The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Carpenter’s walk stinginess


A couple of days ago, I wrote here about Chris Carpenter’s historic strikeout-to-walk ratio. As Carp prepares to take the mound at Dodger Stadium on Monday night, I thought (with the help of Tom Orf) that I would delve a bit deeper into the bases on balls component of the St. Louis Cardinals star’s ongoing success.

First, we will look at this season only. Carpenter is working on a run of 19 consecutive starts in 2009 of walking two or fewer batters. His teammate Joel Pineiro is tied with Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels as the current MLB leader with the former at 21 and counting.

(In the tables that follow, an asterisk (*) next to the end date denotes a current streak.)

Two or fewer walks, consecutive starts, MLB 2009

Teams Start End Gms W L GS CG SHO IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Joel Pineiro STL 4/22/2009 8/15/2009 * 21 9 9 21 3 2 143.1 141 59 49 12 67 4 3.08
Cole Hamels PHI 4/10/2009 8/2/2009 21 7 6 21 1 1 123 139 66 64 23 107 18 4.68
Chris Carpenter STL 4/9/2009 8/12/2009 * 19 12 3 19 2 0 130.2 109 34 33 19 97 7 2.27
Danny Haren ARI 4/17/2009 7/23/2009 18 10 3 18 3 1 130 94 33 31 16 130 12 2.15
Carl Pavano CLE-MIN 5/11/2009 8/8/2009 16 8 5 16 1 1 101.1 115 57 52 15 70 15 4.62
Zach Duke PIT 4/8/2009 6/29/2009 16 8 6 16 2 1 112 107 41 39 26 54 11 3.13
James Shields TBR 5/3/2009 7/17/2009 15 4 4 15 0 0 100.2 117 48 42 16 76 9 3.75
Roy Halladay TOR 4/6/2009 6/29/2009 15 10 2 15 3 1 109 100 33 31 14 95 7 2.56

From a career perspective, Carp has logged an even more impressive 35 such starts in a row, dating back to July, 2006. Of course, he missed much of the 2007 and 2008 seasons due to injury, but has still managed to maintain his streak.

Over at least the last 55 years, Carpenter’s current run of 35 games with two-or-fewer bases on balls per start is 14th longest anywhere in Major League Baseball and is the only top streak still active.

To become number one, Carpenter would need to maintain his run for the equivalent of two entire seasons. That is how long it would take to eclipse the amazing streak of 99 such games put together by Carlos Silva from late 2003 into 2007.

Two or fewer walks, consecutive starts, MLB 1954-2009

Teams Start End Gms W L GS CG SHO IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Carlos Silva PHI-MIN 8/2/2003 5/10/2007 99 36 34 99 3 1 610.2 760 328 302 84 238 89 4.45
Brad Radke MIN 4/18/2003 9/18/2004 62 24 17 62 4 2 404.1 442 188 176 42 247 51 3.92
David Wells SDP-BOS 8/13/2004 4/29/2007 59 25 14 59 2 0 355.2 423 189 178 43 206 47 4.5
Bret Saberhagen NYM 10/4/1992 5/14/1995 48 21 13 48 8 1 350.2 329 128 120 36 253 28 3.08
Zane Smith MON-PIT 7/25/1990 9/21/1991 45 22 12 45 9 5 308.1 284 110 88 35 172 17 2.57
Jon Lieber CHC-NYY-PHI 5/29/2002 4/21/2005 43 21 13 43 2 0 286.2 340 146 130 25 167 35 4.08
Andy Sonnanstine TBD-TBR 8/5/2007 9/21/2008 42 18 12 42 1 1 247 278 142 130 47 163 26 4.74
Shane Reynolds HOU 7/30/1998 9/4/1999 42 21 13 42 4 2 283 301 120 112 36 270 27 3.56
Lary Sorensen MIL 7/1/1978 7/23/1979 40 19 18 40 20 5 301 304 124 111 39 70 31 3.32
La Marr Hoyt CHW-SDP 9/11/1984 5/17/1986 39 18 12 39 8 3 256.1 267 116 110 22 109 29 3.86
Mike Mussina NYY 9/18/2007 9/28/2008 37 22 9 37 0 0 219.1 235 94 84 34 163 17 3.45
Bill Hands CHC 9/11/1967 4/13/1969 37 17 9 37 12 4 265.2 221 92 78 36 149 29 2.64
Robin Roberts PHI 5/7/1960 5/20/1961 36 11 20 36 14 2 258.1 277 115 107 34 135 34 3.73
Chris Carpenter STL 7/30/2006 8/12/2009 * 35 17 9 35 6 2 238.1 208 81 77 35 176 15 2.91

Bonus Carpenter coverage:

Though not related directly to bases on balls, it is worth also noting that on Monday night, Carpenter is going for his fifth consecutive start that ends in a win decision.

