Jordan Zimmermann, who's rounded into a fine "finesse" pitcher for the Washington Nationals over the past three years, found the right team in the right park at the exact right time yesterday. At San Diego's Petco Park, Jordan hurled a two-hit shutout against the slumping Padres, striking out 12.
How slumping are the Padres? Zimmermann's rotation mate Tanner Roark threw a similar game on Friday night, striking out 11 Padres in eight innings. The final scores in each game were identical: Nats 6, Padres 0.
There was another complete game on Sunday, but it was one shortened by rain. Clayton Kershaw was given credit for a CG when the Dodgers-Rockies game was called in the middle of the sixth inning.
Since 1914 (according to the Play Index at Forman et fils), there have been 1318 CGs where the pitcher threw less than eight innings. That amounts to just under 2% of all CGs (1.6%, to be exact). Oddly, as complete games continue to decrease, these "phantom" CGs have become a higher percentage of the total (since 2006, the percentage is 3.8%).
For our purposes here, then, we've decided to omit these shortened CGs from the list. We'll note them when they happen, but we will keep a separate count that reflects only games that go the full distance.
That also affects the number of CGs that we would consider to be the lowest total achieved over a single season, which occurred in 2007. There were four "foreshortened" CGs that season, which reduces that all-time low number to 108 (from 112).
So that is the new number that the 2014 managers have to shoot for in their quest to "lower the bar" WRT CGs.