The Most Lopsided Shutouts

This article was written by Ron Liebman

This article was published in the 1976 Baseball Research Journal


The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs played one of the most remarkable games of all time on September 16, 1975 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The game wound up 22-0 Pittsburgh. By the time the game had reached 41/2 innings, the score was already 18-0. The 22-0 score marked the largest shutout score since 1900, eclipsing 2 games of 21-0 which occurred in the American League.

On September 15, 1901, Detroit, the home team, defeated Cleveland 21-0 in the second game of a doubleheader. The game was limited to 7½ innings since Cleveland had to catch a train. On August 13, 1939, Red Ruffing of the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Athletics 21-0 at Philadelphia in the 2nd game of a doubleheader, with the game limited to 8 innings by the Sunday law. But both games were surpassed by Pittsburgh’s 22-0 shutout in 1975, with John Candelaria hurling 7 innings and Ken Brett pitching the last 2 innings. Of course, Brett was not credited with a save! In this game, Rennie Stennett of the Pirates became the second player in history (the other was Wilbert Robinson of the NL Baltimore Orioles in 1892) to get 7 hits in a 9-inning game. Stennett had 4 singles, 2 doubles, and a triple, twice having 2 hits in the same inning.

The National League since 1900 had four games of 19-0, with that score previously representing the modern NL mark. The last time this happened was on the night of June 28, 1969 when the Los Angeles Dodgers, behind Don Drysdale, defeated San Diego 19-0 at San Diego. This was the only complete game pitched by Drysdale in 1969 (his final season) and he scored only one additional win when a score arm caused him to end his 209-win career. The all-time record for the greatest shutout score in major league history is 28-0. Providence of the National League, with the great Hoss Radboum pitching, defeated Philadelphia 28-0 on August 21, 1883. There were 2 games in the pre-1900 National League with scores of 24-0 and another with a 20-0 score.

It is usually a once-in-a-lifetime treat for a pitcher to be given 15 or more runs by his team and to still concentrate enough to hurl a shutout game, but Red Ruffing of the New York Yankees won five games by shutout scores of at least 15-0, including the 21-0 game. The others were 18-0, 17-0, and 15-0 twice. Of course, when Ruffing pitched there were 9 good hitters in the lineup since the powerhouse Yankees were supplemented by Ruffing’s own powerful bat, which produced 36 homers and a greater output of RBI’s than any other modern pitcher.

Only 3 other modern pitchers had more than one game of 15-0 or better in his career. Morton Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals, the only National League pitcher to do it, defeated Cincinnati 18-0 and defeated Pittsburgh 16-0, with both games being on the road and within 2 weeks of each other in June, 1944. Tom Brewer of the Boston Red Sox defeated Washington twice by scores of 16-0, on the road in 1956, and at home in a 1955 game where Norm Zauchin had 10 RBI’s for the Red Sox. Herb Score of Cleveland won a 19-0 game in Boston in 1955, and was a 1 5-0 winner at Washington the following season.

The biggest shutout by a no-hit pitcher in this century was posted by Frank Smith of the White Sox, who beat the Tigers in 1905 by 15-0. The great Jim Galvin of Buffalo won an 18-0 shutout at Detroit in 1884 which was also a no-hitter. Teddy Lyons of the White Sox won a 17-0 one-hitter at Washington in 1925, and Ken Holtzman of the Cubs won a 1 5-0 one-hitter on the road vs. the San Francisco Giants in 1970. Here is a list of the 79 games since 1 900 (40-NL, 39-AL) where a team won by a shutout score of 15-0 or greater, with the winning pitchers also listed.

 

American League Lopsided Shutouts

Aug.

2

1901

16-0

Cy Young, Red Sox over Athletics

Sept.

15

1901+

21-0(7-1/2)

Ed Siever, Tigers over Indians

Sept.

9

1905

15-0

Frank Smith, White Sox over Tigers

July

15

1907

15-0

Doc White (7), White Sox over Yanks

 

 

 

 

Nick Altrock (2)

April

24

1909

17-0

Joe Lake, New York over Washington

April

15

1915

16-0

Red Faber, Chicago over St. Louis

June

9

1915

15-0

George Dauss (6), Detroit over Boston

 

 

 

 

William Steen (3)

July

6

1920

17-0

Carl Mays, New York over Washington

Sept.

9

1922

16-0

Elam Van Gilder, St. Louis over Detroit

Sept.

19

1925+

17-0

Ted Lyons, Chicago over Washington

July

25

1928#

16-0

Howard Ehmke, Phil. over Chicago

June

23

1930#

15-0

Henry Johnson, New York over St. Louis

Aug.

14

1930

15-0

Wes Ferrell, Cleveland over Phil.

Sept

. 17

1931#

17-0

Red Ruffing, New York over St. Louis

Sept

2

1932+

15-0

Lew Krausse, Phil. over Boston

April

25

1933

16-0

Russ Van Atta, New York over Washington

April

29

1935

18-0

Tommy Bridges, Detroit over St. Louis

July

10

1936

18-0

Red Ruffing, New York over Cleveland

July

5

1937#

15-0

Red Ruffing, New York over Boston

Aug.

