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Monday, September 05, 2022

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen ties major league record with sixth consecutive scoreless start

Zac Gallen tied the major league record with his sixth consecutive scoreless start on Sunday, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Gallen (11-2) extended his scoreless streak to 41 1/3 innings. He allowed only two singles and a walk in seven innings. He struck out seven and retired the last 11 batters he faced.

Gallen tied Don Drysdale (1968), Orel Hershiser (1988) and Zack Greinke (2015), all with the Los Angeles Dodgers, by not allowing a run in his sixth straight start. Hershiser set the MLB record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings.

In those six games, Gallen is 5-0 with a 0.58 WHIP. He has allowed 16 hits, walked eight and struck out 46 in his scoreless streak. He is two outs away from matching the Diamondbacks’ franchise record of 42 innings, set by Brandon Webb in 2007.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 05, 2022 at 12:50 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: zac gallen

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   1. Mefisto Posted: September 05, 2022 at 08:40 AM (#6094555)
It's impressive to throw 41 consecutive shutout innings, but misleading to compare "six shutout starts" to guys who threw 6 consecutive shutout complete games.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: September 05, 2022 at 10:45 AM (#6094567)
I love the "allowed 2 runs or fewer" variations on this theme.

why yes, of course it's more impressive to allow 2 runs in 5 innings than 3 runs in 9 !

lol
   3. The Duke Posted: September 05, 2022 at 10:48 AM (#6094568)
1. Yeah, it's still a great feat, no sense in over-selling it. I wonder if he can beat Orels record ? I've always thought 59 would be super hard to March or beat. He'd still have to do two more CG shutouts in a row.
   4. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 05, 2022 at 01:10 PM (#6094581)
I'm surprised an opener hasn't managed this.
   5. Bhaakon Posted: September 05, 2022 at 03:20 PM (#6094594)
Openers have managed it, at least three times that I could find. Ryne Stanek strung together 8 scoreless consecutive* starts in June 2018, 7 in April 2019. Chad Green strung together 9 scoreless starts between May 27 and Aug 3rd 2019. But they had other appearances in between, some allowing runs (though in Stanek's first streak all the relief appearances were also scoreless). So it really depends on your whether you're emphasizing the "consecutive" or the "starts" in this record. Do they have to be consecutive appearances that are also starts, or just counting starts in the order they occur and discarding all non-starts.

If Orel Hershiser had been tapped to pitch an emergency 14th inning on this throw day between starts, would his streak still count? If a career long man somehow managed to string together a half-dozen scoreless starts as an injury fill-in over a 5 year career, would it count (which, tbh, might well have happened. I didn't make an exhaustive search)?
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2022 at 03:30 PM (#6094595)
Do they have to be consecutive appearances that are also starts, or just counting starts in the order they occur and discarding all non-starts.


They probably have to be starts where you can get the win.

   7. Walt Davis Posted: September 05, 2022 at 04:40 PM (#6094604)
A stretch. As a kid, I don't call Drysdale's streak being referred to as anything but "consecutive innings"; same with Hershiser. I'm not sure anybody ever wondered about this until whoever came up with this search. Sure there's a "did his job six straight times" similarity.

Hmmm ... is that hail or snow? Lovely early spring day here in Wellington.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: September 05, 2022 at 04:56 PM (#6094608)
By the way, Greinke's 6 starts comprised 43.2 IP plus the first 2 innings of his next start. Coincidentally, his start preceding the streak was a complete game (8 innings, 2 runs) while his streak contained no CGs.
   9. GregD Posted: September 05, 2022 at 06:13 PM (#6094614)
s a kid, I don't call Drysdale's streak being referred to as anything but "consecutive innings"; same with Hershiser. I'm not sure anybody ever wondered about this until whoever came up with this search.


