Kershaw, Tiant and One Other Guy……

Friday night Clayton Kershaw took to the hill in Pittsburgh sporting his 37 consecutive inning scoreless streak. In a pregame report on the MLB Network, it was stated that Kershaw had joined Luis Tiant as the only pitchers to have consecutive scoreless innings streaks of 35 innings or more in two separate seasons.

The drama lasted exactly one pitch…..As the Bucs right fielder Gregory Polanco took him deep.

In 2014 Clayton Kershaw flipped 41.2 scoreless innings from June 13th through July 10th. His 2015 streak ended at 37 innings on Friday nights first pitch.

The 27 year old lefty’s streak began this year on July 3rd in the fourth inning against the Mets. It lasted 35 days through five starts, two of which were complete game shutouts; against the Phillies at home and the Mets on the road. The other two starts were eight inning outings against the Nationals in Washington and at home against the Angels last week.

Let’s take a look at his numbers through the stretch. He pitched 37 innings (duh), went 4-0. He struck out 49 and had, ready for this? One walk! He allowed but 17 hits and his opponents hit .135 against him. Of those 17 hits, two were for extra bases, both doubles. His strikeouts per 9 innings was 11.9 and he allowed 4.1 hits per nine innings. His WHIP (walks plus hits/IP) was a microscopic 0.486. To get an idea of just how miniscule that is, the lowest one on record for a single season is 0.737 by Pedro Martinez in 2000.

Last season his streak began in the fourth inning on June 13th in Dodger Stadium against the Diamondbacks. He went seven innings surrendering a run in the third, garnering the win. His following start was against the Rockies and the young lefty made history.

On June 18, 2014 Kershaw no-hit Colorado, punching out 15 and walking nobody in the Dodgers 8-0 win.

Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error leading off the seventh was all that came between Kershaw and perfection.

His 2014 streak covered six starts, one complete game shutout, the no-no, and 41.2 innings. It lasted 27 days and he went 6-0; beating the Diamondbacks, Royals, Padres, Cardinals and the Rockies twice.

Now for the fun stuff, the numbers. He struck out 50 and walked 6 while allowing 17 hits and his opponents hit .121 against him. Of the 17 hits he allowed in this streak three (doubles) were for extra bases. His strikeouts per nine innings was 10.7, his hits per nine was 3.6 and his WHIP was 0.551.

Luis Tiant’s two separate season streaks took place in 1968 with the Cleveland Indians, 41 innings and in 1972 with the Red Sox, 40 innings.

El Tiante’s 41 straight scoreless innings went from April 28-May 17 1968.

On April 20th Tiant was pitching in Fenway against the Red Sox. He took a 1-0 lead into the fourth. Mike Andrews singled to lead off the inning and he walked Joe Foy. After Yaz flied out to center, Reggie Smith took him deep. Down 3-1, Luis was pinched hit for leading off the fifth.

His next start came eight days later in the second game of a double-header in Washington’s DC Stadium. He flipped a two hit shutout. Luis 41 innings covered five starts in a span of 19 days. He went 4-1 during the streak with four complete game shutouts against the aforementioned Senators, Twins, Yankees and Orioles. In his fifth start against Baltimore he hurled five scoreless innings before giving up a three run homer to “Boog” Powell and he would eventually be on the short end of a 6-2 loss.

He had 42 strikeouts and 11 walks while giving up only 16 hits (2 doubles) leaving his opponents with a batting average of .116. His strikeouts per nine innings was 9.2, his hits per nine was 3.5 and his WHIP was 0.658.

Following arm injuries, trades and finally being cut by the Minnesota Twins on the last day of camp in 1971, Luis found himself in the minors; first with the Richmond Braves and then with the Red Sox AAA affiliate in Louisville, appropriately enough.

After going 21-8 in 1968 and leading the league with a 1.60 ERA, arm woes befell Tiant and following a 9-20 “69” season he was traded to the Twins, along with Stan Williams. The Indians received Dean Chance, Bob Miller, Graig Nettles and Ted Uhlaender.

By June of 1971, he was back in Boston as he struggled through the summer bouncing back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen.

It was more of the same in 1972 and on August 16th Luis stood with a respectable record of 6-4 with a 2.95 ERA. He had pitched in 32 games, eight of them starts. He had three saves and four blown saves.


Three nights later came a start in Chicago. The result, a 3-0, two hit shutout. Luis was off and running again. Forty innings and 20 days would pass before Tiant surrendered another run and in that stretch of five starts Luis went 5-0 with four complete game shutouts in a row. He gave up only 16 hits with two doubles being the only extra base variety.

Throughout this particular stretch, Tiant had 32 K’s, 9 walks and his opponents hit .122 against him. His hits per nine innings was 3.6, his strikeouts per nine was 7.2 and his WHIP was 0.625.

For the next six seasons Luis Tiant as the ace of the Red Sox staff, one of baseball’s best pitchers of the decade and one of the Fenway Faithful’s all time favorite players; a mantle he holds to this day!

Friday night Clayton Kershaw took to the hill in Pittsburgh sporting his 37 consecutive inning scoreless streak. In a pregame report on the MLB Network, it was stated that Kershaw had joined Luis Tiant as the only pitchers to have consecutive scoreless innings streaks of 35 innings or more in two separate seasons.

However, baseball almanac lists another fellow, who was not bad, that the MLB Network seems to have overlooked.

Walter Johnson threw a stretch of 40 consecutive scoreless innings in May of 1918 AND in 1913 he threw a stretch of 55.2 scoreless innings. A major league record he held for 55 years.

So, if I may add an addendum to this story; In the summer of 1972, Luis Tiant joined Walter Johnson as the only two pitchers to hurl consecutive scoreless innings streaks of 40 innings or more in two separate seasons.

That fact remains true!

And so it is on this day in Fenway history, August 10, 2015.





About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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1 Response to Kershaw, Tiant and One Other Guy……

  1. Garry Armstrong says:

    El Tiante – Magnifico!!

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