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Carp’s scoreless games can’t touch Gibby

On a night when he was clearly not at his best, St. Louis Cardinals’ ace Chris Carpenter still pitched eight scoreless innings en route to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

Carp’s command was off in the early innings as he prevailed for his eighth win of the season despite allowing seven hits, one hit batter and one walk.

It was Carpenter’s second shutout outing of at least eight innings this season. The other was also exactly eight innings in duration, a dominant two-hitter on May 25 in Milwaukee. Carp has yet to pitch a complete game in 2009 as the club remains cautious with their oft-injured ace.

Carpenter also went seven innings in his season opener on April 9. The one run that scored during that outing was unearned. Those were his only three scoreless outings of more than five innings this season.

To help put this into historical context, the always-ready Tom Orf offers an assist with the data.

Friday night’s eight-inning shutout was Carpenter’s 12th in his Cardinals career. That ties for only 13th-best on the club in the last 55 years, or since 1954. Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, pitching in a different era, is the runaway leader with 67 such games.

Dropping the criteria to seven innings with no earned runs, as noted above, Carp has three of those games this season and 19 total as a Cardinal, good for a tie for eighth-most since at least 1954. I found it most interesting to note that the leader, Gibson, collected “just” 68. When I say “just”, I mean not in comparison to others, but to himself.

In other words, only once in 68 career games during which Gibson spun seven innings with no earned runs allowed, did he not remain in the game to do the same thing in the eighth inning, too.

Simply amazing.

All Cardinals hurlers who reached double-digits in number of either eight or seven inning outings with no earned runs allowed in the last 55 years follow.

Cardinals 1954-2009
8 IP-0 ER 7 IP-0 ER
Rk # Rk #
1 Bob Gibson 67 1 Bob Gibson 68
2 Bob Forsch 27 2 Bob Forsch 35
3 Steve Carlton 20 T3 Matt Morris 23
T4 John Tudor 19 T3 Steve Carlton 23
T4 Curt Simmons 19 T5 John Tudor 22
T6 Larry Jackson 18 T5 Curt Simmons 22
T6 Ernie Broglio 18 7 Joe Magrane 20
8 Matt Morris 15 T8 Chris Carpenter 19
T9 Nelson Briles 14 T8 Ernie Broglio 19
T9 Joaquin Andujar 14 10 Larry Jackson 18
T11 Ray Washburn 13 11 John Denny 17
T11 John Denny 13 12 Joaquin Andujar 16
T13 Vinegar Bend Mizell 12 13 Nelson Briles 15
T13 Joe Magrane 12 14 Donovan Osborne 14
T13 Chris Carpenter 12 T15 Ray Washburn 13
T16 Bob Tewksbury 10 T15 Bob Tewksbury 13
T16 Lynn McGlothen 10 T17 Vinegar Bend Mizell 12
T16 Reggie Cleveland 10 T17 Jose DeLeon 12
T19 Lynn McGlothen 11
T19 Danny Cox 11
T19 Reggie Cleveland 11
T22 Ray Sadecki 10
T22 Larry Jaster 10
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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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