The other day, Christian pointed out to me that Justin Masterson struck out the Boston Red Sox in just 9 pitches during the fourth inning; in fact, Masterson ended up throwing 25 consecutive strikes in that game.
This naturally got me thinking about the fewest number of pitches ever thrown by a pitcher in a complete game.
Turns out it happened 70 years ago. Turns out the pitcher was with the Boston Braves. August 10, 1944 at Crosley Field. Charley “Red” Barrett, who was once quoted as saying: “I’d rather be lucky than good.” managed to finish off the Cincinnati Reds in just 58 pitches. Take a moment to digest that.
The next closest pitcher required 67 pitches in 1915.
During his 11 years in the pros, Barrett was a career .500 pitcher. But on this night, he set two records, pitching the shortest complete game in history (one hour and 15 minutes) and throwing the fewest number of pitches. Nearly 8,000 fans witnessed this achievement, which is more than double the number who actually saw Lenny Barker’s perfect no-no (including me).
And although it’s not one of those records that jumps out at you and gets you all excited, I think I will start paying more attention to pitch count and get excited if Kluber can get through the sixth with just 40 or so pitches.