What Is A Shutout In Baseball

Shutout (SHO)

An opposing team’s starting pitcher is awarded a shutout when he throws the whole game for his team and prevents the opponent from scoring any runs. Any pitcher who tosses a shutout is automatically granted a victory, according to the rules. The only way his side could have won was if he recorded every out for them and didn’t allow them to score a run. The credit for a shutout is not awarded to a beginning pitcher who does not allow a run but is removed from the game before the finish of the game.

If a pitcher enters the game in relief, he has an extremely little chance of pitching a shutout.

When it comes to finishing a shutout, a pitcher must remain in the game for every out.

Even if a game is cut short due to inclement weather, a pitcher can still be awarded a shutout provided he allows no runs and pitches the full competition.

In A Call

“blanking,” “blanked,” and “kept scoreless” are all terms used to describe the act of not scoring.

Shutout vs No Hitter: What’s the Difference?

It might be confusing to figure out what each statistic signifies in baseball because there are so many different types of numbers available. When looking at pitching statistics, one of the most often asked topics is what the difference is between a shutout and a no-hitter. Here’s what you should know. A shutout refers to the amount of runs allowed by the pitcher, whereas a no-hitter refers to the number of hits allowed by the pitcher in one game. A shutout is achieved when a pitcher throws a complete game while allowing zero runs, and a no-hitter is achieved when a pitcher tosses a whole game while allowing only one hit.

Shutout vs No Hitter

“A shutout” is defined as “a statistic awarded to a pitcher who allows no runs in a single game,” according to the official Major League Baseball Rules. Pitchers will not be given credit for a shutout in baseball unless they throw a complete game, or unless they enter the game with none out before the opposing team has scored in the first inning and put out the side without any runs scoring, then pitch the remaining innings without allowing any runs to score.

It is necessary for the league statistician to make a notation in the league’s official pitching records whenever two or more pitchers combine to produce a shutout.” Consider what each component of this definition includes in further detail.

A Pitcher Cannot Give Up Any Runs to Be Eligible for a Shutout

The first point addressed in the definition above is that a pitcher must not allow any runs to score during a game of baseball. So this portion of the criteria is very obvious – if the other team’s scoreboard shows a zero, then the pitcher has ticked one of the boxes necessary to achieve a shutout in the game.

A Pitcher Must Throw a Complete Game to Earn a Shutout

A pitcher must either pitch a complete game or enter the game in the first inning if no one from the opposing club has recorded an out in the previous inning. In order to be considered a full game, the pitcher must also throw a minimum of nine innings in his or her performance. If the game continues into extra innings, the pitcher will be required to pitch all of the extra innings if he or she wants to achieve a shutout in the game. Double header games lasting seven innings were introduced in the Major League Baseball season of 2020.

A shutout would be awarded to the pitcher if they threw all nine innings of a 7-inning game that was extended to a 9-inning game due to additional innings.

Pitchers Are Able to Give Up Walks, Hits, and Errors and Still Earn a Shutout

The fact that a shutout is based only on runs means that a pitcher is still permitted to give up walks, hits, and errors over the course of the game. To earn a shutout, a pitcher only needs to ensure that no runs cross the plate throughout his or her appearance.

What is a No Hitter in Baseball?

According to the Major League Baseball, a no-hitter happens when a pitcher (or a group of pitchers) allows no hits over the duration of a game that lasts at least nine innings.” When playing in a no-hitter, a batter can reach base by a walk, an error, a hit by pitch, a passed ball or wild pitch on strike three, or catcher’s interference.

To Be Eligible For a No Hitter a Pitcher Cannot Give Up Any Hits

During the course of the game, no hits can be registered, as indicated in the definition above. As a result, if the opposing team’s total number of hits is zero, the pitcher has one of the checkboxes indicating the possibility of getting a no-hitter ticked on his or her card.

A Pitcher Must Throw a Complete Game to Earn a No Hitter

Pitchers must throw a minimum of nine innings and must remain on the mound for the full game in order to earn a no-hitter. If a game continues into extra innings, pitchers will be required to pitch in those extra innings as well in order to be eligible for a no-hitter to be declared. As a result, if a pitcher throws for the whole duration of a 7-inning game (which will be implemented for the 2020 MLB season to accommodate doubleheader games), that pitcher will not be eligible for a no-hitter.

Pitchers Can Give Up Runs, Walks, and Errors and Still Earn a No Hitter

Given that no-hitters are judged entirely on their ability to limit the amount of hits they allow throughout a game, the opposition side will still be able to score runs through walks and mistakes.

Despite the fact that the opposition side does not receive a base hit, they are still able to produce some offense and even score a couple of runs.

Can You Lose No Hitter Games?

