Last night, Kurt Mensching of Bless You Boys pointed out an amusing stat: Despite being second in baseball in runs and OPS, the Detroit Tigers have been shut out 11 times this season. That's counterintuitive, but is it historically fluky?
Probably not, because the team that's #1 in runs and OPS, the Red Sox, have also been shut out 11 times on the season. The Marlins have been shut out 17 times on the year, which you might expect, but the Braves are right behind them with 15 shutouts. So, no, the Tigers aren't that much of an anomaly.
But the research did lead me to something fascinating. The 1962 Mets were famous for losing 120 out of 160 games in their inaugural season, but the 1963 Mets were just as special, in a way. The next time you're complaining about your team's miserable season, remember this:
|5||1963-05-12 (1)||NYM||CIN||L 0-3|
|6||1963-05-19 (1)||NYM||LAD||L 0-1|
|7||1963-05-30 (1)||NYM||CHC||L 0-12|
|13||1963-07-04 (2)||NYM||CHC||L 0-3|
|16||1963-07-15 (2)||NYM||HOU||L 0-8|
|17||1963-07-21 (1)||NYM||PHI||L 0-8|
|19||1963-08-02 (1)||NYM||MLN||L 0-8|
|21||1963-08-18 (1)||NYM||LAD||L 0-7|
|23||1963-09-02 (2)||NYM||CIN||L 0-1|
|29||1963-09-15 (2)||NYM||HOU||L 0-5|
Thirty shutouts. That's the most by any team since 1916, which is as far back as Play Index goes. I'd reckon that's the most by any team, 1916 or no.
A season like that is how you get stat lines like Roger Craig's, who a) had a 3.78 ERA, b) was worth two wins according to Baseball-Reference.com's WAR, and c) had a 5-22 record.
So if you've ever wondered if people make too big of a deal about this team, the answer is no. No, they don't. Because one of the bricks in that foundation is a 30-shutout season.