29

1937#

16-0

George Caster, Phil. over Chicago

Aug.

13

1939+

21-0(8)

Red Ruffing, New York over Philadelphia

Aug.

17

1942

 5-0

Red Ruffing, New York over Philadelphia

April

30

1950#

19-0

Joe Dobson, Boston over Philadelphia

May

4

1950

15-0

Bob Cain, Chicago over New York

May

24

1951

16-0

Bob Feller, Cleveland over Washington

Aug.

4

1953

15-0

Vic Raschi (6), New York over Detroit

 

 

 

 

Art Schallock (3)

July

11

1954#

18-0

Frank Sullivan, Boston over Phil.

April

17

1955

16-0

Steve Gromek, Detroit over Kansas City

May

18

1955

19-0

Herb Score, Cleveland over Boston

May

27

1955

16-0

Tom Brewer, Boston over Washington

June

2

1956

15-0

Herb Score, Cleveland over Washington

Sept.

3

1956+

16-0

Tom Brewer, Boston over Washington

Aug.

26

1957

16-0

Willard Nixon, Boston over Kansas City

June

22

1958

15-0

Don Larsen, New York over Detroit

May

23

1959

16-0

Bud Daley, Kansas City over Chicago

April

30

1960

16-0

Jim Coates, New York over Baltimore

Aug.

23

1963

17-0

Ken McBride, Los Angeles over Wash.

Sept.

24

1963

15-0

Ray Herbert, Chicago over Baltimore

July

27

1969

17-0

Jim Hardin, Baltimore over Chicago

 

National League Lopsided Shutouts

July

30

1903

15-0

Ed Poole, Cincinnati over Chicago

April

15

1905

15-0

Ch. Mathewson (6), New York over Boston

 

 

 

 

George Wiltse (3)

May

19

1906

1 5-0

Chic Fraser, Cincinnati over Boston

June

7

1906

19-0

Jack Pfiester (7), Chicago over New York

 

 

 

 

Ed Reulbach (2)

July

11

1910

18-0

Geo. McQuillan, Phil. over Pittsburgh

April

30

1918

15-0

Jesse Barnes (7), New York over Phil.

 

 

 

 

Cecil Causey (2)

May

7

1918

16-0

Don Ragan, Boston over Brooklyn

Aug.

24

1924+

17-0

Eddie Dyer, St. Louis over Brooklyn

June

27

1926

16-0

Pete Donohue, Cincinnati over Pitt.

July

3

1928+

1 5-0

Alex Ferguson, Phil. over Boston

May

4

1929#

16-0

Pat Malone, Chicago over Philadelphia

Aug.

30

1929

15-0

Heinie Meine, Pittsburgh over Chicago

Aug.

10

1930#

18-0

Cl. Willoughby, Philadelphia over Cin.

July

4

1934+

15-0

Carl Hubbell, New York over Boston

July

14

1934#

18-0

Roy Hansen, Philadelphia over Cm.

Aug.

18

1934

1 5-0

Bill Hallahan, St. Louis over Boston

June

12

1935#

15-0

Larry French, Chicago over Phil.

May

22

1936

15-0

Bucky Walters, Phil. over New York

May

29

1936

15-0

Al Smith, New York over Boston

June

10

1944

18-0

Mort Cooper, St. Louis over Cin.

June

24

1944

16-0

Mort Cooper, St. Louis over Pitt.

July

25

1944

15-0

Max Butcher, Pittsburgh over N.Y.

Sept.

26

1944#

15-0

Henry Wyse, Chicago over Phil.

July

3

1946

16-0

Ken Burkhart, St. Louis over Cm.

July

3

1949

16-0

Monte Kennedy, New York over Bkn.

May

7

1950

15-0

Howie Pollett, St. Louis over Boston

July

2

1950

16-0

Walt Dubiel, Chicago over Cincinnati

May

20

1951#

17-0

Russ Meyer, Phil. over Pittsburgh

Aug.

16

1952

15-0(6)

Billy Loes, Brooklyn over Phil.

Sept.

12

1952+

16-0

Ernie Johnson, Boston over Pitt.

May

13

1956#

15-0

Warren Spahn, Milwaukee over Cin.

Aug.

3

1961

19-0

Harvey Haddix, Pittsburgh over StL.

April

23

1963

15-0

Ernie Broglio, St. Louis over Houston

Sept.

10

1963

16-0

Chris Short, Philadelphia over Houston

Aug.

8

1965

18-0

Jim Maloney, Cincinnati over Los Angeles

May

13

1969

19-0

Dick Selma, Chicago over San Diego

June

28

1969

19-0

Don Drysdale, Los Angeles over S.D.

Aug.

22

1970

15-0

Ken Holtzman, Chicago over S.F.

June

28

1974+

15-0

Dennis Blair, Montreal over Chicago

Sept.

16

1975

22-0

J. Candelaria (7), Pittsburgh over Chi.

 

 

 

 

Ken Brett (2)

#First game; +second game

 

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