+1
   10. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 05, 2022 at 06:21 PM (#6094615)
Its also spring on Neptune, although if its snowing its probably frozen ammonia.
   11. John Northey Posted: September 06, 2022 at 12:01 AM (#6094700)
I suspect this lands under the category of someone seeing an oddity and checking if it has happened before, and if so how far it has gone. Is it just me or is it weird that the only 3 guys to do it before were all Dodgers? Yeah, Dodger stadium historically is a big plus for it, hard to imagine a Rockie doing it.
   12. SandyRiver Posted: September 06, 2022 at 10:00 AM (#6094724)
Drysdale's 6 consecutive shutouts included 4 at Dodger Stadium. LA scored only 17 runs in those games, not too surprising in low-scoring 1968.
Hershiser had even less support in his 6 scoreless starts - in #6 he went 10 in a 16-inning loss. Dodgers gave him but 13 runs in those games, 4 of which were on the road. Query - can such streaks bridge 2 seasons. Looking at Oral's '88 game log, his 59.1 scoreless innings were his final innings of the season, 55.0 in those 6 scoreless starts plus 4.1 at the end of the game before the 6. Looking at 1989, he gave up a run with 2 outs in the 1st inning of start #1, so technically he had 60.0 scoreless regular season innings.
   13. ReggieThomasLives Posted: September 06, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6094729)
I once dated a German Dodgers fan. It ended when I got tired of her constantly asking me to oral her shizer.
   14. DL from MN Posted: September 06, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6094732)
Consecutive scoreless innings is impressive however you put it together.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: September 06, 2022 at 11:48 AM (#6094748)
Consecutive scoreless innings is impressive however you put it together.

and running a mile in under 4 minutes, with no breaks, is a helluva lot more impressive than a series of sprints that - added up - equate to the same time.

now, here we have a combination. nobody is pitching 50+ consecutive innings at once, obviously.

but the fewer games needed to do it, the more impressive the achievement.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: September 06, 2022 at 01:24 PM (#6094764)
and running a mile in under 4 minutes, with no breaks, is a helluva lot more impressive than a series of sprints that - added up - equate to the same time.

now, here we have a combination. nobody is pitching 50+ consecutive innings at once, obviously.

but the fewer games needed to do it, the more impressive the achievement.


Right, and most people will get that when they see the list as fans. At the same time, how many other people in this day and age are doing it? How many pitchers who only pitch one inning are doing this etc.

I am one of those who do like to point out that context matters, at the same time, for a small piece of trivia, it's still fun to see small pieces of trivia being added to, even if the way it's happening is in a slightly different context.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2022 at 05:40 PM (#6094827)
I'm pretty sure nobody is pitching 50 consecutive scoreless relief innings. That's gonna get noticed.

Eck 1990 had stretches of 17, 12.2, 12.1 and 16. He only gave up 9 runs all year and 4 (all unearned) were in one game and he didn't come close.

Gagne 2003 had stretches of 15.1, 12, 21 and 18. He gave up just 12 runs all year with (again) 4 in one game and 4 over 3 consecutive games.

Gossage 1975 a stretch of 29 (including 5 and 4 inning outings) and that's about it.

I'm assuming that if none of those came close that nobody else has come close -- maybe Marshall or Wilhelm in one of their mega-inning relief seasons. It might be considered another indicator that relievers (at least historically) are clearly inferior pitchers to starters if even the very best of them, pitching mostly an inning at a time, can rarely make it more than 1.5 CGs worth of scoreless innings.

I'm not gonna check them all but on May 25 1977, Eck threw 11 scoreless before giving up the losing run in the 12th. He followed that with a CG SHO then 5 scoreless in his next start before giving up a run in the 6th and getting pulled. So that was 26 innings with 1 run, broken up into 11 and 14 inning consecutive scoreless streaks. That's essentially as impressive as anything he did as a reliever -- I suspect it got less attention than "Eckersley hasn't given up a run in his last 12 appearances" but I don't imagine either got a lot of attention and were forgotten once they ended.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2022 at 05:51 PM (#6094830)
#2 ... The Cubs broadcast had a particularly absurd version of this the other day. Javier Assad tossed 4 innings of shutout ball and was pulled (young guy making his first ML start) and became "the first Cub pitcher to debut with 4+ scoreless innings since ... some embarrassingly long time." Now the amount of time was going to be embarrassing regardless but could we at least compare him to the first 4 innings of other debut starts and not ignore the guys (if there were any) who began with 4+ scoreless before giving up a run later in the start?

That's one of the ways CFB's solid idea that, once qualified, a "quality start" doesn't go away helps a bit. Not with your specific example but in the general notion that if we're gonna acknowledge the guy who went 6 innings giving up 3 then got pulled, we should acknowledge the guy who went 6 giving up just 2 but got left in to give up 2 in the 7th. That was the manager's decision and, if anything, the second pitched better in those 6 innings which is why he got left in. The reality that we probably should shift the definition of a QS to 5/2 for today's usage is a different issue.

   19. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2022 at 06:10 PM (#6094832)
So the lizard part of my brain remembered some Cub middle reliever having a crazy scoreless streak. I first though Dennis Lamp but he was with the Cubs for less time than I recalled and was just a SP with them -- he went on to have some big relief seasons with Toronto and Boston but they didn't have big scoreless streaks. So I thumbed through some Cubs rosters and thought ... maybe my phonetically dyslexic brain has confused Lamp with Les Lancaster.

