A shutout is officially defined by Major League Baseball rule 10.18:
“A shutout is a statistic credited to a pitcher who allows no runs in a game. No pitcher shall be credited with pitching a shutout unless he pitches the complete game, or unless he enters the game with none out before the opposing team has scored in the first inning, puts out the side without a run scoring and pitches the rest of the game without allowing a run. When two or more pitchers combine to pitch a shutout, the league statistician shall make a notation to that effect in the league’s official pitching records”
9-innings of zeros on the scoreboard as the team congratulated me on the infield for pitching a shutout. What can I say…I was on, Not to say that I didn’t make any mistakes, I made a few mental errors and missed a few spots- but my teammates behind me made all the right plays.
Can a pitcher still get a shutout if he doesn’t start? Surprisingly, Yes! He won’t be be credited with a game started or complete game. If the starting pitcher is removed from the game prior to the first recorded out by the opposing team, the pitcher that replaces him can still be eligible for a shutout if the game ends with the opposing team failing to score a run. On June 23, 1917, Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox walked the first batter of the Washington Senators, Ray Morgan, in the bottom of the first inning. Ruth engaged in an argument with home plate umpire Brick Owens, and Ruth was ejected and escorted off the field. Ruth’s replacement, Ernie Shore, proceeded to finish the game without allowing the Senators to score retiring the next 26 batters in a row to complete a perfect game. The game was regarded as a perfect game for many years until it was officially downgraded to a no-hitter since another pitcher took part in the game. Shore and Ruth were credited with a combined no-hitter, even though Ruth pitched unsuccessfully to only one batter in the game. Shore was credited with a shutout for his effort, despite not starting the game or pitching a complete game. This bizarre scenario has occurred only once in baseball history.
Many pitchers in the major leagues throw double digit shutouts in their career even college and high School pitchers throw multiple shutouts.
There was a mystique on the field that night, the only runs scored was by 2-walked batters and a base hit. The team I pitch for was going for their 75th all time win, and we were playing on an old minor league baseball field built in the early 1940’s.
I play on a team called the California Knickerbockers (www.californiaknickerbockers.com) it is a junior college level wood-bat team in northern California. I have played baseball my whole life and love everything about the game, the thinking, the throwing, the great plays and solid hits. The tricks and the trade, to many baseball is just a game, but to me, it is a way of life.