They Call Him the Streak

When Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb takes the mound tonight against the Atlanta Braves he will be carrying with him a streak of not allowing a run in 33-innings. This streak is now a career and franchise best and indeed quite an accomplishment. But it still pales when put into the perspective of the overall Major League record. That record stands at 59 consecutive innings and is held by Los Angeles Dodgers great Orel Hershiser who set the mark during an amazing 1988 season where he won 23 games while pitching 267 innings including 15 complete games. These are some unbelievable numbers and with Webb in the midst of chasing “the bulldog” and his record I thought it would be fun to extrapolate how these two compare.

Brandon Webb this season has started 25 games and has pitched in 175.2 innings. If we assume that Webb will make 8 more starts in the Diamondbacks remaining 40 games he would need each game to go 11 innings for him to reach Hershiser’s innings pitched total. With Webb’s current win total of 12 games, he would need to win each of his next 8 starts plus come in as relief and record another 3 wins to reach Hershiser’s total for 1988. Brandon Webb leads the Arizona Diamondbacks with 3 complete games this season. Even if he were to throw complete games for the remainder of the season he would still fall 4 short of Orel Hershiser’s total for the 1988 season. Put in these terms it is clear to see how incredible that year was for Hershiser. If we turn our attention away from these other areas and focus strictly on the 59 consecutive scoreless inning streak it will take Brandon Webb three starts to reach that pinnacle. That would mean complete game shut-outs against the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, and a shut-out going into the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres. These three opponents are all battling for their play-off lives which compound the difficulty of this feat. It should be an interesting couple of weeks to see how this plays out. I hope Brandon does it. It would be fun to see and even more importantly it would mean the Diamondbacks are still on track for the play-offs.

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