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Webb's scoreless streak reaches 42 innings*
2007-08-18 08:27
by Bob Timmermann

For the first time since 1988 when Orel Hershiser set the alltime record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings, a pitcher has passed 40 straight scoreless innings. Brandon Webb of Arizona shut out the Braves in Atlanta, 4-0 to run his scoreless string to 42 innings.

Webb last gave up a run in the sixth inning of a 6-2 loss at Chicago on July 20 when he Jacque Jones got an RBI single off of him. Webb pitched a scoreless seventh. (#1)

  • Then seven scoreless innings at Flordia on July 25. (2-8)
  • Seven scoreless innings at San Diego on July 31. (9-15)
  • Nine scoreless innings at Los Angeles on August 5. (16-24)
  • Nine scoreless innings at home against Washington on August 11. (25-33)
  • Nine scoreless innings at Atlanta on August 17. (34-42)

The last pitcher to throw three consecutive complete game shutouts was Roger Clemens with Toronto in 1998.

Webb's next start should be Wednesday, August 22 at home against Milwaukee.

Update - Webb's streak is listed as 42 innings and not 42 1/3 because of a ruling by the Elias Sports Bureau back in 1968 when Don Drysdale has his 58 inning scoreless streak.

From the Los Angeles Times, September 27, 1988:

Seymour Siwoff, the respected head of the Elias News Bureau, official statistician for the American and National leagues, informed the Dodgers before Hershiser's last start in San Francisco that the record should be 58, period.

That's the way it has been listed in the Elias' record book-generally considered the most authoritative in a sport that has no official book-since Drysdale set the record in 1968.

"We didn't just do this. It's been there for 20 years. Where have these people been?" Siwoff said of critics of last week's interpretation.

Siwoff said he did not act arbitrarily in 1968, nor has he now. He said that his initial interpretation was based on a decision by the Baseball Writers Assn. of America, unofficial guardians of baseball's performance records, at the 1968 World Series.

The writers decided that in terms of a scoreless or hitless streak a starting pitcher should not be credited with a partial inning if the opposition scores in that inning.

The writers have long served as an ad hoc adjunct to baseball's scoring and rules committee, which, on Siwoff's urging, formally endorsed the original interpretation in 1980, the year that the Sporting News' record book dropped the fraction from 58.


2007-08-17 21:05:15
1.   Jon Weisman
How come Webb doesn't get credit for 1 1/3 scoreless innings July 20 to start the streak?
2007-08-17 21:13:03
2.   Bob Timmermann
You don't get credit for partial innings unless there is no other way to figure it out.

Hershiser's record is 59.
Drysdale is second at 58. Not 58.6666.

2007-08-17 23:26:57
3.   das411
...doesn't that seem a little, um, arbitrary though Bob?
2007-08-18 07:39:03
4.   Bob Timmermann
I don't make the rules here.
2007-08-18 13:26:32
5.   Daniel Zappala
I guess Hershiser's innings in the playoffs don't count?
2007-08-18 13:37:26
6.   Bob Timmermann
No they don't.

That's another issue.

2007-08-19 12:58:20
7.   Bill Crain
Seymour Siwoff is a jerk.

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