Sunday, October 4, 2015

2015: COMPLETE GAMES #88-#99

Yes, that's right. We are down to the last day of the 2015 season, and we are sitting on 99 complete games. (Now, we know that the total at Forman et fils says 103, but please recall that we don't "recognize" short-inning CGs--any of them that are less than eight innings in length).

So if we can get through today without another CG, we will (according to us, at any rate) have achieved the next level in baseball extinction.

We aren't betting on it happening today, however. There are 32 team-games today, and odds are good that there will be at least one CG out of that mix.

Staying with our log of 2015 CGs, here are the most recent twelve of them that have occurred since our last accounting:

#88 (9/12) Madison Bumgarner, SF (vs. SD, one-hit ShO, 9Ks)
#89 (9/15) Josh Tomlin, CLE (vs. KC, a 2-1 loss)
#90 (9/15) Jon Lester, CHC (vs. PIT, 2-1 win, 5-hitter)
#91 (9/16) Jorge de la Rosa, COL (vs. LAD, a 2-1 loss)
#92 (9/21) Jeff Samardzija, CHW (vs. DET, one-hit ShO)

#93 (9/22) Jake Arrieta, CHC (vs. MIL, three-hit ShO, 11Ks)
#94 (9/25) Rich Hill, BOS (vs. BAL, two-hit ShO, 10Ks)
#95 (9/25) Carlos Carrasco, CLE (vs. KC, one-hit ShO, 15Ks)
#96 (9/29) Clayton Kershaw, LA (vs. SF, one-hit ShO, 13Ks)
#97 (9/30) Mike Leake, SF (vs. LAD, two-hit ShO)

#98 (10/2) Alfredo Simon, DET (vs. CHW, a 2-1 loss)
#99 (10/3) Max Scherzer, WAS (vs. NYM, no-hitter, 17Ks)

We remain on the cusp...

A few quick facts related to 2015 CGs:

--Pitchers' WPCT in these games, which had a slow start this year, eventually returned to something close to the historical average (.778, 77-22).

--Two AL teams, the Royals and the Astros, have had by far the most CGs thrown against them this year, with ten and eight respectively. The Royals, as befitting a season where they've continued last year's post-season overachievement into an entire adjacent year, have managed to win four of those games, which (as you'd suspect) is the highest total for that in 2015.

--Another AL team, the Indians, has the most CGs by its pitchers this year, with a total of 11.

Some may say that CGs have become as scarce as they are trivial. But somehow they become more intriguing as they become more endangered. Just how far will this trend go? Would altering the strike zone a la 1962-63 produce an uptick, or are baseball insiders now so locked into the mega-bullpen mishegoss that even a full return to deadball-era offense wouldn't turn the tide?