Shutouts
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Stat of the Week
by Peter Liubicich
Shutouts
This post was written by Peter Liubicich on August 27, 2012
Posted Under: Stat of the Week

The incredible news that came on Saturday of the biggest blockbuster trade in recent memory (the biggest that I can remember since the Blue Jays sent two time reigning Cy Young award pitcher Roger Clemens to the Yankees in exchange mostly for David Wells) allowed one team to hit the reset button and another to make a final push for the playoffs.  The topic of the trade has been covered extensively, but one thought is that if the Dodgers make it to the playoffs they will certainly be a dangerous team.  Having a lineup with a rejuvenated Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Shane Victorino and Adrian Gonzalez and then a 1-2 punch of Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett will be formidable.  Obviously Beckett has had a rough season, but just like what happened with Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers will be banking on the change of scenery benefitting the former ace.  Beckett has always been one of the most dominant postseason starting pitchers, and now if they make the playoffs he can also mentor Clayton Kershaw on how to deal with the pressure of the postseason.

Shutouts are a dynamic pitching statistic as having a pitcher in the starting rotation who can completely shut down an opponent’s lineup will save the bullpen, especially during the dog days of summer, and give a boost of confidence in the clubhouse.  Shutouts are also a good gauge to separate the great from the good in a particular season as depending on the manager, a pitcher must be efficient to keep their pitch count low while also holding the opposing lineup at bay.  Many of the pitchers you’ll see in the following tables show that shutouts separate the elite from the rest of the pack in terms of starters.

The active leaders in career shutouts are:

Roy Halladay

20

Chris Carpenter

15

Tim Hudson

13

CC Sabathia

12

Cliff Lee

11

You’ll notice that when it comes to shutouts, there are no flukes as only the most dominant pitchers that are still around appear in the top 5 of this list.

Another angle to look at shutouts from is pitchers who had more shutouts in a season than losses in a season:

Pitcher (Year)

Shutouts

Losses

David Wells (1998)

5

4

David Cone (1988)

4

3

Orel Hershiser (1985)

5

3

Dwight Gooden (1985)

8

4

John Tudor (1985)

10

8

Thursday, we’ll look do pitch count analysis of Felix Hernandez’s 4 shutouts in 2012 which leads the majors and Cliff Lee’s 6 shutouts in 2011 which was good enough to lead the majors last year.

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  1. Shutouts — Player Analysis  on August 30th, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

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