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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).

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

Photo:

Little League World Series Championship Game Shutouts

YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP
1. 1949 Hammonton, NJ 5 Pensacola, FL 0
2. 1951 Stamford, CT 3 Austin, TX 0
3. 1953 Birmingham, AL 1 Schenectady, NY 0
4. 1957 Monterrey, Mexico 4 La Mesa, CA 0
5. 1959 Hamtramck, MI 12 Auburn, CA 0
6. 1960 Levittown, PA 5 Ft. Worth, TX 0
7. 1962 San Jose, CA 3 Kankakee, IL 0
8. 1964 Staten Island, NY 4 Monterrey, NL, Mexico 0
9. 1968 Wakayama, Osaka, Japan 1 Richmond, VA 0
10. 1969 Taichung, Taiwan 5 Santa Clara, CA 0
11. 1970 Wayne, NJ 2 Campbell, CA 0
12. 1972 Taipei, Taiwan 6 Hammond, IN 0
13. 1973 Tainan, Taiwan 12 Tucson, AZ 0
14. 1982 Kirkland, WA 6 Chiayi, Taiwan 0
15. 1986 Tainan, Taiwan 12 Tucson, AZ 0
16. 1988 Taichung, Taiwan 10 Pearl City, HI 0
17. 1990 Tainan, Taiwan 9 Shippensburg, PA 0
18. 1991 Taichung, Taiwan 11 San Ramon Valley, CA 0
19. 1992 Long Beach, CA 6 Zamboanga, Phillipines 0
20. 1999 Hirakata, Osaka, Japan 5 Phenix City, AL 0
21. 2002 Valley Station, KY 1 Sendai, Japan 0

NFL: Teams with the Most Shutouts in a Season

The Steel Curtain: Dwight White, Ernie Holmes, Mean Joe Greene And L.C. Greenwood

The Steel Curtain: Dwight White, Ernie Holmes, Mean Joe Greene And L.C. Greenwood

In 1976, the Pittsburgh Steelers shutout five different teams, most since the 1970 merger – and that was when there were only 14 games on the schedule. The Steelers did it in bunches, too, three in a row, then two to close the regular season.

Some say (like ESPN) that team had the greatest defense of all time. Whether it’s true or not, they never drop below second best, jostling with the 1985 Chicago Bears for tops.

The ’85 Bears shutout four teams, but two were in the postseason (not considered here).

The Baltimore Ravens blanked a quarter of their 16-game schedule in 2000. Everybody else on today’s list – another 10 teams – tossed three shutouts in the regular season.

The last to do it? The 2003 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

Four of the 12 single-season shutout kings won it all (*).

TEAM SHUTOUTS^ SEASON^ AGAINST
1. Pittsburgh Steelers 5 1976 New York Giants (27-0), San Diego Chargers (23-0), Kansas City Chiefs (45-0), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (42-0), Houston Oilers (21-0)
2. Baltimore Ravens* 4 2000 Pittsburgh Steelers (16-0), Cincinnati Bengals (37-0), Cleveland Browns (12-0), Dallas Cowboys (27-0)
3. Baltimore Colts 3 1971 New York Jets (22-0), Buffalo Bills (43-0), Buffalo Bills (24-0)
3. St. Louis Cardinals 3 1970 Houston Oilers (44-0), Boston Patriots (31-0), Dallas Cowboys (38-0)
3. Miami Dolphins* 3 1972 Baltimore Colts (23-0), New England Patriots (52-0), Baltimore Colts (16-0)
3. Miami Dolphins 3 1978 Baltimore Colts (42-0), Cincinnati Bengals (21-0), Washington Redskins (16-0)
3. Minnesota Vikings 3 1971 Buffalo Bills (19-0), Philadelphia Eagles (13-0), Green Bay Packers (3-0)
3. New England Patriots* 3 2003 Dallas Cowboys (12-0), Miami Dolphins (12-0), Buffalo Bills (31-0)
3. Los Angeles Rams 3 1977 Philadelphia Eagles (20-0), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31-0), Cleveland Browns (9-0)
3. Seattle Seahawks 3 1984 Cleveland Browns (33-0), San Diego Chargers (24-0), Kansas City Chiefs (45-0)
3. San Francisco 49ers 3 2001 Buffalo Bills (35-0), Miami Dolphins (21-0), New orleasn Saints (38-0)
3. Washington Redskins* 3 1991 Detroit Lions (45-0), Phoenix Cardinals (34-0), Philadelphia Eagles (23-0)

^ Since 1970 AFL-NFL merger, regular-season only

Check out my source – pro-football-reference.com‘s play index, where I ran this query that gives you every single shutout (all 454 of them) since 1970.

Photo: pinterest.com

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