Because of the way the statistic of no-hitters is computed, some may ask whether this means that pitchers may really lose while still getting the no-hitter. However, this is not the case. It is possible for pitchers to both take the loss and throw a no-hitter at the same time, however this is extremely unusual. There have been a total of 5 games that have been acknowledged by the MLB in which the pitcher has lost the game but has still managed to record a no-hitter, with the most recent occurrence being during the 2008 campaign.

In other words, around 1.64 percent of all no-hitter games have ended in the pitcher achieving a no-hitter while simultaneously losing the game.

What is a Complete Game Shutout?

It is possible that after knowing the concept of a full game in baseball, one will arrive to the conclusion that a complete-game shutout and a shutout are the same thing as one another. After all, in order to earn a shutout, you must go the distance in your pitching. Despite the fact that these two numbers are nearly identical, there is a minor difference between the two of them. A complete game shutout occurs when a pitcher throws a complete game, regardless of the number of innings pitched, and no runs are allowed to score over the course of the contest.

The most significant distinction between a complete game shutout and a shutout is simply the amount of innings thrown by the pitcher.


When you initially start learning about baseball statistics, you may find it difficult to comprehend how they are calculated. However, after you understand how they are generated, you may begin to have a greater idea of how that number translates into previous performance. In this case, no-hitters and shutouts equate into a pitcher having a fantastic outing on the mound. And even though a pitcher can lose while also pitching a no-hitter at the same time, both of these statistics are something that every pitcher would like to be able to say they have achieved at least once in their lifetime.

What Is a Shutout in Baseball? Meaning and Historical Stats

In baseball, there are instances when your team just does not have a good day. No matter whether the batters are launching rockets directly at the defenders or if the opposing pitcher is locked in, there are moments when the runs just don’t arrive, and the risk of being shut out exists. As a result, what exactly is a shutout in baseball? In baseball, a shutout occurs when one side fails to score even a single run during the course of a game. Being “shut out” may also be used as a verb to express a team’s inability to score for an extended period of time, even if it is only for part of a game and further runs are scored later on in the game.

Shutouts are frequently the consequence of a pitcher having a stellar performance, and they can take on many different forms, with the only constant denominator being that no runs were scored by the opposing club.

How Common Are Shutouts in Baseball?

Given the fact that a shutout demands a team to go the entire game without allowing a single run, throwing one might be challenging. Although the game of baseball has evolved to include (alleged) juiced balls and home runs soaring out at an unprecedented rate, it is still normal to witness an opposition team get shut out in a game. In 2019, 268 games were shutout, accounting for almost 11 percent of all games played. Major League Baseball has had anything from 193 to 353 shutouts each season (excluding 2020) since the expansion of the league to 30 clubs in 1998, or anywhere from 7.9 percent to 14.5 percent of all games finished in a shutout.

Since 1998, the years with the most goals scored were 1999 and 2000, which also happened to be the years with the lowest number of shutouts.

Not by chance, the season in which the highest proportion of games ended in shutouts occurred was 1908, which also happened to be the season with the lowest number of goals scored in Major League Baseball history.

On the other hand, the highest-scoring season in baseball’s modern period (since 1901) is 1930, which also happens to be the only season in that time with fewer than 100 shutouts (93), as well as the season with the lowest shutout rate, with a club failing to score in just 7.5 percent of games.

Are All Shutouts in Baseball the Same?

Shutouts appear to be fairly straightforward: one side does not score for the whole game, and that is the end of the tale. Right? Of course, not all shutouts are made equal, as we discussed before in this article. Some of their individual performances are among the most lauded in the history of baseball. Although the vast majority of shutouts are unremarkable and unmemorable, a shutout can occur from numerous pitchers working together to accomplish the accomplishment, or from a single pitcher going the distance to record a complete-game shutout.

  1. In Major League Baseball in 2019, there were 268 shutouts, with 26 of them being complete-game shutouts.
  2. Historically, virtually all shutouts have been the result of a single pitcher’s labor alone.
  3. Of course, if a pitcher does not allow any runs, such kind of scenarios are quite unusual, therefore pitchers were typically able to complete their efforts.
  4. In recent decades, however, the tendency has shifted dramatically, with relief pitchers being used more and more frequently throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Since the start of the 1981 season, there have been more than 10,000 shutouts in Major League Baseball, although just 35.6 percent of them have been full games. Moving on to the most coveted complete games, no-hitters and perfect games, we’ll take a look at them.

What Are No-Hitters and Perfect Games in Baseball?

