MLB Notebook: Garza in elite group with gem

MLB Notebook: Garza in elite group with gem

MLB Notebook: Garza in elite group with gem
Nolan Ryan shares the Major League record for complete-game one-hitters, with 12. He is also the all-time leader in double-digit strikeout games, with 215. Putting these two elements together, it's no surprise that Ryan leads all liveball era pitchers in games with 10 or more strikeouts and no more than one hit surrendered (complete game or not). Ryan had 19 of these games -- far outpacing the No. 2 guy on the list, Randy Johnson. Johnson had 10 such games, while Bob Feller checks in with six for the third most. Sandy Koufax had five of these starts, including his perfect game in 1965. And then after the lefty Koufax, a set of five right-handers -- Jim Maloney, Tom Seaver, Mike Mussina, Pedro Martinez and Kerry Wood -- are tied for the fifth most, with four. Rounding out the top 10, with three, is a group comprised of Sam McDowell, Curt Schilling, Hideo Nomo, Jake Peavy and the newest member of the group, Matt Garza, who compiled his third such start on Sunday.

Garza allowed one hit in seven shutout innings and struck out 10 in the Cubs' 5-1 win over the Phillies. In the American League, Derek Lowe allowed three hits in 7 2/3 innings and picked up the win in Cleveland's 4-0 shutout of the Angels.

Garza's total of three career games with 10 or more strikeouts and no more than one hit allowed is tied for the second most among active pitchers.

Garza's start produced a game score of 84. His game score marked the second time this season the Cubs right-hander had had a value that high (he had an 85 on April 12). Before Garza, the last Cubs pitcher to have multiple starts with a game score of at least 84, through the club's first 22 contests, was Bob Buhl in 1964. Garza and the Giants' Matt Cain are the only two pitchers in 2012 to have two such starts this season.

Active pitchers: Multiple games with 10-plus K's, no more than one hit
Number of Games Pitchers
4 Kerry Wood
3 Matt Garza, Jake Peavy
2 Matt Cain, Chris Carpenter, Ian Kennedy, Kevin Millwood, CC Sabathia, Jonathan Sanchez
Between 1998 and 2011, the '98 season had the most starts with a game score of at least 84 (there were 83 that season). In '98, there were a total of 12 through the first 331 contests of the season. This year, through the first 327 games, there have been 11.

The performances of Lowe and Garza gave the 2012 season a total of 56 starts (through the first 327 games) in which the pitcher finished with at least seven innings and no more than three hits allowed. Since 1998, the 2010 season had the most starts of this type, with 313. That season, there was total of 34 starts of seven-plus innings and three or fewer hits through the season's first 330 games.

• Alex Rodriguez drove in a pair of runs to tie and then pass Willie Mays for 10th place on the all-time list. Rodriguez, who now has 1,904 career RBIs, is 13 behind Eddie Murray. Derek Jeter collected two hits in three at-bats for his 919th career multihit game. Jeter is three shy of tying Mays for the eighth most since 1918.

• Jay Bruce homered in his fourth straight game, leaving him one shy of tying the Reds' franchise record. Ted Kluszewski set the record by homering in five straight in 1954; that record was then matched by George Crowe in 1957, Johnny Bench in '72, Ken Griffey Jr. in 2003 and Adam Dunn in '08.

• Houston's Jordan Schafer went 1-for-2 and extended his streak of reaching base safely (by a hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch) to 22 games. Schafer's streak to begin a season ties him with Dave Magadan in 1995 for the third longest in team history, behind Denis Menke's 25-game run in '69 and Ricky Gutierrez's 23-game streak in '98.

• In his first start since allowing two hits in six shutout innings on April 23, D-backs left-hander Wade Miley allowed one hit and one run in 6 1/3 innings. Miley is the fourth Arizona starter to have back-to-back outings of at least six innings and no more than two hits allowed; he joins Randy Johnson in 2001, Ian Kennedy in '10, and Josh Collmenter in '11.

• The Orioles used a five-run ninth inning to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 victory and maintained their share of the lead in the AL East. At 14-8, Baltimore is off to its best 22-game start since 2005, when the club opened 15-7. With the victory, the O's now have two wins when trailing into the ninth; in 2011, they had a total of two all season.

• Braves leadoff hitter Michael Bourn went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Atlanta topped Pittsburgh, 4-3. Since starting the year 0-4, the Braves have gone 14-4. During this 18-game stretch, Bourn has 29 hits in 75 at-bats (.387). Bourn has 11 multihit games this season, tying him with Matt Kemp for the second most in the National League. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve leads the NL with 12 -- a total that ties him with Chicago's Paul Konerko and New York's Jeter for the most in the Majors.

1981 Dodgers vs. 2012 Dodgers, through 22 games
Year Runs per game Team OPS Team ERA Team BAA
1981 3.73 .674 2.03 .228
2012 4.05 .724 2.98 .208
• Milwaukee's John Axford converted his 48th consecutive save opportunity to move past Brad Lidge (47 straight from 2007-09) for the fourth longest streak in history. Axford who has allowed 50 baserunners in 47 2/3 innings during the streak, trails Eric Gagne (84 straight), Tom Gordon (54) and Jose Valverde (51).

• Chris Capuano (6 2/3 innings, three hits, nine K's) and two relievers combined on a four-hit shutout as the Dodgers beat the Nationals, 2-0, to improve to 16-6. Los Angeles is off to its best 22-game start since 1981, when it was also 16-6.

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