The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Season-opening strikeout outings like Jaime Garcia’s are rare

To ensure it is not lost in the wreckage of Saturday night’s disappointing 3-2 ninth-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants, researcher Tom Orf pulled the tables below. They put St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia’s second consecutive outing of nine (or more) strikeouts into perspective.

It marks only the third time since 1920 that a Cardinals starter has begun the season with two appearances with nine or more strikeouts each. At least one of the other names is most familiar, that of Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.

St. Louis Cardinals pitchers with nine or more strikeouts per start, first two starts of the season (1920-current)

Streak Start End G W L GS CG SHO IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA HBP WP BK Tm
Jaime Garcia 4/3/2011 4/9/2011+ 2 1 0 2 0 0 15 8 1 1 3 18 0 0.60 1 1 0 STL
Bob Gibson 4/15/1966 4/21/1966 2 2 0 2 2 0 18 10 6 3 2 21 0 1.50 1 1 0 STL
Bill Hallahan 4/18/1930 4/22/1930 2 2 0 2 2 0 18 7 4 3 16 20 1 1.50 0 0 0 STL

Garcia’s start has matched only seven others this past decade across Major League Baseball and is the first such stretch in the last five years. Some very prominent names appear below.

Note that only Curt Schilling in 2002 was able to collect the strikeouts without yielding any runs. Garcia’s ERA is second-best. Pedro Martinez in 2005 and Brandon Duckworth (!) in 2002 had three such starts to open the season. Jaime’s next turn should be on Thursday to open the Cardinals series in Los Angeles.

Pitchers with nine or more strikeouts per start, first two+ starts of the season, MLB this decade (2002-2011)

Streak Start End G W L GS CG SHO IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA HBP WP BK Tm
Jaime Garcia 4/3/2011 4/9/2011+ 2 1 0 2 0 0 15 8 1 1 3 18 0 0.60 1 1 0 STL
Byung-Hyun Kim 4/30/2006 5/5/2006 2 1 0 2 0 0 13 12 5 5 2 18 0 3.29 0 0 0 COL
Pedro Martinez 4/4/2005 4/16/2005 3 1 0 3 1 0 22 8 6 6 4 30 1 2.45 0 3 0 NYM
Roger Clemens 4/8/2005 4/13/2005 2 1 0 2 0 0 14 7 1 1 1 18 1 0.64 0 0 0 HOU
Josh Beckett 4/6/2004 4/11/2004 2 1 0 2 0 0 14 6 2 1 4 20 0 0.64 2 0 0 FLA
Brandon Duckworth 4/5/2002 4/16/2002 3 1 0 3 0 0 19 13 5 5 6 30 3 2.37 2 2 0 PHI
Kerry Wood 4/3/2002 4/10/2002 2 1 0 2 0 0 12 7 3 3 8 20 0 2.25 0 0 0 CHC
Curt Schilling 4/2/2002 4/7/2002 2 2 0 2 1 1 16 7 0 0 2 26 0 0.00 0 0 0 ARI

Follow me on Twitter.
Follow The Cardinal Nation Blog on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.