Between 1893 and 2012, there were 16 seasons in which the National League leader in hits per nine innings produced a mark no higher than 6.18. Normally, this piece of trivia might be good news for the Pirates' Jeff Locke (6.03 hits/nine in 2013), the Giants' Madison Bumgarner (6.14) or the Mets' Matt Harvey (6.18). But unfortunately for this trio of hurlers, Clayton Kershaw is currently sitting on a 5.85 mark: one that sustained would tie the Dodgers southpaw with Bob Gibson in 1968 for the sixth lowest in the NL since 1893.
Harvey, meanwhile, continued his dazzling campaign on Sunday, allowing just three hits in seven shutout innings while striking out 10 and walking none to help the Mets to a 5-0 win over the Phillies.
Harvey has made 30 Major League appearances; in five of them, he has finished with a line of seven or more innings, three or fewer hits allowed and at least 10 K's. Since 1916, the only pitcher to have more such games through his first 30 appearances was Hideo Nomo, who had six.
Harvey now has four games with double-digit strikeouts and no walks; no other pitcher since 1916 has had more than two such lines through his first 30 games.
Harvey is averaging 10.31 strikeouts per nine innings and owns a 5.61 K/BB ratio. No qualifying pitcher in baseball history has ever finished his age-24 or younger season with a K/nine of at least 10 and a K/BB ratio of at least 5/1.
Harvey also owns a 0.89 WHIP. Only one qualifying pitcher since 1893 (the year the pitching distance was lengthened to 60 feet, six inches) has ever been in his age-24 or younger season and finished with a WHIP that low: Dutch Leonard (age-22 season), who produced a 0.886 mark in 1914. The five lowest:
1893-2012: Lowest WHIP, Qualifying Pitchers in Age-24 or Younger Season
|D. Leonard||1914||22||0.886||224 2/3|
|C. Mathewson||1905||24||0.933||338 2/3|
More dominance from Kershaw
On Sunday, Kershaw allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings, striking out nine with no walks. Since 1893, Kershaw is one of 118 pitchers with at least 1,000 innings through his age-25 season. Among all of these pitchers, comparing them all through their respective age-25 seasons:
Kershaw's 142 ERA+ is the fourth best, behind marks from Walter Johnson, Smoky Joe Wood and Amos Rusie (just counting Rusie's numbers starting in 1893). His 9.21 K's per nine innings is the second-highest rate, behind Sam McDowell's 9.54/nine, while his 6.82 hits/nine is the second-lowest rate, behind McDowell's 6.79.
Kershaw's 1.10 WHIP is the seventh lowest, behind marks from Johnson, Addie Joss, Tom Seaver, Chief Bender, Wood and Denny McLain. And the dominant southpaw's 2.98 K/BB ratio is tied (with the ratios produced by Seaver and Felix Hernandez) for the sixth best, behind marks by Roger Clemens, Johnson, Bret Saberhagen, Bert Blyleven and Dwight Gooden.
Locke tough to crack
In the Pirates' 3-2 win over the Reds, Locke allowed one run and one hit in six innings, picking up his ninth win while lowering his ERA to 2.11.
Locke has eight starts this season in which he has finished with at least six innings and no more than three hits allowed. Those eight tie him with Harvey for the most in the Majors.
Locke is allowing 6.03 hits per nine innings. The lowest hit rate for any qualifying Bucs pitcher in the franchise's first 131 years is Al Mamaux's 6.51 in 1915. Between 1893 and 2012, seven left-handers in their age-25 or younger season qualified for the ERA title and finished the year with a lower hits/nine than the rate currently owned by Locke. The lowest of the seven was produced by Red Sox southpaw Leonard (5.57) in 1914.
Here and there
• Bumgarner allowed one run in seven innings, but took the loss as the D-backs topped the Giants, 3-1. Bumgarner allowed five hits and three walks in the outing, and owns a career 1.15 WHIP. The left-hander is one of seven Giants pitchers since 1893 to have thrown at least 600 innings through their age-23 season. Among this septet, Bumgarner's WHIP is the second lowest, behind Christy Mathewson's 1.13.
• The A's Bartolo Colon threw a four-hit shutout, beating the Angels, 6-0. Colon's four-hitter gives him three shutouts this season. Among all pitchers in their age-40 or older season, that total ties him for the seventh most. Warren Spahn had seven in 1963, Cy Young had six in 1907, and four pitchers -- Babe Adams in 1922, Jack Quinn* in '28, Early Wynn in '60, and Spahn in '61 -- had four. The others with three: Young (1908-09), Eddie Plank ('16), Quinn* (1926-27), Wynn ('62), Phil Niekro (1980-81) and Dennis Martinez ('94).
*All of Quinn's seasons came as a member of the Athletics.
• Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria hit his 20th home run, giving him at least 20 in five of his first six seasons. Among third basemen, Longoria is the fourth to have at least 20 in five of his first six years, joining Eddie Mathews (six of six), Chipper Jones (five of six) and Scott Rolen (five of six).
• The Brewers tied a franchise mark, recording their third consecutive team shutout. With a 1-0 victory in 13 innings over the Marlins (the winning run coming courtesy of a Caleb Gindl home run), the team matched the three straight shutouts produced by the 1990 Brewers from April 19-21.
In this game, Milwaukee pitchers faced 45 batters: the fourth most for the club in a shutout.
June 8, 2004 -- Brewers beat the Angels, 1-0, in 17 innings, facing 59 batters; Aug. 24, 1983 -- Milwaukee beat Anaheim, 1-0, in 14 innings, facing 54 batters; Aug. 23, 1974 -- Brewers beat the Royals, 1-0, in 13 innings, facing 48 batters.
Gindl is the first Brewers player to hit a game-ending, extra-inning home run to break a 0-0 tie.
• Baltimore's Chris Davis collected his 29th double, giving him his 66th extra-base hit. His 66 through 99 team games ties him for the 16th most for any player since 1916. The top mark is Lou Gehrig's 79 in 1927. Of the 19 total players since '16 with at least 66 through 99 team games, Davis is one of six to have done it in the past 70 seasons. The other five: Albert Belle (70 in '94), Reggie Jackson (68 in '69), Edgar Martinez (68 in '96), Hank Aaron (67 in '59) and Frank Thomas (66 in '94).
• Mike Napoli hit a game-ending home run in the 11th inning to give the Red Sox an 8-7 victory over the Yankees. It is the fourth walk-off homer for Boston against New York in the past 20 seasons; over this same stretch of time, the Yanks have five against the Sox.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.