In 1989, from his June 24 season debut through Aug 8, the immortal Lancaster made 20 straight scoreless appareances totalling 30.2 innings. He gave up his first run "blowing a save" in the 7th inning of yet another crazy Cubs-Phils game at Wrigley (this one just 16-13). He gave up runs in most of his next appearances but got everything back together very nicely and finished off with another 30 innings of 1.52 ERA bringing his season total to 73 innings and a 1.36 ERA. (Remember, that was 73 innings in barely over half a season)

He went back to being more of a swingman, had a nice season in 1991 then another good relief season in 1993 (for the Cards, natch). But then he got stuck in AAA for 2 years, didn't pitch too well, then played 6 years of indy ball.

I doubt it's the record but I think it would be awesome if Les Lancaster holds the record for consecutive scoreless relief innings.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2022 at 06:24 PM (#6094835)
Finally back to Hershiser. He started the playoffs with 8 scoreless against the Mets but finally got charged with two in the 9th to tie it up (and the Dodgers then lost). Due to a rainout (as I recall), he got to start G3, going 7 giving up 3 but only 1 earned. Then he came on for a 1-out save in G4. Then he threw a shutout in G7 and was named NLCS MVP. Then he threw a shutout in G2 of the WS and a CG 2-run clincher in G5 and was named WS MVP.

I'm fine generally keeping regular and postseason strictly separate but this is one case I think we can pretty easily justify tacking those 8 innings onto his streak. I suppose I didn't really "witness" very much of that streak but I might consider it the most amazing thing I've "seen" in 50+ years of watching baseball. Sosa-McGwire was more fun, maybe Bonds' 73 was more impressive ... but 59 consecutive scoreless plua another 8 in the playoffs? That's just nuts.

EDIT 59 IP, 31 H, 11 BB, 38 Ks (add 5 H, 1 BB and 6 K in the first 8 playoff innings)
   21. Baldrick Posted: September 06, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6094841)
The record for most consecutive scoreless appearances is 40 games and was set in 2019. And tied this very year back in June. The first guy managed 39 innings in his 40 games. The second guy hit 38 innings.

One of them has a 123 ERA+ this year. The other has a 63. Can anyone name either?
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: September 06, 2022 at 07:10 PM (#6094849)
One of them has a 123 ERA+ this year. The other has a 63. Can anyone name either?



My first guess was Hader, no clue on the second (and probably wrong on the first)
   23. Baldrick Posted: September 06, 2022 at 07:24 PM (#6094851)
Hader is indeed one of them. He didn't give up a run this year until June, which continued his streak of 20ish games to close out 2021.

After the streak was broken he gave up...many many runs.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: September 06, 2022 at 07:39 PM (#6094852)
NYY closer Clay Holmes didn't allow a run from early April til late June 2022. looks like 32 IP or so.

   25. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 06, 2022 at 11:26 PM (#6094918)
[Les Lancaster] went back to being more of a swingman, had a nice season in 1991 then another good relief season in 1993 (for the Cards, natch). But then he got stuck in AAA for 2 years, didn't pitch too well, then played 6 years of indy ball.

I vividly remember Les Lancaster from his one year with the Tigers (1992) and I hated that guy so, so much.

He had a 6.33 ERA in 42 games/86.2 IP (with a splendid 0.69 K/BB ratio) and they just kept using him -- maybe because of the reputation he had built in that 1989 season.

The 1992 Tigers were an interesting team with a great offense -- they led the AL in runs and HR, were second in walks and OPS -- decent defense... and terrible pitching. Somehow I still blame Les Lancaster for that. He was the worst of a pretty sorry bunch.
   26. Bhaakon Posted: September 07, 2022 at 01:09 PM (#6095029)
and running a mile in under 4 minutes, with no breaks, is a helluva lot more impressive than a series of sprints that - added up - equate to the same time.

now, here we have a combination. nobody is pitching 50+ consecutive innings at once, obviously.

but the fewer games needed to do it, the more impressive the achievement.


As Walt pointed out, no reliever has even come close. That example looks much different if the marathoners get to schedule and prepare while the sprinter is made to run their legs at random times without minimal lead times and not knowing if they're going to run one leg or three back-to-back. I suspect we're actually just really bad at understanding the difference between jobs of a reliever and starter. One one hand, yeah, innings are innings, and fatigue is fatigue, but the odds of avoiding nagging injury or off-field issues for a month's worth of starts feels much higher than the odds of a reliever going a whole year without a sore elbow or badly-timed hangover.

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