The no-hitter and the perfect game are often regarded as two of the most remarkable accomplishments in the history of pitchers. As a result, these kinds of accomplishments are extremely unusual. During a complete game of at least nine innings thrown, a pitcher (or many pitchers on the same team) does not allow a base hit, which is known as a no-hitter. Whenever a pitcher (or several pitchers) pitches a full game without allowing a single hitter from the opposing club to reach base, it is referred to as a perfect game.

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At the time of this writing, there have been 23 perfect games thrown in Major League Baseball history, with each one necessitating the pitcher facing and retiring 27 consecutive hitters.

There have been 20 no-hitters that were not shutouts, including five in which a team lost despite the fact that they were not hit by a pitch.

So, if you go to the field and watch one team held off the scoreboard, it’s most likely nothing noteworthy, but if you’re really lucky, you could just see a piece of baseball history as well.

Odds and Ends Regarding Shutouts

  • The record for the most shutouts in a season in Major League history is 359, which was established in the same season in 1915. Because the Federal League was added as a third major league in 1914-15, eight more Major League Baseball clubs competed in those two seasons, resulting in the two best shutout percentages in baseball history. For a season, the most shutouts ever pitched by a club is 32, which was achieved by the 1906 Chicago White Sox and then equaled by the Chicago Cubs in 1907 and 1909. The 1993 Colorado Rockies are the first club in baseball’s modern era (since 1901) to go a whole season without shutting out an opponent
  • The 1908 St. Louis Cardinals hold the record for the most times an opponent has been shut out with 33 times. A club that has not been shut out for a whole season is the 1932 New York Yankees. The 2000 Cincinnati Reds are the only other teams in Major League history to have done so. It was George Bradley in 1876 and Grover Cleveland Alexander in 1916 that held the record for the most shutouts by a single pitcher in a season with 16. Walter Johnson, a Hall of Fame pitcher, holds the record for the most shutouts in an MLB career with 110.

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Shutout – BR Bullpen

It is referred to as a shutout when the other side fails to score even a single run over the course of the game. A pitcher is awarded a shutout if he pitches a complete game and does not allow any runs to be scored against him. When a game concludes with a score of 0-0, the pitcher does not receive credit for the shutout since a shutout is recorded for both sides when a game ends with a score of 0-0. (for example, if it iscalledbecause of darkness of rain). As a result, both opposing pitchers have the opportunity to post shutouts in the same game.

While those are usually included in the league’s season statistics (usually as a separate entry after the alphabetical listing of all pitchers), no statistics are kept on which pitchers have contributed to the most combined shutouts in a season or over the course of their careers (although it is fairly simple to find out).

As a result, combined shutouts account for the great majority of shutouts pitched in the majors in the twenty-first century.

Further Reading

  • “Complete games and shutouts are practically rare in today’s baseball,” according to Howard Fendrich (Associated Press) in USA Today on March 27, 2019. In 2012, Warren N. Wilbert published The Shutout in Major League Baseball: A History, published by McFarland & Company in Jefferson, North Carolina, with ISBN 0786468513.

What is Shutout in Baseball? Definition and Meaning

In baseball, a shutout is a statistic that is attributed to a pitcher who tosses a complete game while allowing no runs to be scored by the opposing club. As well as being a noun, the phrase “shut out” can be used to refer to a team that has been shut out of a game for an extended amount of time, even if it is just for a brief period of time and the team manages to score runs at a later point in the game.

When Are Shutouts Awarded to Pitchers?

In baseball, pitchers are only awarded shutouts if they do one of two things: 1) they get a walk-off hit or 2) they get a strikeout. One example is a pitcher who goes the entire game without allowing any runs from the other club. 2: A pitcher enters a game with 0 outs in the first inning before the other team has scored, strikes out the side without enabling the opposing team to score, and then pitches the remainder of the game without allowing the opposing team to earn a run. The pitcher must pitch at least nine innings in order for a game to be considered complete, as well as any additional innings that may be required if the game goes into extra innings.

In baseball what is a shutout?

Lucile Gutmann posed the question. 4.2 out of 5 stars (54 votes) Definition. An opposing team’s starting pitcher is awarded a shutout when he throws the whole game for his team and prevents the opponent from scoring any runs. Any pitcher who tosses a shutout is automatically granted a victory, according to the rules.

What is the difference between a no hitter and a shutout?

A shutout refers to the amount of runs allowed by the pitcher, whereas a no-hitter refers to the number of hits allowed by the pitcher in one game. A shutout occurs when a pitcher pitches a whole game while allowing no runs to score. A no-hitter, on the other hand, is when a pitcher pitches a whole game while allowing no hits.

Who has the most shutouts in baseball?

Walter Johnson holds the all-time record for shutouts with 110 victories. Johnson also retains the distinction of being the only pitcher in baseball history to record more than 100 shutouts.

What is the biggest shutout in MLB history?

