Wednesday, May 20, 2009

MLB pitcher once went 16 shutout innings without a win

Back when MLB players made normal salaries and were normal people, starting pitchers were abnormal in the amount of innings they worked.

A complete game was expected; compared to today’s babied pitchers who are considered heroes if they work seven innings.

But, hey, that’s what huge salaries will do to you.

In fact, did you know that Gaylord Perry of the San Francisco Giants pitched 16 shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 1, 1967 at Crosley Field?

And Perry did not even get credit for the win! It took the Giants 21 innings to win, 1-0, as Frank Linzy was credited with the victory for working five shutout innings of relief.

Perry faced 59 batters, struck out 12 and had the option of retiring from the game earlier.

“After the 14th inning, my favorite manager, Herman Franks, said: 'How are you feeling?' I said, 'Herman, I have two more innings in me, then I'm going to the clubhouse,” Perry commented, according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum.

Nowadays, not only do pitchers rarely go seven innings; they rarely stay healthy. Consider for a moment how many pitchers have been injured on your favorite team this season.

Chris Welsh, the outstanding color analyst for the Reds on FOX Sports Ohio, recently questioned the number of oblique injuries these days as he noted how pitchers are bigger and stronger (presumably through weight training.)

“Are these pitchers too strong for their own good?” he wondered. “That’s a question you have to ask.”

Great question. Hopefully, someone will come up with an answer just as good.

1 comment:

sam said...

That's amazing. It would take 10 guys to pitch 16 innings today. My how baseball has changed!!