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Cliff Lee throws first shutout with double-digit strikeouts and under 100 pitches since 2009

Apr 15, 2011, 11:46 AM EDT

Cliff Lee phillies throwing

Cliff Lee was brilliant against the Nationals last night, hurling a complete-game shutout while allowing just three hits and one walk.

He also struck out 12 and needed only 99 pitches to record 27 outs, becoming the first pitcher since Chris Carpenter in 2009 to throw a complete-game shutout with double-digit strikeouts while using fewer than 100 pitches.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com, here’s a list of all the pitchers to accomplish that since 2000:

                        DATE     SO     PIT
Cliff Lee            4-14-11     12      99
Chris Carpenter       9-7-09     10      99
Chris Carpenter      6-14-05     10      95
Roy Halladay         5-29-05     10      99
Roy Oswalt           4-16-04     10      91
Mike Mussina          5-1-01     10      99
Curt Schilling       4-10-01     10      93

It has happened only seven times in 10-plus seasons and Lee is the only guy to have more than 10 strikeouts in a sub-100-pitch shutout.

Also worth noting: Of the seven such games, two belong to Carpenter, two belong to retired guys, and the other three belong to current members of the Phillies’ rotation. Which makes me wonder if anyone has written anything about Philadelphia’s starting pitching likely being good this season?

  1. Old Gator - Apr 15, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Merciless. It was like watching a bird spider working on a canary.

  2. BC - Apr 15, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Can’t believe Halliday didn’t do that over the past 3 or 4 years. He never walks anybody. Gets a lot of ground balls. Hmm.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Apr 15, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      He doesn’t strike out ten guys all that often. Two times in 2009 and three times in 2010. Oddly in the three double-digit strike out games last year, he had two poor performances (5 earned in 7 innings, 4 earned in 8) and a perfect game.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Apr 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        hidden behind sunglasses guy is an 8. so four earned runs in eight innings

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 15, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Thanks Cliff for giving me a phightin’ chance in my fantasy match-up, but seriously, screw you dude.

    • nudeman - Apr 15, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      Whatever

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Apr 15, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        Dude, put some clothes on and hush.

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 15, 2011 at 2:34 PM

      Cliffy just called me and said screw you, too, and stop fantasizing about him—it freaks out Sarah Madson.

  4. trevorb06 - Apr 15, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Was the last one to the Mariners?

  5. jimbo1949 - Apr 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Lee dominating the Natinals: damning with faint praise or lefthanded compliment?

  6. seeingwhatsticks - Apr 15, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Let’s see him do that against a big league lineup.

    • bleedgreen - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      Not to be a prick, but if they’re so terrible, and this was no feat, why hasn’t someone done the same thing to them in the past 2 years?

    • mercyflush - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      like the Giants lineup? lol

      • seeingwhatsticks - Apr 16, 2011 at 1:55 AM

        That would be a start since he couldn’t come close to that in the World Series.

      • mercyflush - Apr 17, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        it’s not 2010 anymore Giants fans. back to reality for you.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Apr 17, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        Back to the reality of winning 4 in a row and having one less win than the Phillies?

      • handsfour - May 3, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        that would now be the reality of being 13-15 and shut out 3 times in 6 games by the Pirates and Nationals.

  7. bleedgreen - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    And half of the guys on that list are starting for the Phils!

  8. bigharold - Apr 15, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    From 161st and River Ave: Cliff who?

  9. Lukehart80 - Apr 15, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    I realize the list may be incomplete because there is not complete pitch data if you go back too far, but the only other player in history with a 12+, 99 pitch or less shutout is Koufax. That’s pretty good company to be keeping.

    My friends and I refer to a 99 pitches or less shutout (regardless of the K total) as a “Maddux,” for reasons that I’m sure are obvious. I was surprised to see this was only Lee’s second Maddux, not that two such performances is anything to scoff at.

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