Friday, August 1, 2014

2014: COMPLETE GAMES #67, #68, #69, #70, #71

Well, that will teach you. Mouth off about a long gap in complete games, and before you can say "roid rage" an entire handful of 'em rain down on you.

Five, to be exact, in the past four days. First, travelin' man Vance Worley, currently with the Pirates, whose beefy frame and unstylish frames (translation: he's chunky and wears glasses...) make him a sentimental favorite, got his game on last Monday (7/28), shutting out the Giants on four hits in a 5-0 win.

Next, the Indians' Corey Kluber, rounding into an ace at age 28, tossed his second CG of the season (the first was back on April 24th against the Royals), a three-hit shutout vs. the Mariners on Wednesday (7/30). No one has been more economical in a CG win this season than Corey was in this game: he needed only 85 pitches. (Jordan Zimmerman threw just 76 in his CG on 6/13, but it was an eight-inning CG loss.)

#3 was actually a bit earlier that evening: down in Houston, the Astros' ace Dallas Keuchel four-hit the A's en route to an 8-1 win. (It may have been this game that gave A's GM Billy Beane the extra incentive to deal for Jon Lester, as Jason Hammel made his fourth consecutive rocky start since coming over from the Cubs.)

Yesterday, we had a true rarity: two CGs in the same game--which, of course, means one win and one loss. How rare is it for two pitchers to go the distance in the same game these days? In 2014, this is only the second time that it's happened (not counting that five-inning rain-shortened game in mid-July). It only happened twice in 2013 as well.

The loser: Julio Teheran of the Braves, who was actually pinch-hit for in the top of the ninth when the Braves mounted an unsuccessful effort to tie the score. Teheran struck out nine and allowed only five hits, but he was tagged with the loss.

The winner: Clayton Kershaw, in his fourth full-length CG of the season. (He had one of the four five-inning CGs that we don't add to our official count.) Clayton allowed the most hits of any pitcher whose 2014 CG also resulted in a win (nine), but he was helped out by the Dodgers defense, who turned three double plays behind him. Final score: Los Angeles 2, Atlanta 1.

That flurry of CGs has brought the projected 2014 total back up to: 107.