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MLB: Pitchers with Shutouts in the National League Championship Series (NLCS)

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).

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


Major League Baseball’s Wild Card Round Winners, All Time

The Houston Astros And Chicago Cubs Win Their Respective 2015 Wild Card Games

The Houston Astros And Chicago Cubs Win Their Respective 2015 Wild Card Games

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.


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)


Photos: / Justin K. Aller, Getty via

Major League Baseball: Home Run Derby Winners by Team

1. Chicago Cubs 3 Andre Dawson 1987
Ryne Sandberg 1990
Sammy Sosa 2000
1. Cincinnati Reds 3 Dave Parker 1985
Eric Davis 1989
Todd Frazier 2015
1. Los Angeles Angels 3 Wally Joyner 1986 as California Angels
Garret Anderson 2003 as Anaheim Angels
Vladimir Guerrero 2007
1. New York Yankees 3 Tino Martinez 1997
Jason Giambi 2002
Robinson Canó 2011
1. Oakland Athletics 3 Mark McGwire 1992
Yoenis Céspedes 2013
Yoenis Céspedes 2014
1. Seattle Mariners 3 Ken Griffey, Jr. 1994
Ken Griffey, Jr. 1998
Ken Griffey, Jr. 1999
7. Baltimore Orioles 2 Cal Ripken, Jr. 1991
Miguel Tejada 2004
7. Philadelphia Phillies 2 Bobby Abreu 2005
Ryan Howard 2006
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
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