The biggest shutout score in major league history is 28-0, and it is the record for all time. On August 21, 1883, the Providence Red Sox of the National League trounced the Philadelphia Phillies 28-0, thanks to the pitching of the legendary Hoss Radboum. There were two games in the National League before to 1900 in which the scores were 24-0 and another in which the score was 20-0.

Has there ever been a 27 strikeout game?

When it comes to baseball, Necciai is most known for accomplishing the rare accomplishment of striking out 27 hitters in a nine-inning game, which he did on May 13, 1952, while playing in the Class-D Appalachian League. He is the first pitcher in professional league history to accomplish this feat in a nine-inning game. There were 38 questions that were connected.

What is the highest scoring MLB game?

There has only been one game with a higher total score than 49 runs, which occurred on August 25, 1922, when the Chicago Cubs defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 26–23.

The Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs) set the record for the most runs scored by a team in a single inning on September 6, 1883, when they defeated the Detroit Wolverines.

What does G mean in baseball stats?

Games that have been played (G) Grand Slam is a series of victories in a single sport (GSH) Toss The Ball Into Double Play (GIDP) The Groundout-to-Airout Ratio (GO/AO) is the ratio of groundout to airout. Pitch-for-pitch (HBP)

How many players have thrown a perfect game?

There have been 21 perfect games thrown by pitchers in the modern era of baseball. The vast majority of them were accomplished major leaguers. Cy Young, Addie Joss, Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, Randy Johnson, and Roy Halladay are among the seven players who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

What is the rarest baseball play?

The unassisted triple play, which is a triple play in which only one fielder handles the ball, is the least common sort of triple play and is likely the most unusual occurrence in baseball, having occurred just 15 times at the major league level since 1900.

Has there ever been a no-hitter that wasn’t a shutout?

281 no-hitters have been recorded since 1875, with the great majority of these being achieved by a single pitcher in the last century. Of those occurrences, 24 resulted in a no-hitter that was not a shutout since the other club managed to score despite not receiving a single hit from the pitcher.

Has anyone ever pitched a no-hitter?

For a pitcher or pitching staff, a no-hitter is an extremely unusual feat; just 314 have been thrown in Major League Baseball history since 1876, an average of approximately two per year. Tyler Gilbert of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on August 14, 2021, to become the most recent single-pitch no-hitter in Major League Baseball history.

Has anyone ever had a sub 1 ERA?

Shane Bieber of the American League and Trevor Bauer of the National League are the most recent ERA champions in their respective leagues. Tim Keefe held the record for the lowest single-season earned run average in baseball history with a 0.86 ERA in 105 innings thrown for the National League’s Troy Trojans in 1880, outscoring his nearest challenger by 52 runs.

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What is the best starter ERA ever?

With an earned run average of a1.816, Ed Walsh owns the record for the Major League Baseball. Additional pitchers with a career earned run average under 2.000 include Addie Joss (1.887), Jim Devlin (1.896), and Jim Devlin (1.897).

Who has the lowest career ERA?

Ed Walsh had an unbelievable amount of effect in just seven fantastic seasons from 1906 to 1912. After assisting with the creation of Comiskey Park, which would serve as his home ballpark, he went on to achieve the lowest career earned run average in baseball history.

What does R mean in baseball?

A run is awarded to a player if he crosses the plate in order to score a run for his side. When calculating the number of runs scored, the method by which a player reached base is not taken into account.

What does TB mean in baseball?

Total bases refer to the amount of bases that a hitter has amassed as a result of his hits in a game. A single, a double, a triple, and a home run all result in one total base for the hitter, two total bases for a home run, three total bases for a triple, and four total bases for a home run.

Has a baseball team ever scored a run in every inning?

Consider the fact that the vast majority of baseball’s regulations are designed to prohibit runs from being scored. The only two teams to score in each of a baseball game’s nine innings since 1900 have been the same two clubs.

On June 1, 1923, the New York Giants did it against the Philadelphia Phillies, winning 22-8 in a game that was broadcast nationally. On September 13, 1964, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals.

Is there a mercy rule in the MLB?

In Major League Baseball, there is no mercy rule, not even the traditional 10-run rule! However, an MLB Mercy Rule has the potential to generate several problems. For example, here’s an excellent Major League Baseball article discussing the possibilities of a Mercy Rule having a detrimental impact on a game.

Why does no one throw a screwball?

Because throwing screwballs is a bit unnatural, pitchers are more likely to avoid it than they are to throw more standard breaking pitches. Furthermore, there are better pitches to throw in order to strike out batters than the screwball during a baseball game.

