Saturday, March 29, 2014

"the best stuff (Lefty) ever had..."

The seven years Steve Carlton spent as a Cardinal are often just a footnote in his bio.  Most of that comes from how dominate he was as a member of the Phillies and part of that comes from being overshadowed by his teammate while a Redbird, Bob Gibson.  Despite living in that long shadow, the 24 year old left-hander would step out from it (and into the darkness of storm clouds) at least for one special night.

Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller and Don Wilson all held the modern MLB record with 18 strikeouts in a game.  Steve Carlton would write his name one strikeout better than those men while at the same time claiming a dubious honor.  More rare than a Perfect Game, an 18+ strikeout nine inning game has only happened 20 times since 1900.  Even rarer is striking out that many batters and losing a nine inning game.  Carlton's game is one of only four such games since 1900.  

How do we know that this is the Steve Carlton 19 strikeout game?  It takes a bit of sleuthing but with the evidence provided, it is pretty conclusive.  

Our summer of much-content

With today's post, we kick off the Opening Day weekend.  If Major League Baseball can start the season two weeks early in Australia, we can start the season on a Saturday.  The first post going up is a record tying performance not thought to be captured on video.  The stream of content we have weekly this summer will see Homerun Kings, DVD reviews, pennant clinchers, expansion teams and whatever surprise footage pops up.  

We've got over 25 weeks until the playoffs, so here's to fun-filled summer!

Tom Seaver's no-hit bid broken up after 25 outs.  Footage courtesy of WGN.