On Tuesday, May 18, 2004, the Giants were in Chicago to take on the Cubs at Wrigley Field, while the D-backs were in Atlanta, tussling with the Braves.
In the Giants-Cubs game, Jason Schmidt was about as brilliant as a pitcher could be, throwing a one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts and one walk. Schmidt's game score for the effort was a 97 -- the highest for a Giants pitcher since Juan Marichal put up a 104 in 1969.
Still, Schmidt was upstaged on the night by Arizona's Randy Johnson: for Johnson was, in a word, perfect. The left-hander tossed the 17th perfect game in MLB history (the first in the NL since Dennis Martinez's in 1991), and posted a game score of 100.
Until Saturday, June 16, 2012, that special night eight years ago had represented the most recent occurrence of two different pitchers throwing shutouts with no more than one hit allowed in a single calendar day.
Hammel threw a one-hit shutout and improved to 7-2 on the season, and the Orioles beat the Braves, 5-0. Hammel's start, which included eight strikeouts and two walks, produced a game score of 91.
Hammel is the first Orioles pitcher to hurl a shutout with no more than one hit allowed since Mike Mussina on Aug. 1, 2000. The Orioles have not had a no-hitter since four pitchers combined for one on July 13, 1991, and haven't had a complete-game no-hitter since Jim Palmer tossed his gem on Aug. 13, 1969.
Hammel's game score of 91 is the highest for an O's pitcher since Erik Bedard posted a 98 on July 7, 2007. In that game, Bedard fanned 15, walked none and went the distance on a two-hit shutout.
Hammel's game score of 91 is the eighth highest this season.
Santana threw a one-hit shutout, fanned five and walked one, and the Angels defeated the D-backs, 2-0.
2012: Highest Game Scores
Perfect Game, 14 K's
Perfect Game, 9 K's
1-hit s/o, 11 K's, 0 BB
No-hitter, 9 K's, 1 BB
1-hit s/o, 12 K's, 2 BB
1-hitter, 1 UER, 12 K's, 0 BB
4-hit s/o, 14 K's, 0 BB
1-hit, s/o, 8 K's, 2 BB
No-hitter, 8 K's, 5 BB
Santana is the second Angels pitcher this season to throw a shutout on one hit or no hits, after Jered Weaver's no-hitter on May 2. Before 2012, the last season the Angels had two different pitchers hurl shutouts on one or fewer hits was in 1989, when Kirk McCaskill and Chuck Finley threw one-hit shutouts.
The Angels are the first AL team since the 2007 Red Sox to get a pair of these games in a season. That year, Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter and Curt Schilling added a one-hit shutout. The last AL team to have three such games in season was the 1988 Blue Jays, who saw Dave Stieb throw three one-hit shutouts.
With the effort, Santana -- who threw a no-hitter on July 27, 2011 -- joined Nolan Ryan and McCaskill as the only pitchers in Angels history to have multiple complete games with one-or-fewer hits allowed. McCaskill had a pair of one-hitters, while Ryan had four no-hitters and six one-hitters for the Halos.
With the performances from Hammel and Santana, the 2012 season has now seen a total of 15 games in which a team was held to one hit or no hits. Since 1998, those 15 already match this year with 2002 and '08 for the sixth most in a single season. There were 28 games in 2010, 23 in '09, 22 in '11, 21 in '06, and 18 in '01.
The Yankees defeated the Nationals, 5-3, in 14 innings, notching their eighth straight victory. The eight-game winning streak ties the Yankees with the Angels and Rangers for the second longest of the season, with the White Sox nine-game winning streak still at the top. Over the course of New York's eight consecutive wins, its team ERA is 1.99, and the Yanks have outscored their opponents 42-18.
Braun went 3-for-4 with a double and two home runs in Milwaukee's 6-2 victory over Minnesota.
Braun is tied for first in the NL in home runs (19), and is fourth in RBIs (47), ninth in batting (.322), sixth in on-base percentage (.399), second in slugging (.635), third in OPS (1.034), second in total bases (146) and tied for fourth in extra-base hits (32).
Braun is playing in his sixth season, and now has 406 career extra-base hits. That total ties him with Miguel Cabrera for the 17th most for any player in history through his first six seasons. With 97 games left on Milwaukee's schedule, it's reasonable to expect that a healthy Braun could move into the top 10 all-time.
Here and there
The Pirates hit four home runs (tying a season high) and A.J. Burnett won his sixth straight start, allowing two runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. During his winning streak, Burnett owns a 2.17 ERA, and over his past nine starts, he owns a 2.19 ERA. Burnett is the first Pirates pitcher since 1990 to win six consecutive starts. That year, Neal Heaton won six in a row in April-May, and Doug Drabek captured six in a row in July-August.
Johnny Damon became the 114th player in history to draw 1,000 walks. With those 1,000 added to his 2,743 hits and 50 hit-by-pitches, Damon has reached base safely 3,793 times -- 63rd most in baseball history.
Justin Grimm (six innings, six hits, three runs, seven strikeouts, zero walks) won his Major League debut, as the Rangers defeated the Astros, 8-3. Grimm is the second Texas starter this season to win his MLB debut, after Yu Darvish. Before this season, the Rangers hadn't seen a starter record a victory in his first game since Matt Harrison did it in 2008.
Playing in his 576th career game, Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer and helped the Reds to a 4-1 victory over the Mets. Bruce has 115 career home runs -- the fourth most in Reds history for any player through his first 576 games. Adam Dunn had 138, Frank Robinson had 130 and Eric Davis had 124.
Heath Bell struck out the side in the bottom of the 15th inning, giving the Marlins a 4-3 victory over the Rays in the longest game ever played between the two clubs (they have matched up 84 times). In his past nine appearances, Bell has allowed six hits and no runs in 8 1/3 innings, and has struck out 15. In his first 21 appearances of the season, Bell threw 17 innings, allowed 18 runs and 24 hits, and struck out 10.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.