Since the start of the 2004 season, just over five-and-a-half years ago, St. Louis Cardinals pitchers have started 24 games in which they went on to pitch seven or more innings on four or fewer hits with nary a base on balls.
Despite the dominance, the team has won only about four of every five of these games. Specifically, the team’s record is 19-5 (.792) in such outings. The starters themselves are 19-3 (.864) with two no-decisions in games the bullpen later lost in part due to the lack of a cushion provided by the club’s sputtering offense.
Despite missing most of two seasons during that time, ace Chris Carpenter (pictured) has authored the vast majority of these fine performances, ten. His record in these games is 8-1-1 (.889), but lately has not achieved the desired bottom line result after having won his first seven such outings.
No other Cardinals pitcher has more than three of these games (Braden Looper) and even the next four on the list combined after Carpenter do not reach his impressive total. Interestingly, budding ace Adam Wainwright has yet to make an appearance among this group, though each of the club’s other current starters are represented.
Cardinals starters – seven or more innings on four or fewer hits and no walks (2004-2009)
|2||Kyle Lohse, Joel Pineiro, Jason Marquis|
|1||Todd Wellemeyer, Anthony Reyes, Jeff Suppan, Mark Mulder, Matt Morris|
Carpenter’s tenth such outing was on Thursday afternoon in New York as he and Cardinals fell to the Mets, 3-2. It was his third such start in the last month and amazingly, the team’s second loss in the three games. Chris took a no-decision on May 25th in Milwaukee despite fanning ten in eight two-hit scoreless innings.
With six of these gems this season to-date and almost half the schedule remaining, the starting staff seems poised to top their best season in the last five. In 2006, they also registered six of these games. Just as in 2009, Carpenter had half of them, but perhaps encouragingly, they were all in the second half of the season.
Cardinals starters – seven or more innings on four or fewer hits and no walks (2004-2009) – game log
|2||Chris Carpenter||6/4/2009||CIN||W||3-1||CG 9||W||9||3||1||1||0||3||1|
|12||Chris Carpenter||9/1/2006||PIT||W||3-1||CG 9||W||9||3||1||1||0||8||0|
|16||Anthony Reyes||6/22/2006||@CHW||L||0-1||CG 8||L||8||1||1||1||0||6||1|
As is often the case, a tip of the cap is offered to Tom Orf for the supporting data.