The Complete Game Shutout

This is the situation: the pitcher has mowed through the first six innings of a baseball game. In spite of making more than two complete runs through the lineup, he is still successful in getting players out. In the top of the order, soft stuff has been thrown away generally, with finishing pitches that have been hard in on the hands. The bottom of the order has been dominated by fastballs away from the plate. During the Game:Hitter after hitter comes to the plate in search of pitches to slam.

  1. In the dugout, no one is saying anything.
  2. The Result: The pitcher is able to keep them at bay for the entire game.
  3. However, during that game, the offense assisted him at every turn by pulling themselves out of trouble time and time again.
  4. Making changes is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to get used to throughout your college years.
  5. Your league will make adjustments to accommodate you.
  6. In the game recounted above, the entire team was shut down, although this was not due to the pitcher’s performance or lack thereof.
  7. The following are a number of suggestions to help you avoid a similar situation:
  • Talk to your teammates. They are going to be your main source of knowledge. Learn from them. Every pitcher will have tendencies in various situations. Learn how he’s pitching men with runners in scoring position. See whether he’s starting guys off with the identical pitch every at-bat or inning. See whether he goes to a specific pitch when he’s behind in the count, or ahead in the count. The only way to discover his patterns and use them against him is to communicate to your teammates
  • s Don’t attempt to do too much. When your team is being shut down, the best way to turn the tide is by getting men on base. Change your approach to getlessgreedy, not more. Pick up your base hit. Take a walk. Go the other way. Find a method to reach first and trust your buddy to keep the ball going

Baseball is a game in which modifications are necessary. During your first few years of college, you’ll be expected to keep people guessing from pitch to pitch, from at-bat to at-bat, from game to game, between series, and from season to season. Begin right away. Learn about your own patterns so that you can anticipate how individuals will pitch to you and what modifications you will need to make as a result. Make it a point to encourage your teammates to do the same. It’s important to recognize that the game is always evolving.

Consider the situation.


It is considered a complete shutout if the starting pitcher can pitch the whole game without allowing any runs to score. Walter Johnson currently holds the record for the most career shutouts with 110; the current active leader is Randy Johnson, who has 37 shutouts. Because of the heavy emphasis on pitch counts and relief pitching today, pitchers are unlikely to earn more than 1 or 2 shutouts per season, even though Randy Johnson’s total is less than half of Walter Johnson’s record. Furthermore, Randy Johnson’s total is unlikely to be surpassed for some time, if ever.

The following scenarios are more common today: a pitcher completing a complete game shutout while throwing an unusually low number of pitches; one’s own team scoring a large number of runs (thereby providing the pitcher with a “run cushion” to allow him to finish the game without relief); or the team has a pressing need to keep an unusually overworked bullpen rested if at all possible on that particular day.

  • The rookie pitcherChien-Ming Wangof the New York Yankees is a good illustration of how rare it is to get a full game shutout in baseball.
  • After eight innings of work, and despite a dominating 7-0 lead, he was removed from the game because to an excessive pitch count and abnormally hot conditions throughout the game.
  • Louis National League in 1876 and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1916 both set a single-season record with 16 shutouts.
  • Louis Cardinals is the last pitcher to record ten or more strikeouts in a season, doing it in 1985 with ten.
  • In 1988, the team threw five consecutive complete-game shutouts, followed by a game in which they threw ten shutout innings.

For example, the work of a relief pitcher may be represented as “three shutout innings” or a pitcher’s efforts could be described as “22 shutout innings” over a period of time (slightly over two full games.) See also: no-hitter and perfect game for more information.

Shutout Records

It is our pleasure to introduce a record book including baseball milestones for shutouts – including career shutout records, single season records, and game-related records – published by Baseball Almanac.


Career Shutout Records
Shutout Record LG Name(s) Team(s) Data
Most ShutoutsIn A Career |Top 1,000 AL Walter Johnson Washington 110 110
NL Grover Alexander Philadelphia 61 90
Chicago 24
St. Louis 5
Most ShutoutsIn A Career | LHP AL Eddie Plank Philadelphia 59 63
St. Louis 4
NL Warren Spahn Boston 27 63
Milwaukee 36
New York
San Francisco
ML Eddie Plank Philadelphia 59 69
St. Louis 4
St. Louis 6
Most ShutoutsIn A Career | RHP AL Walter Johnson Washington 110 110
NL Grover Alexander Philadelphia 61 90
Chicago 24
St. Louis 5
Shutout Record LG Name(s) Team(s) Data


