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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Carpenter’s current streak approaches Gibson in 1968


St. Louis Cardinals right-handed starting pitcher Chris Carpenter has yet to allow a run this season and is so consistently dominating that it was not all that surprising when he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.

After it was broken up by a lead-off single from Craig Counsell, Carp went on to complete his eighth shutout inning, during which time he struck out ten and did not walk a batter. Unfortunately, he took a no-decision in the Cardinals’ ten-inning 1-0 loss to the Brewers.

Over the last five seasons, only one other major league pitcher failed to earn a win despite throwing at least eight scoreless innings, recording ten-or-more strikeouts and not issuing a walk. That was the Giants’ Tim Lincecum, last month against Arizona. Prior to Carpenter, the last Cardinals pitcher who did not win a game under those conditions was Lee Meadows in 1917, according to Elias and Cardinals Media Relations.

Perhaps even more notable was that it was Carpenter’s fourth consecutive start without allowing an earned run, one short of the club record over at least the last 55 years. On Saturday night against San Francisco, Carp can tie the mark of five set by Bob Gibson during his signature 1968 season, known as the “Year of the Pitcher” across MLB.

Following are all 13 of the three-or-more Cardinals shutout start streaks in the last 55 years. Of course, all starts are not equal.

Among the oddities:

  • John Tudor’s three shutout starts were interrupted by two seasons with the Dodgers.
  • Jose DeLeon obviously pitched well, but had four no-decisions to show for it as he was injured twice.
  • Ray Washburn‘s only relief appearance of the season occurred in the middle of his three starts without an earned run.
  • Bob Forsch was spiked and left the game in the second of his four.

As one might suspect, Gibson’s run of five require no asterisks of any kind as they were all complete-game shutout wins earned during June of 1968. That has to be the one of the most dominant single months put together by any pitcher in the history of the game. Simply amazing.

Cardinals streaks of three or more consecutive shutout starts by a single pitcher (1954-2009)

Bob Gibson 1968
Start # Car TmG Date Opp Rslt Inngs Dec IP H R ER BB SO
12 292 52 Jun 6 @ HOU W,4-0 SHO W(5-5) 9 3 0 0 2 5
13 293 58 Jun 11 @ ATL W,6-0 SHO W(6-5) 9 5 0 0 2 4
14 294 62 Jun 15 CIN W,2-0 SHO W(7-5) 9 4 0 0 0 13
15 295 66 Jun 20 CHC W,1-0 SHO W(8-5) 9 5 0 0 1 6
16 296 72 Jun 26(1) PIT W,3-0 SHO W(9-5) 9 4 0 0 0 7
Chris Carpenter 2009
1 251 4 Apr 9 PIT W,2-1 GS-7 W(1-0) 7 1 1 0 2 7
2 252 9 Apr 14 @ ARI L,6-7 GS-3 3 4 0 0 0 2
3 253 40 May 20 CHC W,2-1 GS-5 W(2-0) 5 3 0 0 2 4
4 254 45 May 25 @ MIL L,0-1 GS-8 8 2 0 0 0 10
Jose DeLeon 1991
25 258 120 Aug 23 LAD W,2-1 GS-6 6 7 0 0 1 3
26 259 125 Aug 28 SDP L,1-2 GS-2 2 0 0 0 1 0
27 260 151 Sep 23(2) MON L,1-5 GS-5 5 2 0 0 2 3
28 261 157 Sep 30 MON W,11-1 GS-1 0.2 1 0 0 0 1

(First game left with stiffness in right shoulder; fourth game hit on the wrist with a line drive and taken out.)

Bob Forsch 1980
4 192 15 Apr 27 @ PHI W,10-1 CG W(1-1) 9 6 1 0 0 5
5 193 19 May 2 HOU W,9-1 GS-2 1 1 0 0 1 0
6 194 24 May 7 SFG W,12-2 GS-7 W(2-1) 7 3 0 0 1 7
7 195 27 May 11 LAD L,2-4 GS-7 L(2-2) 7 9 4 0 2 4

(Was removed from second game after being spiked by Jose Cruz on a play at first base.)

