In 1968, Bob Gibson posted a 1.12 ERA -- the lowest for a qualifying pitcher since 1914. In 1978, Ron Guidry went 25-3 with a 1.74 ERA -- tied for the lowest ERA in the American League during the designated-hitter era. In 1972, Steve Carlton struck out 310 batters, posted a 1.97 ERA and won 27 games for a Phillies team that had a total of 59 victories. In 1931, Lefty Grove won 31 games, posted a 2.06 ERA and struck out 175 batters -- all figures good enough to top all other Major League pitchers. In 1965, Sandy Koufax, like Grove, won the Major League pitching Triple Crown and also set a new modern-era record for strikeouts, with 382.
In 2000, Pedro Martinez put up a 291 ERA+, the highest for any pitcher since Tim Keefe in 1880. In 1995, Greg Maddux owned a 1.63 ERA and a 0.811 WHIP -- the lowest in the Majors since Walter Johnson's 0.780 in 1913. In 1985, Dwight Gooden went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts as a 20-year-old. In 1972, Gaylord Perry put up a 1.92 ERA in 342 2/3 innings. In 1920, Pete Alexander posted a league-leading 1.91 ERA in a league-leading 363 1/3 innings, and also topped the National League in wins, strikeouts and ERA+.
These are among the greatest single-season pitching performances in the live-ball era: iconic, sustained masterpieces that contain enough impact to still amaze today. But none of these men was able to achieve the feat authored by R.A. Dickey over his past two performances in 2012.
Dickey threw a one-hit shutout, struck out a career-high 13 and walked two to improve to 11-1 on the season in the Mets' 5-0 win against the Orioles on Monday.
In his start on June 13, Dickey threw a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts. With his numbers in these back-to-back starts, Dickey became the first pitcher since Dave Stieb in 1988 and the ninth pitcher since 1918 to throw back-to-back one-hitters.
Pitchers since 1918 to throw back-to-back one-hitters
|Howard Ehmke||9/7 & 9/11, 1923||18||1||6:2|
|Dazzy Vance||9/8 & 9/13, 1925||18||1||15:1|
|Lon Warneke||4/17 & 4/22, 1934||18||2||18:8|
|Johnny Vander Meer||6/11 & 6/15, 1938||18||0||11:11|
|Mort Cooper||5/31 & 6/4, 1943||18||2||7:3|
|Jim Tobin||4/23 & 4/27, 1944||18||1||6:3|
|Sam McDowell||4/25 & 5/1, 1966||18||2||18:11|
|Dave Stieb||9/24 & 9/30, 1988||18||2||12:3|
|R.A. Dickey||6/13 & 6/18, 2012||18||2||25:2|
Dickey -- who has 25 strikeouts and two walks in his past two games -- is the fifth pitcher in Mets history to have back-to-back games of at least 12 strikeouts. He joins Tom Seaver in 1970 (27 strikeouts to six walks), Gooden in '84 (32 to 0), Gooden in '85 (26 to 3) and David Cone in '88 (24 to 5).
Dickey's 13 strikeouts gave him four double-digit-strikeout games this season -- most in the Majors. Dickey also leads or is tied for the lead in the Majors in WAR, ERA, wins, winning percentage, WHIP, strikeouts and complete games.
Dickey's start produced a game score of 96. In his previous start, his line produced a score of 95. He is the only pitcher since 1918 to have back-to-back starts with a score of at least 95.
Dickey has three career one-hitters, with his other coming on Aug. 13, 2010. He is one of seven active pitchers to have at least three complete games with one or no hits allowed. The full list:
Matt Cain (4): three one-hitters and a perfect game
Anibal Sanchez (4): three one-hitters and a no-hitter
Mark Buehrle (3): one one-hitter, one no-hitter, one perfect game
Roy Halladay (3): two one-hitters and a perfect game
Tim Hudson (3): three one-hitters
Justin Verlander (3): one one-hitter and two no-hitters
Dickey (3): three one-hitters
Dickey joins Seaver as the only pitchers in Mets history to have at least three one-hitters. Seaver had five, four of them shutouts.
In his past six starts, Dickey is 6-0, has allowed two runs (one earned), owns a 0.18 ERA, has allowed 21 hits in 48 2/3 innings and has 63 strikeouts against five walks.
CC Sabathia allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out 10 with one walk, and went the distance to pick up his ninth win of the season in the Yankees' 6-2 win against the Braves on Monday.
The win was the 185th of Sabathia's career, and the 10 strikeouts increased his career total to 2,119. Sabathia moved past Steve Carlton (2,111) for the 14th-most strikeouts for any pitcher through his age-31 season since 1893. His 185 victories are the 18th most for all pitchers through their age-31 season since 1893.
Sabathia has 31 career games with 10 or more strikeouts, tying Tim Lincecum and Hideo Nomo for the 35th most for any pitcher since 1918.
Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, giving him 934 career multihit games. That total ties him with Eddie Murray for the seventh most for any player since 1918. Jeter, with 3,177 hits, is just seven hits away from tying Cal Ripken Jr. on the all-time list.
The Yankees' win against the Braves was their 10th straight victory.
The winning streak is the longest in the Majors this season, and the longest for the Yankees since capturing 10 in a row in 2005. All 10 of these wins have come in Interleague Play.
During their 10 consecutive wins, the Yankees' team ERA is 1.89, and New York has outscored its opponents, 52-21.
1876-2012: Most Hits Through Age-22 Season, Players with 75% of Games at SS
|*His age-22 season was completed in 2011|
Starlin Castro went 3-for-5 and hit his sixth home run of the season as the Cubs used five homers and 15 hits to defeat the White Sox, 12-3. Castro -- in his age-22 season -- has 430 career hits. Dating back to 1876, that total is the ninth most for any shortstop through his age-22 season.
Aaron Hill went 4-for-4 and became the second player in 2012 to hit for the cycle. Hill, who joined the Mets' Scott Hairston as the only players to achieve the feat this year, is the fifth player in D-backs history to hit for the cycle. The others: Luis Gonzalez (2000), Greg Colbrunn (2002), Stephen Drew (2008) and Kelly Johnson (2010). Before Hill, the Majors' most recent cycle by a second baseman had been authored by Johnson.
In the Giants' 5-3 win over the Angels, Melky Cabrera went 3-for-5 for his Major League-leading 32nd multihit game of the year. Cabrera's 32 are the most for a Giants player through 68 team games since Bill Terry had 32 in 1935.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.