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

Cardinals quality start streak pushing 1973 run

With another quality start on Monday night in Philadelphia, the St. Louis Cardinals rotation would establish their longest string of quality starts since 1973.

Chris Carpenter (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)The “quality start” is a stat that is not universally loved. The term is tagged to a starting outing if the pitcher lasts at least six innings and allows three or fewer runs. In reaching the minimum innings with the maximum runs yielded, the resulting 4.50 ERA would hardly be exemplary, critics observe.

Yet in 2010, the five members of the St. Louis Cardinals rotation have been pitching much better than that. Through Chris Carpenter’s seven shutout inning outing against Cincinnati on Sunday, the club has put together a string of 11 consecutive quality starts. The ace started the run, had one in the middle and logged the most recent one as well. The team is 8-3 over their last 11 games.

11 ties the longest run for the Cardinals rotation since 1973. At this exact time of year in 2003, the starters had an 11-game quality streak with Matt Morris as the anchor. So did the group starting in July 1989 led by Jose DeLeon and Joe Magrane.

So far, the longest number of consecutive quality starts researcher Tom Orf has located is 14 in May/June 1973, a time long before the term “quality start” was first coined. 37-year-old Bob Gibson was joined by Rick Wise, Reggie Cleveland, Scipio Spinks and Alan Foster.

The Cardinals have their work cut out for them this week as they head into Philadelphia for a four-game series. Jaime Garcia starts the opener on Monday night, followed by Adam Wainwright, Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse. If they can keep the string going beyond 14, we will try to determine if the Cardinals had a longer run prior to 1973.

Cardinals Starting Pitchers, Consecutive Starts 6+ IP, 3 ER or less, 1973-present

11 games Date Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR
Chris Carpenter 5/2/2010 CIN W 6-0 GS-7 7 2 0 0 3 8 0
Kyle Lohse 5/1/2010 CIN W 6-3 GS-7 7 5 1 1 0 8 0
Brad Penny 4/30/2010 CIN L 2-3 GS-6 ,L 6 8 3 3 5 3 0
Adam Wainwright 4/29/2010 ATL W 10-4 GS-6 ,W 6 6 3 3 2 4 0
Jaime Garcia 4/28/2010 ATL W 6-0 GS-7 ,W 7 4 0 0 1 5 0
Chris Carpenter 4/27/2010 ATL W 5-4 GS-6 ,W 6 3 2 2 3 4 0
Kyle Lohse 4/26/2010 ATL W 4-3 GS-6 6 7 3 3 2 2 0
Brad Penny 4/25/2010 SFG W 2-0 GS-8 ,W 7.2 8 0 0 0 2 0
Adam Wainwright 4/24/2010 SFG L 0-2 CG 8 ,L 8 7 2 2 1 4 0
Jaime Garcia 4/23/2010 SFG L 1-4 GS-6 ,L 6 7 4 2 3 2 0
Chris Carpenter 4/21/2010 ARI W 9-4 GS-8 7 6 3 3 2 10 0
11 games Date Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR
Matt Morris 5/4/2003 MON W 6-2 CG 9 ,W 9 6 2 2 3 6 0
Garrett Stephenson 5/3/2003 MON W 3-1 GS-8 ,W 8 8 1 1 3 5 0
Jason Simontacchi 5/2/2003 MON W 8-1 GS-8 ,W 8 6 1 1 3 1 0
Brett Tomko 5/1/2003 NYM W 6-5 GS-7 6.1 6 2 2 3 2 0
Woody Williams 4/30/2003 NYM W 13-4 GS-7 ,W 7 4 2 2 2 5 0
Matt Morris 4/29/2003 NYM W 13-3 GS-6 ,W 6 5 2 2 2 5 0
Garrett Stephenson 4/27/2003 FLA W 7-6 GS-8 8 4 1 1 5 4 0
Jason Simontacchi 4/26/2003 FLA L 3-5 GS-7 6.1 4 2 2 2 0 1
Brett Tomko 4/25/2003 FLA W 9-2 CG 9 ,W 9 9 2 2 1 3 1
Woody Williams 4/24/2003 ATL L 3-4 GS-7 6.1 11 2 2 1 4 0
Matt Morris 4/23/2003 ATL L 2-4 GS-7 ,L 7 5 2 2 1 3 2
11 games Date Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR
Jose DeLeon 7/31/1989 NYM W 3-2 GS-8 ,W 7.2 3 2 2 3 8 0
Joe Magrane 7/30/1989 MON W 8-3 GS-9 ,W 8.2 8 3 3 1 6 1
Ken Hill 7/29/1989 MON L 0-2 CG 8 ,L 8 6 2 2 0 5 0
Ted Power 7/28/1989 MON W 2-0 GS-7 ,W 7 4 0 0 1 3 0
Jose DeLeon 7/26/1989 CHC W 2-0 GS-8 ,W 8 2 0 0 3 8 0
Joe Magrane 7/25/1989 CHC L 2-4 GS-7 ,L 7 6 3 3 3 5 0
Scott Terry 7/24/1989 CHC L 2-3 GS-7 ,L 7 4 2 2 0 3 0
Ken Hill 7/23/1989 SDP W 3-2 GS-6 ,W 6 5 1 1 4 1 0
Ted Power 7/22/1989 SDP W 5-2 GS-7 ,W 6.2 3 1 1 0 2 1
Jose DeLeon 7/21/1989 SDP W 5-0 GS-7 ,W 7 3 0 0 2 6 0
Joe Magrane 7/20/1989 SDP W 7-1 GS-8 ,W 8 5 1 1 4 5 0
14 games Date Opp Rslt App, Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR
Bob Gibson 6/6/1973 SDP W 6-3 CG 9 ,W 9 5 3 3 0 7 1
Alan Foster 6/5/1973 SDP W 5-3 GS-8 7.2 6 2 2 3 4 1
Scipio Spinks 6/3/1973 HOU W 2-1 GS-8 8 3 1 0 4 1 0
Rick Wise 6/2/1973 HOU W 6-2 CG 9 ,W 9 6 2 1 2 4 0
Reggie Cleveland 6/1/1973 HOU W 4-2 GS-7 ,W 7 8 2 2 2 3 0
Bob Gibson 5/31/1973 CIN L 2-3 CG 9 ,L 9 6 3 3 3 6 1
Alan Foster 5/30/1973 CIN W 5-2 GS-7 7 8 2 2 2 6 2
Scipio Spinks 5/29/1973 CIN W 2-0 GS-6 ,W 6 5 0 0 4 8 0
Rick Wise 5/28/1973 ATL W 3-2 GS-8 ,W 8 5 2 2 2 2 0
Reggie Cleveland 5/27/1973 ATL W 5-4 GS-7 ,W 7 6 4 2 0 2 1
Bob Gibson 5/26/1973 ATL W 2-0 SHO8 ,W 8 4 0 0 2 8 0
Alan Foster 5/25/1973 ATL W 4-1 CG 9 ,W 9 5 1 1 1 4 1
Rick Wise 5/22/1973 NYM W 5-3 GS-9 ,W 8 5 3 3 3 6 0
Reggie Cleveland 1973-05-20 (2) MON W 7-3 GS-9 ,W 8 6 3 2 4 2 0

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