His is the second longest current streak in MLB after Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee at six. Carp’s Cardinals teammates broke San Diego’s Mat Latos’ consecutive start winning streak at four as they pinned a loss on the rookie on Friday night.

A fifth win Monday would tie Carpenter for the third-longest streak in MLB this season, behind leader Jorge de la Rosa of Colorado with seven. Pineiro had a comparable four-game stretch this April.

Victories in consecutive starts, MLB 2009

Teams Start End Gms W L GS CG SHO IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Jorge de la Rosa COL 6/21/2009 7/30/2009 7 7 0 7 0 0 46.2 35 14 14 16 40 3 2.70
Cliff Lee CLE-PHI 7/16/2009 8/13/2009 * 6 6 0 6 3 0 49 38 7 7 6 37 2 1.29
Matt Cain SFG 5/17/2009 6/14/2009 6 6 0 6 3 0 41.2 34 9 8 14 36 3 1.73
Zack Greinke KCR 4/8/2009 5/4/2009 6 6 0 6 3 2 45 30 3 2 8 54 0 0.40
Jamie Moyer PHI 6/23/2009 7/16/2009 5 5 0 5 0 0 29.1 24 12 12 8 15 5 3.68
Aaron Cook COL 6/6/2009 6/28/2009 5 5 0 5 0 0 36 31 7 7 6 22 4 1.75
Rick Porcello DET 5/5/2009 5/27/2009 5 5 0 5 0 0 30 22 5 5 10 20 1 1.50
Matt Palmer LAA 4/23/2009 5/19/2009 5 5 0 5 1 0 31.2 23 16 15 13 18 4 4.26
Roy Halladay TOR 4/26/2009 5/17/2009 5 5 0 5 1 0 39 36 11 9 5 31 1 2.08
Mark Buehrle CHW 4/12/2009 5/7/2009 5 5 0 5 0 0 33 24 9 9 8 21 2 2.45
Chris Carpenter STL 7/27/2009 8/12/2009 * 4 4 0 4 1 0 31 34 8 8 3 21 3 2.32
Mat Latos SDP 7/24/2009 8/8/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 25.2 16 6 6 8 19 5 2.10
Joba Chamberlain NYY 7/19/2009 8/6/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 26.2 14 6 6 15 24 3 2.03
Randy Wells CHC 7/18/2009 8/3/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 26.1 26 8 8 6 12 2 2.73
John Lackey LAA 7/12/2009 7/29/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 30.2 16 5 5 10 23 2 1.47
Jarrod Washburn SEA 7/6/2009 7/23/2009 4 4 0 4 1 1 29.2 15 2 2 4 12 0 0.61
Wandy Rodriguez HOU 7/2/2009 7/21/2009 4 4 0 4 1 1 29 21 2 2 5 27 1 0.62
Danny Haren ARI 6/30/2009 7/18/2009 4 4 0 4 1 1 30 19 5 3 4 33 1 0.90
Tim Lincecum SFG 6/23/2009 7/9/2009 4 4 0 4 2 1 31.2 15 4 4 8 37 1 1.14
Ricky Romero TOR 6/21/2009 7/6/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 28.1 21 5 5 11 25 1 1.59
Randy Wells CHC 6/21/2009 7/6/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 26.2 23 7 7 4 17 3 2.36
Ricky Nolasco FLA 6/18/2009 7/5/2009 4 4 0 4 1 0 28 15 5 3 3 32 2 0.96
Tommy Hanson ATL 6/12/2009 6/28/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 23 18 2 2 16 13 0 0.78
Jered Weaver LAA 5/27/2009 6/14/2009 4 4 0 4 1 1 30 17 4 4 9 29 0 1.20
Matt Harrison TEX 4/27/2009 5/14/2009 4 4 0 4 2 1 30 22 6 6 2 18 0 1.80
Derek Lowe ATL 4/25/2009 5/11/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 25.1 24 12 12 9 17 2 4.26
Scott Richmond TOR 4/15/2009 5/3/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 26.1 20 8 6 10 22 3 2.05
Joel Pineiro STL 4/10/2009 4/27/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 26.1 30 11 11 6 6 1 3.76
Chad Billingsley LAD 4/8/2009 4/23/2009 4 4 0 4 0 0 26.1 14 6 6 9 26 0 2.05

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