Single Season Shutout Records
Shutout Record LG Name(s) Team(s) Data
Most ShutoutsIn Any Month AL Ed Walsh Chicago 6 08-1906
Ed Walsh Chicago 09-1908
Doc White Chicago 09-1904
NL George Bradley St. Louis 5 05-1876
Tommy Bond Hartford 06-1876
Jack Chesbro Pittsburgh 07-1902
Don Drysdale Los Angeles 05-1968
Pud Galvin Buffalo 08-1884
Bob Gibson St. Louis 06-1968
Orel Hershiser Los Angeles 09-1988
Ben Sanders Philadelphia 09-1888
Most ShutoutsIn A Season |Top 500 AL Jack Coombs Philadelphia 13 06-22-1910
Philadelphia 07-01-1910
Philadelphia 07-15-1910
Philadelphia 07-20-1910
Philadelphia 07-23-1910
Philadelphia 07-29-1910
Philadelphia 08-04-1910
Philadelphia 08-07-1910
Philadelphia 08-26-1910
Philadelphia 09-09-1910
Philadelphia 09-12-1910
Philadelphia 09-16-1910
Philadelphia 09-21-1910
NL Grover Alexander Philadelphia 16 04-18-1916
Philadelphia 05-03-1916
Philadelphia 05-13-1916
Philadelphia 05-18-1916
Philadelphia 05-26-1916
Philadelphia 06-03-1916
Philadelphia 07-07-1916
Philadelphia 07-15-1916
Philadelphia 07-20-1916
Philadelphia 08-02-1916
Philadelphia 08-09-1916
Philadelphia 08-14-1916
Philadelphia 08-18-1916
Philadelphia 09-01-1916
Philadelphia 09-23-1916
Philadelphia 10-02-1916
George Bradley St. Louis 05-05-1876
St. Louis 05-09-1876
St. Louis 05-11-1876
St. Louis 05-13-1876
St. Louis 05-25-1876
St. Louis 06-01-1876
St. Louis 06-22-1876
St. Louis 06-29-1876
St. Louis 07-11-1876
St. Louis 07-13-1876
St. Louis 07-15-1876
St. Louis 07-29-1876
St. Louis 08-03-1876
St. Louis 08-08-1876
St. Louis 08-17-1876
St. Louis 09-05-1876
Most ShutoutsIn A Seaso | LHP AA Ed Morris Pittsburgh 12 1886
AL Ron Guidry New York 9 1978
Babe Ruth Boston 1916
NL Sandy Koufax Los Angeles 11 1963
Most ShutoutsIn A Seaso | RHP AL Jack Coombs Philadelphia 13 1910
NL Grover Alexander Philadelphia 16 1916
George Bradley St. Louis 1876
Most ShutoutsIn A Season | Rookie AL Russ Ford New York 8 1910
Reb Russell Chicago 1913
NL George Bradley St. Louis 16 1876
Most ShutoutsIn A Season Consecutively (Year-by-Year List) AL Doc White Chicago 5 09-12-1904
Chicago 09-16-1904
Chicago 09-19-1904
Chicago 09-25-1904
Chicago 09-30-1904
NL Don Drysdale Los Angeles 6 05-14-1968
Los Angeles 05-18-1968
Los Angeles 05-22-1968
Los Angeles 05-26-1968
Los Angeles 05-31-1968
Los Angeles 06-04-1968
Most SeasonsLeading The League (Year-by-Year List) AL Walter Johnson Washington 7 1911
Washington 1913
Washington 1914
Washington 1915
Washington 1918
Washington 1919
Washington 1924
NL Grover Alexander Philadelphia 7 1911
Philadelphia 1913
Philadelphia 1915
Philadelphia 1916
Philadelphia 1917
Chicago 1919
Chicago 1921
Shutout Record LG Name(s) Team(s) Data


Game Specific Shutout Records
Shutout Record LG Name(s) Team(s) Data
Fewest Pitches9 Inning Shutout AL Incomplete Research
NL Red Barrett Boston 58 08-10-1944
Longest ShutoutBy Number of Innings AL Walter Johnson Washington 18 05-15-1918
Ed Summers Detroit 07-16-1909
NL Carl Hubbell New York 18 07-02-1933
John Ward Providence 08-17-1882
Most ShutoutsWon on Opening Day AL Walter Johnson Washington 7 1910
Washington 1914
Washington 1915
Washington 1917
Washington 1919
Washington 1924
Washington 1926
NL Rip Sewell Pittsburgh 3 1943
Pittsburgh 1947
Pittsburgh 1949
Chris Short Philadelphia 1965
Philadelphia 1968
Philadelphia 1970
Rick Mahler Atlanta 1982
Atlanta 1986
Atlanta 1987
Oldest PitcherComplete Game Shutout AL Phil Niekro New York 10-06-1985
NL Jamie Moyer Philadelphia 05-07-2010
Shutout Record LG Name(s) Team(s) Data
Shutout Records | Research byBaseball Almanac

