The Cleveland Indians yesterday defeated the Kansas City Royals, 12-0. It was the second time this season that the Indians won a game by a score of 12-0; on June 19 they had a 12-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Since 1913, there have now been 503 MLB games where a team scored 12 or more runs and shutout their opponent. There have been three such games in 2017… in addition to the two Cleveland wins noted above, on July 8th, Atlanta clobbered the Washington Nationals 13-0.
The most runs scored by a team in a shutout victory are 22 (it has happened twice). The Indians on August 31, 2004 defeated the New York Yankees 22-0; on September 16, 1975, the Pirates won 22-0 over the Chicago Cubs.
While we celebrated the Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series in 2016, Cleveland Indians fans for the second time in almost two decades lost a Game 7 in the World Series. Back in 1997, the Tribe lost in Game 7 to the Florida Marlins. The franchise finally got back to the World Series again last season, but another Game 7 loss prevented a World Series crown and celebration for the city.
Over the past 40-plus seasons (since 1969 when baseball went from two leagues, American and National, to two divisions in each league), there has been 16 teams that have lost a Game 7 in the World Series… the Indians’ loss last year was the 16th time. Of the previous 15 times, 13 of those franchises that lost a Game 7 in the World Series eventually made it back to the World Series. Of those previous 15 times, 12 eventually won a World series.
Let’s take a look at the franchises since 1969 that have lost a World Series Game 7 and if/when they made it back to the World Series and if/when they won a World Series title.
|Team, year they lost game 7 of World Series||Back to World Series||Won World Series|
|Kansas City, 2014||2015||2015|
|Texas, 2011||(not yet)||(not yet)|
|San Francisco, 2002||2010||2010|
|New York Yankees, 2001||2003||2009|
|Cleveland, 1997||2016||(not yet)|
|St. Louis, 1987||2004||2006|
|St. Louis, 1985||1987||2006|
|Milwaukee, 1982||(not yet)||(not yet)|
|New York Mets, 1973||1986||1986|
As you can see, the Milwaukee Brewers have been waiting a long time to atone for that Game 7 loss in the 1982 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, more than 30 years since they have been back to the World Series as a franchise.
One final stat: Of the previous 15 teams that lost a Game 7 in the World Series since 1969, seven of the 15 made the playoffs the following year; in addition, four of the 15 had a winning percentage under .500 the year after they lost that Game 7 in the Fall Classic.
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In his first seven starts this season, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber, had an 0-5 record and didn’t look anything like the dominant pitcher he was in 2014.
That all changed last night. Kluber pitched eight innings of one-hit ball against the St. Louis Cardinals in his team’s 2-0 win. Kluber had 18 strikeouts and no walks in the game.
Kluber became the 20th pitcher since 1914 to fan 18 or more in a game and the first since Milwaukee’s Ben Sheets had 18 K’s against Atlanta on May 16, 2004. It was also the 30th game where a pitcher had 18+ strikeouts. Four pitchers have fanned 18 or more in multiple games: Nolan Ryan (five), Randy Johnson (four), Roger Clemens (three) and Sandy Koufax (two). One interesting note about Kluber’s 18-strikeout performance is that he is only the second pitcher to amass that many strikeouts in a game while pitching less than nine innings. The other was Randy Johnson.
Kluber’s gem last night was the 238th game in MLB history where a pitcher had 15 or more strikeouts. It was also the 38th game where a pitcher had 15 or more strikeouts and no walks. The last time it happened was just four days ago when the New York Yankees’ Michael Pineda had 16 strikeouts and no walks in his team’s win over Baltimore.
The 18-strikeout, no walks performance by Kluber was only the eighth time in MLB history that a pitched fanned that many in a game without giving up a walk. This was the first such game since May 8, 2001 when Randy Johnson fanned 20 and walked none in that game.
Here are the eight pitchers who have now struck out 18 or more in a game with no walks.
Corey Kluber, 5/13/2015, 18 strikeouts
Randy Johnson, 5/8/2001, 20 strikeouts
Roger Clemens, 8/28/1998, 18 strikeouts
Kerry Wood, 5/6/1998, 20 strikeouts
Randy Johnson, 6/24/1997, 19 strikeouts
Roger Clemens, 9/18/1996, 20 strikeouts
Roger Clemens, 4/29/1986, 20 strikeouts
Luis Tiant, 7/3/1968, 19 strikeouts
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp