San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner pitches at AT&T Park. Credit: Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
The San Francisco Giants set a team record and in so doing, accomplished something that's been done just 17 times in the last 94 years.
Wednesday afternoon, we noted here at Baseball Nation that the San Francisco Giants' three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, all by shutout, was the first time a Dodger team had that done against them in 75 years.
The Giants shut out the Cincinnati Reds Thursday night -- a one-hitter hurled by Madison Bumgarner -- and in so doing, set a team record. No previous Giants team had ever thrown four consecutive shutouts.
Bumgarner was dominant; the only Reds hit was a single leading off the sixth inning by catcher Ryan Hanigan. Giants pitchers have allowed just 17 hits in the four games -- averaging a little more than four per game -- and 14 of the 17 hits have been singles. Further, for the third time in the four games, no Giants opponent reached third base.
Baseball-reference.com, which has records for such things going back to 1918, tells us this is the 17th time since then that a team has had at least four straight shutouts. The last time it happened was in 1995, when the Baltimore Orioles had five consecutive blankings -- oddly enough, the last five games of that season.
That's been done just three times (the 1974 Orioles and the 1962 St. Louis Cardinals are the other teams to do it). The Giants have a chance to tie that record Friday night when Matt Cain takes the mound against the Reds.
Cain has thrown two complete-game shutouts this season, including his perfect game on June 13, and pitched one other game with nine scoreless innings that the Giants won in 11. The Giants have a pretty good shot at equaling this rare major-league feat.