Starters have record day on mound
From World Series heroes to journeymen, starting pitchers had a historic day Sunday.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, a record 10 pitchers -- one-third of all of Sunday's starters -- threw at least seven innings while allowing three or fewer hits.
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A season filled with dominant starting pitching was taken to a new level on Sunday, writes Buster Olney. Story
Wainwright became the first pitcher to five wins this season as the Cards blanked the Pirates 7-0. Wainwright, known for his knee-buckling curveball, instead relied on his fastball to best Pittsburgh, throwing the pitch 43 times and recording 10 outs while allowing no hits on his heater.
Shields also turned on the gas, getting five of his six strikeouts against the Orioles via the fastball as the Royals picked up a series victory in Baltimore.
Armed and Dangerous
Pitchers ruled the day Sunday across Major League Baseball. There were 10 starts in which a pitcher went at least 7 innings and allowed 3 or fewer hits, the most in MLB history. Here's a look:
|J. Cueto, Cin||8||3||ND|
|J. Teheran, Atl||8||3||ND|
|J. Shields, KC||7||3||W|
|D. Gee, NYM||8||3||W|
|C. McHugh, Hou||8.2||2||W|
|I. Kennedy, SD||7||3||W|
|A. Wainwright, STL||8||3||W|
|R. Vogelsong, SF||7||2||ND|
|J. Hammel, CHC||7||3||W|
|G. Richards, LAA||7||3||ND|
|-- Elias Sports Bureau|
Cueto threw eight scoreless innings and struck out 11 for the Reds but didn't factor into the decision as the team suffered a 1-0 loss to the Braves in 10 innings. How could the Reds lose on a day when they got such a strong performance out of their starter? Because Braves pitcher Julio Teheran also threw eight scoreless innings -- and also earned a no-decision.
Garrett Richards of the Los Angeles Angels was equally unlucky, as he failed to earn a decision despite twirling a gem. Richards struck out seven New York Yankees over seven innings, but the Angels couldn't close out the game as New York got a run in the eighth to pick up the win.
Also left without a decision was San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong. The right-hander fanned six Cleveland Indians over seven innings but watched his bullpen give up the lead before San Francisco pulled out a late win.
Collin McHugh gave Astros fans something to cheer for, a rarity in Houston, with his seven-strikeout performance. The only disappointment for McHugh (2-0, 0.59 ERA) on Sunday was that he came one out shy of his first career complete game.
Dillon Gee also served as a Sunday bright spot for a struggling franchise, as his eight-inning outing propelled the New York Mets to a 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins and National League RBIs leader Giancarlo Stanton.
And Kennedy accomplished his feat after a rough start. After yielding consecutive doubles in the first inning, he allowed just one more hit over his final six innings of work.
"First inning, you're kind of like a lot of pitchers, you're trying to feel what's going to work for that moment," Kennedy said.
And for one moment in a long baseball season, the pitchers had their day.
Information from ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press was used in this report.