cy Young wasn't one of them, although he did pitch for the Boston Pilgrims in the very first World Series. But Walter Johnson, the only other man to win more than 400 games, and the man who pitched more shutouts than anyone, tossed one in the 1925 Series. Christy Mathewson and Warren Spahn are the other 300 game winners to throw World Series shutouts.

The other Hall of Famers to pitch shutouts in the World Series are: Burleigh Grimes, Jim Palmer, Bob Gibson, Joe McGinnity, Miner Brown, Whitey Ford, Waite Hoyt, Stan Coveleski, Don Drysdale, Ed Walsh, Sandy Koufax, and Dizzy Dean.

At the other end of the scale... Josh Beckett is still the pitcher with the fewest career wins amongst the group that have thrown World Series shutouts. But Beckett is now up to 26 wins, and the men he's chasing are standing very, very still. Ernie White won just 30 games, but he shut out the Yankees in the 1942 series. Duster Mails (1920) won just 32 games. And, checking in with just 37 victories plus a World Series shutout, we have... Bill James?

No, not that one. There are, however, a couple of fairly celebrated authors in these records: Christy Mathewson, whose 1912 "Pitching In A Pinch" is one of the first outstanding baseball books; and the old Bulldog himself, Jim Bouton, who lost a 1-0 heartbreaker, thanks in part to his own wild pitch, to Don Drysdale and the Dodgers in 1963. Anyway, there were actually two pitchers named Bill James, both active in the 1910s. The one from the Miracle Braves is Seattle Bill James, who came from California strangely enough. Seattle Bill went 26-7, 1.90 for the Braves in 1914. Possibly the 332 IP he worked that year damaged his arm, as he won only five more games afterwards. Seattle Bill is not to be confused with Big Bill James from Detroit, who went 65-71 in a career that ended with the 1919 Black Sox. Big Bill's name came up in connection with the rampant crookedness of the day, but he was cleared of all charges.

Only ten men have thrown multiple World Series shutouts. There are five pitchers not in the Hall of Fame who have thrown two World Series shutouts: Lew Burdette, Allie Reynolds, Bill Hallahan, Art Nehf, and Bill Dineen. Dineen and Burdette both did their work in a single series: Dineen in the very first World Series in 1903, and Burdette in Milwaukee's comeback against the Yankees in 1957.

Sandy Koufax in 1965 and Whitey Ford in 1960 also threw a pair of shutouts in the same World Series. Koufax and Ford are both in the Hall of Fame, and so is Bob Gibson who pitched shutouts in 1967 and 1968. So of course is Miner Brown, who went Gibson one better. Brown pitched World Series shutouts in 1906, 1907, and 1908. No one else has done that.

The only pitcher since Brown to throw that many World Series shutouts was Whitey Ford. This is not too shocking: Ford started and won (and lost) more World Series games than anyone, ever. Ford started 4 shutouts, but he only completed three of them. After pitching three in a row, and breaking Babe Ruth's record for consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play, he injured his ankle in the 6th inning of Game 4 in 1961. Jim (The Undertaker) Coates finished the 7-0 victory.

Christy Mathewson is still the only man to pitch four World Series shutouts. Mathewson's record of four WS shutouts could, conceivably, be broken someday. Maybe. It's possible.

But his other shutout record seems utterly safe. Mathewson pitched three shutouts in the same World Series - the 1905 series, when all five games were shutouts. Needless to say, it's hard to imagine anyone ever improving on that.

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Mick Doherty - Saturday, March 05 2005 @ 12:32 PM EST (#104633) #
Awesoms stuff. This:

<i>Clem Labine of the Dodgers pitched 10 shutout innings, and then led off in the bottom of the inning.</I>

... is really striking. So I thought to myself, well, maybe Labine was one of those guys who did double-duty, a fine hitter who even pinch-hit or filled in as an outfielder once in a while; the Dodgers were known to do that.

So I looked it up and his career batting average of .075 amd 1956 average of .087. He struck out im more than half of his career at-bats. Yikes!

As I looked up his stats, I realized he wasn't even as good of a pitcher as I thought ... he only reached even low double digits in wins in his career three times, and in '56 started only three of the 62 games in which he appeared. With 19 saves (and 47 games finished) he was more or less the Brooklyn *closer.*

If the Dodgers were out of position players, they had Newcombe, a fine hitter who drove in 16 runs in '56, Drysdale (who was admittedly only 19) and two guys who hit .300 in at least 10 at-bats, Ken Lehman and Ed Roebuck, on their pitching staff. So unless the previous two games each went 17 innings and they had no bullpen, I can't imagine a reason for Labine to be hitting in that situation.

Does anyone here know more?
Mark J - Saturday, March 05 2005 @ 12:37 PM EST (#104634) #
Wow, terrific article!

You really notice the extra use of relief pitchers in modern days. One shared shutout in the first 50+ years but in the last 35 or so years it's about 50/50 between complete games and shared shutouts.
Mike D - Saturday, March 05 2005 @ 12:41 PM EST (#104637) #
Fantastic, Magpie. A pleasure to read!
Magpie - Saturday, March 05 2005 @ 01:23 PM EST (#104656) #
Thanks for the kind words, guys.

The Clem Labine game - Alston hadn't used any of his pinch-hitters. He had Dale Mitchell (who'd made the last out the day before against Larsen), Gino Cimoli, Randy Jackson, Charlie Neal... I guess he really wanted to send Labine out for the 11th.

The other decision that makes you scratch your head... Can you imagine a modern manager letting his right-handed starter pitch to Willie McCovey with a base open? When a base hit either ties or wins the game? Granted, Orlando Cepeda was on deck, and he wasn't yet Willie McCovey (but he was getting there - in 293 AB he hit .293 with 20 HRs.)

The Yankees had a couple of LH in the pen, Bud Daley and Marshall Bridges - Terry had pitched very well in the Series.

On the other hand, Cepeda was 0-3 with a couple of strikeouts, and McCovey had hit a triple his last time out.

Ralph Houk got away with one there.

Mike Green - Saturday, March 05 2005 @ 02:42 PM EST (#104677) #
Great, Magpie. The two Cincinnati shutouts in 1919 deserve an asterisk.
Thomas - Saturday, March 05 2005 @ 02:45 PM EST (#104678) #
Great work, Magpie.

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.