Two things which will never happen again in baseball

There have been four complete game shutouts of 18 innings, all four coming in the BPC era (Before Pitch Counts). It is hard enough for a starting pitcher to get a shutout these days, so an 18 inning complete game shutout will never, ever, occur again. John Montgomery Ward pitching for the Providence Grays was the first to achieve the feat on August 17, 1882, beating the Detroit Wolverines 1-0.

Walter Johnson, Washington National baseball p...

Walter Johnson, Washington National baseball player, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second 18 innings shutout ended in a 0-0 tie and came on July 16th, 1909, by Detroit Tigers pitcher Ed Summers, who gave up seven hits to the Senators. Speaking of the Senators, Hall of Famer Walter Johnson, who threw a record 110 shutouts, pitched the third game, this against the Chicago White Sox, May 18th, 1918. Lefty Williams of Chicago also went the distance, losing the game in the bottom of the 18th. Unfortunately, like the previous games, there is no play-by-play account of how the winning run scored, but Eddie Ainsmith, Senator catcher, scored the winning run, but there was no rbi credited and there were no errors in the game, the run scoring with one out. Time of game for this 18 inning marathon was 2:50 which would be five innings in a Yankee-Red Sox game. Johnson gave up ten hits and struck out nine.

The final game was July 2nd, 1933, and pitched by another Hall of Famer, Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants against the St. Louis Cardinals. Hubbell only gave up six hits and struck out twelve in a four hour, five minute game. Things had slowed down since 1918 and of course this time of game more in keeping with a  nine inning Yankee-Red Sox game. Hughie Critz drove in Terry Moore in the bottom of the 18th for the win. Moore was 0-7, but did walk, and there were two outs when the winning run scored.

One of the most remarkable shutouts, only a nine inning 2-0 win for the Boston Braves over Cincinnati, came on August 10, 1944.  In a 75 minute game, Braves pitcher Red Barrett threw only 58 pitches and it wasn’t get-away day. Maybe Red an early date with a Baseball Annie in Cincinnati. It should not surprise that throwing 58 pitches in a complete game to know that Barrett had no strikeouts or walks.  Today 75 minutes is the number of commercial minutes in a World Series game. And 58 pitches in a nine inning game by one pitcher? Like pitching an 18 inning shutout, never to be seen again.


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