We nearly had three complete games last night (5/28), but the fateful ninth inning knocked out Anibal Sanchez (left with one out in 9th with a 1-0 lead, only to watch Joe Nathan serve up a walk-off HR to the A's Josh Donaldson) and Felix Hernandez (lost his shutout with two out in the ninth, but had the 3-1 win preserved by Fernando Rodney).
So it was left to A's lefty Scott Kazmir, who scattered six hits against the Tigers over nine innings, to turn in the season's 33rd complete game--and its 124th outing where starting pitchers pitched at least eight innings. Billy Beane, well-touted as a genius for more than a decade, is really looking like one as a result of his off-season signing of Kazmir.
But let's quickly look at that "pitching at least eight innings" thing while we're here. Are we seeing any greater number of such games in 2014 than in past seasons?
The chart tells us the answer: No.
The percentage of starters going 8+ IP is headed down again. As you can see at the tail end of YACSSD (that's Yet Another Chart Showing Systematic Decline...), that percentage bottomed out in 2007 (which also happens to be the year with the fewest CGs ever--112). It rose up over 10% again in 2010-11, but has subsided again.
Right now that 2014 percentage sits at just under 8% (7.9%, to be precise).