Walter Johnson holds the record for the most shutouts against a single team in a career with twenty-three, which he achieved while pitching for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1907 to 1927. Team-related shutout records are not as common as player-related shutout records, but Baseball Almanac hopes you will appreciate the following shutout records set by their respective teams:

Largest Score in a Shutout
AL 22 Cleveland (vs New York) on 08-31-2004
NL 28 Providence (vs Philadelphia) on 08-21-1883
Most Shutouts Won in a Season
AL 32 1906 Chicago White Sox
NL 32 1907 Chicago Cubs
1909 Chicago Cubs
Most Times Being Shutout in a Season
AL 30 1909 Washington Senators
NL 33 1908 St. Louis Cardinals
Most Consecutive Shutouts Won in a Season
AL 5 Baltimore (09-02-1974 to 09-06-1974)
Baltimore (09-26-1995 to 10-01-1995)
NL 6 Pittsburgh (06-02-1903 to 06-06-1903)
Most Consecutive Shutout Innings Pitched
AL 54 Baltimore (09-01-1974 to 09-07-1974)
NL 56 Pittsburgh (06-01-1903 to 06-09-1903)
Fewest Shutouts Won (150 Games Played)
AL 1 1924 Chicago White Sox
1956 Washington Senators
1977 Seattle Mariners
1996 Baltimore Orioles
1997 Oakland Athletics
2001 Anaheim Angels
2001 Kansas City Royals
NL 1898 St. Louis Browns
1898 Washington Senators
1899 Cleveland Spiders
1993 Colorado Rockies

You may not have known that on September 26, 1908, Ed Reulbach threw both ends of a doubleheader, earning both victories, as well as being the first and only pitcher in history to throw two complete game shutouts on the same day.

Shutouts Year-by-Year Leaders by Baseball Almanac

You’ve probably wondered which team had the most shutouts in the year you were born. What about your favorite team’s pitchers – have any of them ever been the league leader in shutouts? For the first time ever, Baseball Almanac is delighted to publish a year-by-year ranking of Major League shutouts for every season since 1876. Note: A boldfaced entry indicates that the player was a member of the active roster during the prior Major League season. And give him (the hitter) an opportunity to ponder on his own time,” says the pitcher.

  1. You may not have known that Walter Johnson holds the Major League record for career shutouts with one hundred ten in his career.
  2. How many do you know about him?
  3. With sixteen shutouts apiece, George Bradley (1876) and Grover Alexander (1916) hold the Major League record for the most shutouts pitched in a single season in baseball history.
  4. Is it possible to locate a pitcher who has more than two seasons of league-leading performance between them, or is he the current record holder for this unusual evidence of longevity?

The death of the shutout

As you are aware, dearly adored, we have convened here today to commemorate the departure of a statistic that was once relevant: the shutout. It’s been on life support for several seasons, with only a few pitchers stopping by to say hello. It has finally succumbed to the death brought on by singularity. For the first time in baseball history, we may conclude the season with no pitcher having thrown more than one full game shutout in a season. Actually, the death of a shutout is considerably more horrific than you may expect from the situation.

This season, neither league has a pitcher who has more than one save. By virtue of having pitched a single complete game shutout, the following 17 pitchers are tied for first place in the Major League Baseball league:

  • On April 1, Jose Berrios (MIN) finished a three-hitter despite loading the bases with one out in the ninth inning
  • On April 21, Mike Clevinger (CLE) retired the final 14 batters of his two-hitter
  • On May 4, Gerrit Cole (HOU) pitched a one-hitter, allowing a double in the fifth inning
  • On April 17, Patrick Corbin (ARI) pitched a one-hitter, allowing a single in the eighth inning
  • On April 17, Patrick Corbin Mike Foltynewicz (ATL): On June 1, he allowed only two hits, both singles in the first and eighth innings
  • He also struck out three batters. Andrew Heaney (LAA): On June 5, he threw another one-hitter, this time with only a single allowed in the fifth inning
  • Corey Kluber (CLE): On August 4, he scattered three hits across five innings. A no-hitter on April 21
  • Daniel Mengden (OAK): Gave up a couple of singles on May 26
  • And Miles Mikolas (STL): A four-hitter and an almost no-no on April 21 and May 26. Why not, after all? On May 21, he went the whole third inning without allowing a hit
  • James Paxton (SEA) pitched a no-hitter on May 8
  • Max Scherzer (WAS) pitched a two-hitter on April 9, striking out the final 15 hitters
  • And Luis Severino (NYY) pitched a shutout on May 2 that equaled the record for the most hits allowed in a shutout this season. Jameson Taillon (PIT): Only allowed a single in the third inning on April 8
  • Masahiro Tanaka (NYY): Only allowed three hits on July 24
  • Justin Verlander (HOU): Here’s the other five-hit shutout, this one from May 16
  • Trevor Williams (PIT): Here’s the other five-hit shutout, this one from May 16
  • Jameson Taillon (PIT): Here’s the other five-hit shutout, this one On July 23, a six-inning shutout was cut short due to rain.

