Before a pitch was thrown in the 1999 season, there had been 55 games during the live-ball era in which a pitcher struck out at least 15 batters and walked no more than one. By the time that '99 season was complete, that total had grown to 60, thanks almost solely to Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez.
In back-to-back starts in May that year, Pedro fanned 15, with no walks in the first outing and one in the second, to become the third pitcher since 1920 to have two consecutive 15-strikeout, one-or-fewer-walk games. He had another 15-K, one-walk affair on Aug. 24, but he saved his best for a Sept. 10 start against the Yankees. Facing a team that would finish the season third in the American League in walks, second in on-base percentage, third in runs and eighth in strikeouts, Pedro fanned 17 and walked none in a complete-game one-hitter.
He remains the only pitcher in the live-ball era to have a quartet of games in a single season with at least 15 strikeouts and no more than a single walk.
Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer fanned a career-high 15 batters while walking one to even his record at 3-3 in a 4-3 win against the Pirates on Sunday. The right-hander is the 12th pitcher in the past 10 seasons to rack up as many as 15 K's and yield no more than one walk in an outing.
Since 1920, Randy Johnson owns the most games with 15-or-more strikeouts and no more than one walk. Johnson had 11, and is followed by Roger Clemens (nine), Martinez (seven), Curt Schilling (three) and Dwight Gooden (three). Scherzer's effort marked the 79th time it has happened since 1920.
Pitchers with at least 15 K's and no more than one walk in an outing over the past 10 years
Scherzer's 15 strikeouts were one shy of the Tigers' franchise record, set by Mickey Lolich on May 23, 1969, and then matched by the southpaw on June 9 of that season. Scherzer's 15 K's are the most by any pitcher this season, one more than the Marlins' Anibal Sanchez had on April 28.
Johnny Cueto allowed two runs in seven innings and picked up the win as the Reds defeated the Yankees, 5-2, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Since the start of the 2011 season, Cueto has made 16 starts in which he has finished with at least seven innings and no more than two runs allowed.
Those 16 tie him with the D-backs' Ian Kennedy and the Rays' David Price for the 16th most in the Majors. Justin Verlander sits atop the Majors with 24 such starts, and is followed by James Shields (23), Clayton Kershaw (22), Roy Halladay (21), Cole Hamels (21) and Jered Weaver (21).
Tim Hudson allowed four hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings and improved to 3-1 on the season, as Atlanta beat Tampa Bay, 2-0, on Sunday.
Hudson has 184 career wins, fourth among active pitchers. Thirty-six of his wins have seen him throw a shutout or combine with his relievers on a team shutout. Those 36 are tied with Jamie Moyer for the most among active pitchers.
Hudson's 184 wins have come in 383 games. That win total through that many appearances ties him with Lefty Grove for the 20th most since 1920.
Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy enjoyed his first career multihomer game, hit his first career grand slam, and with seven RBIs, he more than doubled his previous career high for a game.
The seven runs driven in tied Lucroy with five others for the most in Pilots/Brewers team history. Second baseman Ted Kubiak had seven on July 18, 1970, shortstop Jose Hernandez matched that total on April 12, 2001, and first baseman Richie Sexson added his name to the record book on April 18, 2002. Catcher Damian Miller had seven RBIs on July 2, 2007, and outfielder Corey Hart became the fifth player with seven in a game on May 23, 2011.
Lucroy's seven RBIs represent the most in an Interleague game since Carlos Delgado drove in nine runs for the Mets against the Yankees on June 27, 2008.
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun had two doubles in a 3-for-4, four-RBI game. Since his debut season in 2007, Braun leads the Majors with 69 games of two-or-more extra-base hits.
2007-2012: Most Games with 2+ Extra-Base Hits
Adam Dunn hit his 14th home run of the season (tied for second in the Majors) in the White Sox 42nd game of the year. The other players to have at least 14 through 42 team games in franchise history are Jim Thome (17 in 2006), Frank Thomas (15 in 1994), Zeke Bonura (14 in 1934) and Paul Konerko (14 in 2010).
Carlos Gonzalez homered and doubled in a 3-for-5 game as the Rockies lost to the Mariners, 6-4, on Sunday. Since the start of the 2010 season, Gonzalez has 27 games with at least two extra-base hits. Those 27 tie him with Josh Hamilton for the fourth most in the Majors during that span, behind Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto (28 each).
The Padres defeated the Angels, 3-2, in 13 innings on Sunday. Since 2003, the Padres have played 17 home games that have lasted at least 13 innings, the most in the Majors during that span. The Pirates have the second most, with 14. In those 17 contests, San Diego owns an 8-9 record.
Melky Cabrera went 4-for-4 in the Giants' 6-2 loss to the Athletics on Sunday, giving him five games with at least four hits over the past two seasons. Those five tie Cabrera with six others for the third most in the Majors since the start of the 2011 season. Derek Jeter has eight and Albert Pujols has seven, while Cabrera joins Yunel Escobar, Alex Gordon, Curtis Granderson, Austin Jackson, David Ortiz and Jose Reyes with five.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.