Two St. Louis Cardinals hurlers have current runs of four starts of seven innings or more and two or fewer earned runs. The last time it was done even once to start a season was in 1973.
Previously, we looked at pitching streaks of six or more innings allowing two or fewer earned runs. Since Brad Penny upped the ante on Sunday by tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings at his former San Francisco Giants teammates, this time we’ll look at season-opening runs of seven or more innings while yielding two or fewer earned runs.
This list is much shorter, headed by Alan Foster. As noted in the earlier post, Foster had quite a run in his May/June 1973 Cardinals debut, stringing together six such starts. That is the longest season-opening streak for a Cardinal since at least 1952.
In a clear indication of how relief pitching has changed the game, the current streaks of Penny and Adam Wainwright are the only two runs of four or more of these gems assembled by any St. Louis starter since Foster, some 37 years ago.
Cardinals starting pitchers – Season-opening streak 7+IP and 2 ER or less (1952-2010)
Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the data table above.