Surprise, surprise, only 17 shutouts in a season is the lowest total in baseball history by a long by. Baseball’s all-time high was 348 in 1915, although the sport was virtually unrecognizable at the time. There have been 101 shutouts in the majors since 1998, the year in which Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa hit 70 and 64 home runs, respectively. Only four years ago, we saw 51 of them, which is three times as many as we have seen this year. Complete game shutouts are not only statistically insignificant, but they are also considered to be an endangered species.

Pitch Counts

It’s possible that you recall a time when pitch counts were unheard of, depending on your age. On September 18, 1996, Roger Clemens tossed 151 pitches in his second 20-strikeout game of the season. It was the third time in a single season that he had exceeded 150 points. Today’s game would never allow for something like that to happen. Since 1999, no pitcher has ever thrown more than 150 pitches in a single game. In fact, just three pitchers have thrown more than 125 pitches in a single game thus far in 2018.

For a variety of reasons, managers just will not allow players to throw excessively anymore.

In addition, there is a decline in efficacy.

With their Opening Day and Bullpen Games, the Rays take this to an even higher level of excess.


On May 4, Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler was removed from the game after six innings of no-hitting work and 93 pitches thrown. It was the eleventh combined no-hitter in the history of baseball when Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia, andAdam Liberatore accomplished the job. It wasn’t that long ago that removing a pitcher from a no-hitter was considered blasphemous. It is now considered to be rather prevalent. With the exception of Openers, 11 pitchers have been removed from games this season, including one who was in the midst of a no-hitter.

On July 13, 2013, Tim Lincecum pitched 148 pitches in a complete-game no-hitter.

The conventional wisdom among managers used to be that, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it was best to let the guy throw his arm off to see if he could finish the no-hitter.

Without the ability to keep his pitch count under control, it just does not happen anymore. It has now been two complete game no-hitters this season, the first of which was pitched by Manaea and the second by Paxton who needed just 99 pitches to get the job done.


One of the most compelling arguments for pulling a starter from a game is that there are superior relievers available. Relief pitchers have a 98 FIP in the Major League Baseball. That may not appear to be a significant difference, but it does indicate that they have at least some edge over the starters in this situation. Among MLB relievers, six of the eight finest seasons-as measured by FIP-have occurred in the previous eleven years. The strikeout rate is an even better indicator of how effective relievers have become.

Best MLB reliever K-rates

Season K%
Season K%
2017 23.3 %
2018 23.2 %
2016 22.7 %
2014 22.2 %
2015 22.1 %
2012 21.9 %
2013 21.7 %
2011 20.6 %
2010 20.3 %
2009 19.5 %

Nearly completely in reverse chronological sequence, the table is shown here. Most every club has a few of fiery relievers who can be relied on to perform better than the starting pitcher late in the game, especially in tight situations.

Home Runs

The fact that there are more home runs than there used to be could have escaped your notice if you haven’t been living under a rock for some time. The number of home runs is increasing, and no one can predict when it will peak. There are a variety of factors at play, and no one can say for definite. Naturally, the overall number of runs scored has increased as well, and there is a mild 0.45 connection between home runs and runs scored, according to Baseball Reference (adjusted for league expansion).

Despite the fact that there are several methods to score runs, it only takes one error to blow a shutout.

Once a single baseball crosses the plate and clears the fence, the shutout is officially finished.


This one is a little strange, but there could be something to it after all. The start of the season coincided with some of the worst baseball weather in recent memory. It’s likely that pitchers profited from this. In the cold and wet, the ball may not travel as far as it should. Pitchers are unlikely to become fatigued as fast as they do when the weather is hot and humid. Williams’ rain-shortened shutout on May 8 was the ninth of the 16 complete game shutouts to occur on or before that date (excluding the Williams shutout).

How many of these shutouts would we have lost if the weather hadn’t been so awful in April and early May?

There hasn’t been a single nine-inning shutout in the National League since May of this year.

With the weather turning colder, there’s still plenty of time for any of the seventeen pitchers listed above to throw a second shutout and capture the top spot on the leaderboard.

This is known as theBaseball-Reference Play Index.

This article’s research relied mainly on the usage of the internet. Daniel R. Epstein is a special education teacher in the primary school setting and the president of the Somerset County Education Association. In addition to BtBS, he maintains a Twitter account at @depstein1983.

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