Flashback Friday: Bob Gibson’s 17 Strikeouts

We’ve heard Bob Gibson’s name a lot in the past couple of days, leading up to the announcement of the National League MVP yesterday. Clayton¬†Kershaw of the Dodgers became the first ¬†NL pitcher named the Most Valuable Player since Gibson in 1968, with each winning the Cy Young Award also.

bob-gibsonIt’s always amazing to look back at Gibson’s stats from that year. The most incredible, and likely most well known, is the 1.12 ERA. Looking at his game log from 1968, the highest ERA he had at any point was 2.35 — on April 20, after his third start of the season. It was 0.96 after starts on July 25 and July 30, and was 0.99 on Sept. 2 after his 10th shutout of the year.

In that 10th shutout, a 10-inning 1-0 win over the Reds, he pitched all 10 innings and allowed just four hits.

Speaking of shutouts, he had five straight complete game shutouts from June 6 to June 26, allowing 21 total hits in those games and striking out 35. He walked five, but none in two of the games.

Let that sink in for a moment. Five straight complete game shutouts.

His record, which probably also is familiar, was 22-9 — and it’s the number of losses that’s so surprising. But two were by scores of 1-0, one was 2-0 and two were 3-2. He won 15 consecutive games between June 2 and Aug. 24. There were only three games all season in which he had no decision, including his first two starts of the year. Continue reading

All Hail, Matt Carpenter!

In last night’s 12-8 Cardinals victory over the Pirates that pretty much had everything, one player just did what he’s been doing all season: Matt Carpenter.

Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Carpenter led off the Cardinals first with a walk, scored on a Carlos Beltran single, tripled in the third, scored on a Jon Jay double, doubled in the seventh — the third of the Cardinals nine consecutive hits for the inning — and scored when Jon Jay singled.

Last night he tied Albert Pujols for the most hits in a season at Busch Stadium III with 98. (Chances are excellent he’ll break it, don’ t you think?) With his double — his 47th of the season — he surpassed Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby for most by a Cardinals second baseman in a season.

Carpenter is hitting .423/.464/.731 in September and has hit in every game this month (plus on Aug. 31, so he has a seven-game hit streak). He had the only Cardinal hits — two — in their 1-0 loss in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Continue reading