No pitcher in baseball history (or at least since 1969 when the playoffs first expanded) has thrown more than one complete game shutout win in the National League Championship Series (NLCS).
Kind of hard to believe, isn’t it?
But it’s true. Fifteen different pitchers have tossed NLCS shutouts, the last 12 years ago (another hard fact to believe). All 15 are listed below, including that last guy, the Florida Marlins’ Josh Beckett back in 2003.
Are we ready for possibly a Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard or Jake Arrieta blank, then? Dare we ponder, “Will there be more than one shutout in just this series alone?”
It’s happened once before. In 1987, both Dave Dravecky (for the NLCS-losing San Francisco Giants) and Danny Cox (for the World Series-losing St. Louis Cardinals) threw one apiece.
It could be that kind of series in 2015.
The first guy to throw one, in fact, was a New York Met – Jon Matlack in 1973.
And what does history foretell about a team’s fortunes with a shutout under the belt, anyway?
Well, most of the time, they take the series (11 of 15).Follow @VinGetz
|PITCHER||TEAM||OPPONENT||SEASON||IP||TEAM WON NLCS?|
|1.||Jon Matlack||New York Mets||Cincinnati Reds||1973||9||Y|
|2.||Don Sutton||Los Angeles Dodgers||Pittsburgh Pirates||1974||9||Y|
|3.||Tommy John||Los Angeles Dodgers||Philadelphia Phillies||1978||9||Y|
|4.||Ray Burris||Montreal Expos||Los Angeles Dodgers||1981||9||N|
|5.||Bob Forsch||St. Louis Cardinals||Atlanta Braves||1982||9||Y|
|6.||Mike Scott||Houston Astros||New York Mets||1986||9||N|
|7.||Dave Dravecky||San Francisco Giants||St. Louis Cardinals||1987||9||N|
|8.||Danny Cox||St. Louis Cardinals||San Francisco Giants||1987||9||Y|
|9.||Orel Hershiser||Los Angeles Dodgers||New York Mets||1988||9||Y|
|10.||John Smoltz||Atlanta Braves||Pittsburgh Pirates||1991||9||Y|
|11.||Denny Neagle||Atlanta Braves||Florida Marlins||1997||9||N|
|12.||Kevin Brown||San Diego Padres||Atlanta Braves||1998||9||Y|
|13.||Mike Hampton||New York Mets||St. Louis Cardinals||2000||9||Y|
|14.||Randy Johnson||Arizona Diamondbacks||Atlanta Braves||2001||9||Y|
|15.||Josh Beckett||Florida Marlins||Chicago Cubs||2003||9||Y|
Two dominating pitching performances wrapped up both 2015 Wild Card games in tight little bows, setting the tone for a postseason which will be primarily about the men on the mound.
American League Cy Young candidate Dallas Keuchel tossed six innings of three-hit ball in the Houston Astros‘ 3-0 shutout over the New York Yankees, while National League Cy Young candidate Jake Arrieta suffocated the Pittsburgh Pirates with 11K’s over nine, putting the ‘Stros and Cubbies into Round 2 (the Division Series).
Houston now has 19-game winner Collin McHugh set for Game 1 against the Kansas City Royals (who have the weakest staff of the remaining playoff teams). Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs have another two pitchers with under-4.00 ERAs (Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks) prepped as they get ready for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards have five starters with double-digit wins – all of whom have ERAs of 3.38 or less!
But, the pitching match up of the early postseason is unquestionably that of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ staff against the New York Mets‘. The Dodgers will have the two best hurlers in all of baseball today – Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke – pittted against the Mets’ young-gun trifecta of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey.
Buckle up for some nail-biters.
Let’s take a look at today’s list, then.
The one-game Wild Card Round has been around for four years now – and checking out the results, one thing stands out immediately. Home-field advantage doesn’t exist. Six of the eight games so far have been won by the away team.
No team has yet to win more than one Wild Card game and only one team has even appeared in more than one. The Pirates have made the NL’s WCG as the home team the past three seasons. Hey Bucs, it’s time to win the division.
One more very notable note: You think the Wild Card teams have no shot at winning the World Series? Not true. Just remember 2014, when both WC winners made it to the Fall Classic, and the San Francisco Giants won it all in seven.Follow @VinGetz
|2015||Houston Astros||3||NEW YORK YANKEES||0||TBD|
|2014||KANSAS CITY ROYALS||9||Oakland A’s||8||12 inn.||Lost World Series 4-3 (San Francisco Giants)|
|2013||Tampa Bay Rays||4||CLEVELAND INDIANS||0||Lost ALDS 3-1 (Boston Red Sox)|
|2012||Baltimore Orioles||5||TEXAS RANGERS||1||Lost ALDS 3-2 (New York Yankees)|
|2015||Chicago Cubs||4||PITTSBURGH PIRATES||0||TBD|
|2014||San Francisco Giants||8||PITTSBURGH PIRATES||0||Won World Series 4-3 (Kansas City Royals)|
|2013||PITTSBURGH PIRATES||6||Cincinnati Reds||2||Lost NLDS 3-2 (St. Louis Cardinals)|
|2012||St. Louis Cardinals||6||ATLANTA BRAVES||3||Lost NLCS 4-3 (San Francisco Giants)|
|TEAM||HOME RUN DERBY WINNERS||WINNER||SEASON||NOTES|
|1.||Chicago Cubs||3||Andre Dawson||1987|
|1.||Cincinnati Reds||3||Dave Parker||1985|
|1.||Los Angeles Angels||3||Wally Joyner||1986||as California Angels|
|Garret Anderson||2003||as Anaheim Angels|
|1.||New York Yankees||3||Tino Martinez||1997|
|1.||Oakland Athletics||3||Mark McGwire||1992|
|1.||Seattle Mariners||3||Ken Griffey, Jr.||1994|
|Ken Griffey, Jr.||1998|
|Ken Griffey, Jr.||1999|
|7.||Baltimore Orioles||2||Cal Ripken, Jr.||1991|
|7.||Philadelphia Phillies||2||Bobby Abreu||2005|
|9.||Arizona Diamondbacks||1||Luis Gonzalez||2001|
|9.||Boston Red Sox||1||David Ortiz||2010|
|9.||Chicago White Sox||1||Frank Thomas||1995|
|9.||Detroit Tigers||1||Prince Fielder||2012|
|9.||Milwaukee Brewers||1||Prince Fielder||2009|
|9.||Minnesota Twins||1||Justin Morneau||2008|
|9.||New York Mets||1||Darryl Strawberry||1986|
|9.||San Francisco Giants||1||Barry Bonds||1996|
|9.||Texas Rangers||1||Juan González||1993|