Sunday, May 24, 2015


Last night we had two more of those faux complete games when the Cards-Royals game got called in the sixth inning, rewarding John Lackey (the losing pitcher who went five innings) and Edinson Volquez (who went six in a 3-2 KC win) with what we will charitably call "shorties." (We will not delve even further below our usual lack of decorum by illustrating this dual feat with images of pygmies--though it's tempting.)

As we'd mentioned a few posts back, we were curious about the number of these "shorties" (CGs that are less than 8 IP in length) and so we went to Forman et fils and traced down the data, which is presented in one of our trademarked "decade-and-year" tables (over at the left).

If this data was charted, you can see that it would be another variant in the series of "Baseball Extinction Charts"--but we've got to admit that we thought there would be much more of these in the past than was actually the case. The truth is that this phenomenon has never been hugely significant, and is now official scarce (only four years with "shorties" in double figures since 1980).

We will note, though--just because we can--that the lifetime leader in  faux complete games is Bobo Newsom, who managed to rack up ten of them during his career. It would be nice to say that the colorful and well-traveled Bobo might have managed to lose 'em all, but as we've seen, it's usually quite hard to lose CGs. Bobo gave it the old college try, however: his shortened CGs wound up producing a 5-5 won-loss record. (By way of comparison, Lefty Grove was 6-0 in his "shorty" CGs.)

On Thursday night (May 21) there were two 9-inning CGs, turned in by the Cubs' Kyle Hendricks (who shut out the Padres, limiting San Diego to five hits) and the Blue Jays' R.A. Dickey, who gave up the most runs (four) in a winning CG thus far in 2015.