Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Stark [Print without images]

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Nineteen scoreless innings in San Francisco


From the 8,000 tweets and emails I got before breakfast, apparently America has an incredible fascination with that doughnut shop that Matt Cain and Cliff Lee opened Wednesday night in San Francisco.

Lee went: 000 000 000 0.

Cain put up his second consecutive 000 000 000.

And since they did it on the same night in the same ballpark, we've got ourselves some very cool notes. So thanks to the miracle of the baseball-reference.com Play Index, here are all the gems I could round up on short notice:

• How rare is it for one starter in a game to rip off 10 shutout innings while the other throws nine? It's only the second game like that in this millennium. Here's the other:

Sept. 6, 2003 (Tigers-Blue Jays): Roy Halladay vs. Nate Cornejo. Halladay went 10. Cornejo went nine. The Blue Jays won 1-0 in 10. Halladay got a 10-inning shutout out of it.

Cliff Lee
Acquiring Cliff Lee would've given the Indians a big boost in their pursuit of a playoff spot.

• The previous five games in which one starter went at least 10 shutout innings and the other starter put up at least nine zeros:

Aug. 28, 1999 (Braves-Cards): Kevin Millwood (10) vs. Darren Oliver (9); Sept. 20, 1998 (Rockies-Padres): Darryl Kile (10) vs. Kevin Brown (9); June 11, 1991 (Astros-Phillies): Mark Portugal (10) vs. Pat Combs (9); Aug. 1, 1990 (A's-Mariners): Dave Stewart (11) vs. Erik Hanson (10); 5/22/90 (Cubs-Reds): Mike Bielecki (10) vs. Tom Browning (9).

• The last game like that before Wednesday's in which the pitcher throwing the most shutout innings saw his team lose:

Aug. 30, 1989 (Cards-Reds): Jose DeLeon (11) vs. Rick Mahler (10). But DeLeon's Cardinals lost 2-0 in 13 innings.

• Last pitcher before Lee to throw 10 shutout innings in any game: Mark Mulder (Cardinals), on April 23, 2005 -- a 10-inning 1-0 win over the Astros.

• Last pitcher before Lee to throw 10 shutout innings and get nothing but a no-decision to show for it: Millwood, in that Aug. 28, 1999, game.

• Last pitcher before Lee to throw 10 shutout innings and not have his team win: Bret Saberhagen (Mets), on July 15, 1994, in a 14-inning loss to the Padres.

• Last Phillies pitcher to spin off at least 10 shutout innings: Steve Carlton, against the Expos on Sept. 21, 1981 -- a game the Expos won 1-0 in 17 innings.

• Last pitcher to throw at least 10 shutout innings against the Giants: Joe Niekro, on June 8, 1983 -- a game the Giants lost 1-0 in 11 innings.

• Last time the Giants won a game in which the opposing starter threw at least 10 shutout innings: Aug. 19, 1968. Jerry Koosman threw 12 zeros up there against them at Shea Stadium. But Bob Bolin hung 11 bagels for the Giants. And the Giants wound up winning 1-0 in 17 innings.

And let's not forget the history Matt Cain could have made. As streak guru Trent McCotter reports, if the Giants had won this game in nine, it would have given Cain a complete-game one-hitter and a complete-game two-hitter in back-to-back starts.

• Last pitcher to throw a nine-inning one-hitter followed by a nine-inning two-hitter: Bobby Witt, on June 23 and 28, 1994.

• Last National League pitcher to do it: Claude Osteen, on June 17 and 21, 1965.

• No Giants pitcher in the live-ball era has ever done it, either in New York or on the Left Coast.

• Finally, the last pitcher to allow a total of only four baserunners (or fewer) over back-to-back nineinning starts: Woodie Fryman of the Pirates, on June 26 and July 1, 1966.

All those fabulous tidbits erupted out of one incredible evening at AT&T Park. Is baseball a tremendous sport or what?