UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
The Strike Zone

Pitching pearls in pairs: Lester, Miller nearly perfect

Shelby Miller gave up a leadoff hit, then set down the next 27 Colorado hitters in order. (Jeff Roberson/AP) Shelby Miller gave up a leadoff hit, then set down the next 27 Colorado hitters in order. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Call it dueling dominance in red: St. Louis' Shelby Miller and Boston's Jon Lester each threw a one-hit, no-walk, complete-game shutout. All Miller allowed was a single by the Rockies’ Eric Young, Jr. to lead off the game; Lester allowed only a sixth-inning double to the Blue Jays’ Maicer Izturis.

Friday night was the first time in baseball history that two pitchers threw one-hit, no-walk complete games on the same night -- or at least since 1916, the earliest season available in Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index database.

Miller’s performance particularly stood out for three reasons:

  1. After the leadoff single, he retired 27 consecutive hitters.
  2. He had 13 strikeouts.
  3. His shutout came against the Rockies, who are the NL’s highest-scoring team.

Lester, who threw a no-hitter against the Royals in May 2008, had five strikeouts on Friday -- which, incidentally, is only one more than the Rays’ Alex Cobb had in a bizarre third inning in which he struck out four Padres and gave up a run but didn’t allow a hit or a walk. (The first strikeout victim, Will Venable, reached on a wild-pitch third strike, then stole second and third base, then scored on a balk by Cobb.) In all, Cobb notched 13 strikeouts while recording only 14 outs, leaving after 4 2/3 innings with three runs allowed.

The stars of the night, of course, were Miller and Lester, whose matching performances called to mind a few other paired masterpieces of the last quarter-century.

June 29, 1990:  The Athletics’ Dave Stewart and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela threw no-hitters on the same night, with Stewart blanking the Blue Jays and Valenzuela denying the Cardinals.

May 3-4, 1996: The Rangers’ Ken Hill and Roger Pavlik threw complete-game, one-hit, no-walk performances against the Tigers on back-to-back days, though the one hit Pavlik allowed was a solo homer, so his wasn’t also a shutout.

May 25, 2001: The Cubs’ Kerry Wood and the Red Sox’ Hideo Nomo both threw complete-game, one-hit shutouts on the same night; both struck out 14 hitters, with Wood walking two and Nomo not walking any. Wood’s performance came against the Brewers one day after his then-teammate, Jon Lieber, had his own complete-game, one-hit shutout (with one walk) against the Reds.

April 26, 2002: The Dodgers’ Odalis Perez and the Mets’ Shawn Estes each threw a complete-game, one-hit shutout on the same night; Estes walked one and Perez didn’t walk any.

June 16, 2012: The Orioles’ Jason Hammel and Ervin Santana, then with the Angels, both threw complete-game, one-hit shutouts on the same night, though each walked a few. R.A. Dickey, then with the Mets, matched the two of them just two days later.

More The Strike Zone

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again