Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Giants battery for giant results

MadBum-Posey prove to be dominant pitcher-catcher combination in win

MLB Notebook: Giants battery for giant results

By the bottom of the fifth inning on July 15, 1963, White Sox catcher J.C. Martin could have already considered himself a productive participant in this contest against the Orioles. Though he had grounded out in the third inning of what was then a scoreless affair, he had helped batterymate Gary Peters through five innings of one-hit, no-walk baseball, and the duo had been confounding batters to the tune of seven strikeouts. That imprint took on a deeper impression in the fifth, when Martin -- with leadoff hitter Ron Hansen on first -- connected against Robin Roberts for a two-run home run. It would be more than enough for Peters, who retired all 12 batters he faced after seeing his catcher go yard. And by the time the contest was in the books (a mere two hours and eight minutes after it had commenced), the White Sox pitcher had a one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts and no walks, and the man behind the dish -- who could take at least a little credit for such a dominating performance -- had that decisive home run to call his own. It's a degree of influence that can be appreciated by the San Francisco Giants battery of Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey.

Bumgarner retired the first 21 Rockies batters Tuesday before Justin Morneau -- the National League's leading hitter at .317 -- doubled to lead off the eighth and end the bid for a perfect game. Bumgarner finished his night with a one-hit shutout with 13 K's and no walks (for a game score of 98).

Over the past 101 seasons, Bumgarner is the 33rd pitcher to hurl a one-hit shutout and have at least 13 K's, and the ninth to do this with no walks on his line. The list of nine is dominated by right-handers, with Gary Peters the only previous left-hander since 1914 to do this. The rest of the list: Bobby Witt (1963, 13 K's), Kevin Millwood ('94, 14 K's), Kerry Wood ('98, 20 K's), Pedro Martinez (2000, 13 K's), Hideo Nomo ('01, 14 K's), Mike Mussina ('01, 13 K's) and Shelby Miller ('13, 13 K's).

Bumgarner is the fourth Giants pitcher to have a shutout with 13 K's and one or fewer hits allowed. He joins Jason Schmidt (2004), Matt Cain (perfect game in '12) and Tim Lincecum (no-hitter in '13). Bumgarner is also the sixth Giants southpaw to produce a game score of 98, following Rube Marquard (1914), Rube Benton ('20), Carl Hubbell ('33), Johnny Antonelli ('55) and Jonathan Sanchez (no-hitter in 2009). Among these six, Sanchez and Bumgarner are the only two to do it in a nine-inning game.

Bumgarner is the 12th southpaw to produce a game score of at least 98 in a nine-inning affair. He is the second to do it this season, joining Clayton Kershaw (who compiled a 102 in his no-hitter in June); This is the first season since 1914 to see two of these performances, with the first 10 aligning this way: Warren Spahn (1960), Gary Peters ('63), Sandy Koufax ('64, '65), Steve Carlton ('72), David Wells ('98), Eric Milton ('99), Randy Johnson (2004), Erik Bedard ('07) and Sanchez ('09).

In the Giants' win, Posey caught all nine innings and homered twice. Of the 12 starting catchers involved in these game score efforts of 98-plus, Posey is the only one to have a multihomer game.

Bumgarner's bid for a perfect game was ended, as mentioned, by Morneau's leadoff double on a 1-2 pitch in the eighth inning. Prior to this matchup, Bumgarner had experienced 37 plate appearances against lefty-swinging batters this season that came to an end on a 1-2 pitch. Of these 37, five had resulted in hits and 17 had concluded with strikeouts.

Rizzo sizzles
In a 3-0 win against the Reds, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo became the fourth player for the franchise to reach 30 homers in an age-24 or younger season, joining shortstop Ernie Banks (44 in 1955), third baseman Ron Santo (30 on '64) and right fielder Sammy Sosa (33 in '93). Rizzo is the eighth NL first baseman to have a 30-homer season by his age-24 season. Prince Fielder had two (in 2007 and '08), while the rest of these players had one: Don Hurst (1929), Frank Robinson ('59), Orlando Cepeda ('62), Nate Colbert ('70), Will Clark ('87) and Albert Pujols (2004).

Gordon commissions win
With his team down, 1-0, in the bottom of the ninth, Alex Gordon hit a two-run home run to give the Royals a 2-1 walk-off victory against the Twins.

The event marked only the 11th time in franchise history the club had gotten walk-off homer when facing a deficit (Gordon was responsible for the last one, in 2010), and this was just the second time -- among these 11 -- that the homer also represented Kansas City's first runs of the game. On April 13, 1994, Bob Hamelin hit a two-run homer against Boston's Jeff Russell to beat the Red Sox, 2-1. Gordon's walk-off home run is the second this season to turn around a 1-0 deficit; on May 28, Oakland's Josh Donaldson had one against Detroit's Joe Nathan.

Gordon has hit seven home runs in August, the most for a Royals player in any August since Yuniesky Betancourt hit seven in 2010. Chili Davis has the most -- 12 in 1997.

The Royals are 25-12 since the All-Star break (the best record in the Majors for this split) and are 18-6 in August (best record in the Majors for the month). The franchise's best winning percentage for an August came in 1980, when the club played .767 ball (23-7).

If the Shoe fits
Rookie Matt Shoemaker yielded two hits in seven scoreless frames and came away with his 13th win as the Angels defeated the Marlins, 8-2. Shoemaker -- in 110 2/3 innings -- owns a 1.084 WHIP and a 3.33 ERA to go along with his 13 victories.

The 13 wins ties Shoemaker with Jason Dickson (1997) for the fourth most for a Halos rookie. Dean Chance (1962), Marcelino Lopez ('65) and Frank Tanana ('74) each won 14 games.

Shoemaker is pitching in his age-27 season. The last rookie pitcher to be in his age-27 season and collect as many as 13 wins was Alexi Ogando in 2011, and before him, it was Teddy Higuera in 1985. Since 1893, there have 21 of them, with Russ Ford's 26 victories in 1910 standing as the most for this sort of thing.

Trout totally impressive
Mike Trout went 3-for-4 with a double in the Angels' win. Trout -- playing in his age-22 season in 2014 -- is up to a Major League-leading 278 total bases this season, after compiling 315 and 328 in the two previous campaigns. Ted Williams and Vada Pinson are the only two players in history to have at least 300 total bases in three seasons, through their age-22 seasons.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.