Shutting out your opponent but needing extra innings to win the game? That is somewhat unique in Red Sox team history.
On Monday night, the Red Sox needed 12 innings to beat the Orioles 2-0 at Camden Yards, with Brock Holt hitting a sacrifice fly in the top of the frame to plate the deciding run. It marked Boston’s fifth shutout of the season to date and their second against Baltimore (the Sox won 5-0 over the Birds on 20 May at Fenway Park).
Winning in extra innings is fairly common; Boston played bonus baseball 18 times in 2017, amassing a surprising 15-3 mark in those instances. Shutouts are also not unusual; Boston blanked its opponent in 11 games last season. All that stated, winning in extra innings while shutting out your opponent? That is somewhat unique. According to Baseball-Reference.com, since 1908, there have been only 32 instances where the Red Sox shut out their opponent but needed extra frames to secure the win.
For the eighth time in team history and the third time in the past ten seasons, the Boston Red Sox are the world champions of baseball, winning the 2013 World Series championship thanks to a 6-1 win in Game Six. David Ortiz was named the series MVP after batting .688 / .760 / 1.188 with 11 hits, including two home runs at six RBI. Down 2-1 after three games, Boston won three straight to close the series and clinch a world championship at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918, when the Red Sox beat the Chicago Cubs four games to two, with Carl Mays earning the win.
John Lackey picked up the win for Boston in the final game and became the first pitcher in league history to win the clinching game of a World Series twice, having done it once before in Game Seven of the 2002 World Series for the Anaheim Angels. The Red Sox also became the first time to win three World Series in the 21st century.
With a no-hitter thrown in May and last Thursday night’s win over New York at Yankee Stadium, starting Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester has pitched two shutouts in 2008, the first Boston pitcher to toss more than one in a season since Hideo Nomo threw two in 2001. He is also the first Red Sox southpaw to toss multiple shutouts in one season since Bruce Hurst threw three in 1987. As pitch counts have limited the opportunities for starting pitchers to throw a complete game, let alone toss a shutout, these feats have become more and more the rarity in today’s ball game. Over the past 25 seasons going back to 1984, only 12 pitchers have multiple shutouts to their credit as a Boston starter; of those pitchers, only seven have at least three and only two, Roger Clemens (38) and Hurst (11), have a double-digit total. Former ace Pedro Martinez is third in that span with eight, throwing four in 2000; fourth is Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, who tossed six over the 1984 and 1985 seasons and fifth is another former Red Sox lefty, Bob Ojeda, who recorded his five career shutouts with Boston in 1984.
In team history, Clemens is tied with another former Boston great, Cy Young, for the most shutouts in team history, although Young did that over eight seasons while Clemens accomplished his total over 13 seasons with the club. Standing alone in third place in Smoky Joe Wood with 28 over eight years with the club, while Luis Tiant is fourth with 26 over eight seasons and Dutch Leonard is fifth with 25 over six seasons. The single season record for the franchise is 10, accomplish by Young in 1904 and Wood in 1912; Babe Ruth is third with nine in 1916, and Clemens (1988) and Carl Mays (1918) are tied for fourth with eight.
In team history, the Red Sox have seen 26 different pitchers win at least 20 games in a season at least once in a Boston uniform. The pitcher who holds the franchise record for the most victories in one season is Smoky Joe Wood, who won 34 games in 1912 for the eventual World Series champions; he was one of three pitchers on the 1912 staff, along with Buck O’Brien and Hugh Bedient, to reach the 20-win threshold, as the latter two each won exactly 20 games on a team that set the franchise record for wins in a season (105). Only one other pitcher in team history, Cy Young, won better than 30 games in a season; he accomplished this feat twice, once in Boston’s inagural season of 1901 (33) and then again in 1902 (32). Young also holds the record for the most seasons of 20 or more wins with the Red Sox, having accomplished the feat six times in the eight years that he was part of the starting rotation. After him, there are three pitchers with three seasons of 20 or more wins: Bill Dinneen (1902-1904), Luis Tiant (1973, 1974, 1976), and Roger Clemens (1986, 1987, 1990). Other multiple winners include Babe Ruth, Carl Mays, Boo Ferriss, Jesse Tannehill, Mel Parnell, Wood, Tex Hughson, and Wes Ferrell.
In total, there have been 46 instances where a pitcher won 20 games or more in a season for the Red Sox. Nine times, the starting rotation for Boston has had multiple 20-game winners. Between 1902 and 1904, Dinneen and Young won at least 20 games in each season for the Red Sox and, with Boston pitchers Tom Hughes (20 wins in 1903) and Tannehill (21 wins in 1904) also reaching that plateau, fans were witness to eight instances in three straight seasons that a Sox pitcher accomplished this feat. The most recent instance in which two players on the Red Sox pitching staff won at least 20 games in a single season happened just five years ago in 2002, when Derek Lowe (21) and Pedro Martinez (20) both managed the feat; before that, you have to go back to 1949 to find multiple 20-game winners on the Red Sox pitching staff for one season: Parnell (25) and Ellis Kinder (23). Curiously, there have been ten Boston pitchers in franchise history to fall just one win short of the mark for a single season; of those ten, both Martinez and Howard Ehmke did reach the mark in another season for the Sox. Martinez fell one win shy his first season with the club in 1998 but won 23 the next year, while Ehmke won 19 in 1924, one year after winning 20.
13 March 1938 – Ted Williams dons a Red Sox uniform for the first time in an exhibition game, playing right field and batting third in a 6-2 exhibition loss to Cincinnati in Sarasota, FL; Williams is hitless in four at-bats. Born in San Diego on 30 August 1918, the same day that Carl Mays wins two complete game efforts for the Red Sox on the way to Boston’s fourth World Series championship in seven seasons, Williams played high school baseball at Herbert Hoover High School. After graduation, the youngster turned pro and signed on to play for his hometown Padres of the Pacific Coast League; it soon became apparent that he was the real deal and scouts quickly got the word back to American and National League clubs.
In the fall of 1937, then-Boston general manager Eddie Collins made the trip west to broker a deal with the Padres for the rights to Williams; the trip paid off not only with the Red Sox sending Dom Dallesandro, Al Niemiec, and cash to the Padres in exchange for the 19-year-old future Hall of Fame player, but Collins’s trip also landed another future Hall of Fame player, Bobby Doerr. After his spring training stint with the Sox in 1938, Williams was farmed out to Minneapolis of the American Association; a year later, he arrived in the majors for good, becoming one of the best hitters over the next two decades and perhaps the greatest ever, in his own words.