Woody Williams 2003
1 274 2 Apr 2 MIL W,7-0 GS-7 W(1-0) 6.2 2 0 0 1 5
2 275 10 Apr 12 @ HOU W,3-0 GS-6 W(2-0) 6 6 0 0 2 2
3 276 15 Apr 18 ARI W,6-3 GS-7 W(3-0) 7 3 0 0 0 6
John Tudor 1988
21 241 113 Aug 10 @ PHI W,1-0 GS-8 W(6-5) 8 3 0 0 2 3
1990
1 257 4 Apr 13 @ PHI W,11-0 GS-6 W(1-0) 6 3 0 0 2 2
2 258 9 Apr 18 @ PIT W,3-0 GS-7 W(2-0) 7 6 0 0 1 4

(Traded to Dodgers on 8/16/1988 for Pedro Guerrero; signed by Cardinals as a free agent in 1990 – two years between Cardinal starts.)

John Tudor 1985
29 167 127 Sep 1 HOU W,5-0 SHO W(16-8) 9 7 0 0 0 5
30 168 132 Sep 6 ATL W,8-0 SHO W(17-8) 9 7 0 0 1 7
31 169 137 Sep 11 @ NYM W,1-0 SHO W(18-8) 10 3 0 0 2 7
Joaquin Andujar 1982
33 223 136 Sep 6 MON W,1-0 SHO W(11-10) 9 5 0 0 1 4
34 224 140 Sep 11 NYM W,6-3 GS-5 W(12-10) 5 3 0 0 2 6
35 225 144 Sep 15 @ PHI W,8-0 SHO W(13-10) 9 3 0 0 1 4
John Fulgham 1980
5 25 32 May 17 @ SFG L,2-4 GS-4 4 3 0 0 0 5
6 26 37 May 23 SDP L,0-2 GS-8 8 6 0 0 2 4
7 27 42 May 28 NYM L,5-6 GS-7 7 2 0 0 6 2

(First game coming back from a shoulder injury was limited to four innings.)

Sonny Siebert 1974
8 356 40 May 24 @ CHC W,1-0 SHO W(4-3) 9 5 0 0 1 3
9 357 46 May 31 SDP W,5-0 SHO W(5-3) 9 5 0 0 2 5
10 358 50 Jun 5 @ SFG W,4-1 GS-9 W(6-3) 8.2 10 1 0 3 4
Ray Washburn 1966
7 98 41 May 31 HOU W,3-0 GS-6 W(2-3) 5.2 3 0 0 1 4
8 99 46 Jun 4(2) @ ATL L,1-4 7-GF(8) 2 0 0 0 0 2
9 100 55 Jun 13(2) @ NYM W,4-1 GS-7 W(3-3) 6.2 4 0 0 5 4
10 101 61 Jun 19(1) PHI W,1-0 SHO W(4-3) 9 2 0 0 3 5

(Pitched in his only game of the year in relief in between the three starts – 26 starts on the year.)

Curt Simmons 1963
28 437 140 Sep 5 NYM W,9-0 SHO W(13-7) 9 6 0 0 0 7
29 438 145 Sep 9 CHC W,6-0 SHO W(14-7) 9 5 0 0 2 3
30 439 149 Sep 13 MLN W,7-0 SHO W(15-7) 9 5 0 0 3 7
Harvey Haddix 1954
14 57 51 Jun 9 BRO W,3-0 SHO W(9-3) 9 3 0 0 3 4
15 58 55 Jun 13(1) PIT W,5-0 SHO W(10-3) 9 3 0 0 0 10
16 59 59 Jun 18 @ NYG W,5-0 SHO W(11-3) 9 4 0 0 2 7

As always, a tip of the cap to Tom Orf, who pulled the data shown above.

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