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The Big Train kept rolling all day long
2008-05-15 06:00
by Bob Timmermann

It was 90 years ago today when Walter Johnson became the third pitcher to throw an 18-inning shutout, which is the record for the longest complete game shutout.

Monte Ward of Providence had an 18-inning shutout in 1882, but he was only pitching from 50 feet away. Ed Summers of the Tigers shut out Washington for 18 innings on July 16, 1909, but that game ended in a scoreless tie.

However, Johnson and the Senators were able to score a 1-0 win over the White Sox on this day 90 years ago. One of a major league record 38 1-0 wins in his career. Grover Alexander is second in this category with 17 and Bert Blyleven is third at 15.



Johnson matched up against Claude Williams of the White Sox for this game. Chicago had won the World Series the year before, but the Sox had lost many of their stars to military service for World War I. Both Joe Jackson and Eddie Collins were not in the lineup for the White Sox on this day.

Both teams used only nine players and from the boxscore it appears that the game must have moved pretty quickly. Johnson struck out nine batters in 18 innings and Williams struck out 3. Johnson walked 2 and Williams walked 1. Johnson gave up 10 hits and Williams just 8.

With one out in the bottom of the 18th, Washington catcher Eddie Ainsmith singled and went to third on a single by Johnson, who batted .267 on that year. Williams then skipped a pitch past catcher Ray Schalk and Ainsmith scored to end the game.

I checked three boxscores for the game, but none of them had a time for the game, but I would be surprised if it went lasted more than 3:45.

Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants would become the last pitcher to toss an 18-inning shutout. It came in the first game of a doubleheader against St. Louis on July 2, 1933. The Giants won the nightcap by a 1-0 score also. The first game lasted 4:03, but the second game was over in 85 minutes. The 2007 Boston Red Sox played three nine inning games that were longer than 4:03.

The last pitcher in the majors to throw an extra-inning complete game shutout was Mark Mulder of St. Louis on April 23, 2005 against Houston. The last one longer than 10 innings was back on August 1, 1990 when Dave Stewart went 11 innings to beat Seattle.

"Recently", Juan Marichal of San Francisco threw a 16-inning 1-0 shutout against Warren Spahn of the Braves on July 2, 1963. July 2 is apparently the designated day for Giants pitchers to throw a lot of pitches.

There have been 121 extra inning complete game shutouts since 1956.

Back on April 15, 1905, when Walter Johnson was attending Fullerton High, he threw a 15-inning 0-0 shutout against Santa Ana High and struck out 27

2008-05-15 20:15:43
1.   tjshere
I never would have figured you for an Aerosmith guy, Bob.
2008-05-16 10:55:18
2.   grandcosmo
Fullerton High, the cradle of Walter Johnson and Richard Nixon.

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