Last night’s 12 games in which a team scored two runs or fewer

Two Billy-Ball.com readers, Herm and Glenn, astutely pointed out that last night there were 12 games in which one team scored two or fewer runs (and one in which both teams scored less than a pair), the most since there were 13 on July 24, July 15, June 30, June 24, and the 14 games on June 17.

Was it good pitching, bad hitting, fatigue, the dog days of summer, or a combination of the four? Here are last night’s games for you to decide:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt
1 2012-08-14 ARI STL L  2-8
2 2012-08-14 BOS BAL L  1-7
3 2012-08-14 CHC HOU L  1-10
4 2012-08-14 MIA PHI L  0-1
5 2012-08-14 NYM CIN L  0-3
6 2012-08-14 OAK KCR L  0-5
7 2012-08-14 PHI MIA W  1-0
8 2012-08-14 PIT LAD L  0-11
9 2012-08-14 SDP ATL L  0-6
10 2012-08-14 TBR SEA L  2-3
11 2012-08-14 TEX NYY L  0-3
12 2012-08-14 TOR CHW L  2-3
13 2012-08-14 WSN SFG L  1-6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/15/2012.

Here’s my take:

  1. Really strong pitching by Cardinals rookie right-hander Joe Kelly.
  2. I left out the option of “team dysfunctionality,” a category in which the Red Sox lead the league.
  3. If you were playing the Cubs or the Astros would you care about anything other than when the season will finally end?
  4. Okay, maybe the Marlins can give the Red Sox a run for their money for team dysfunctionality.
  5. The Mets are 24-38 since June 3 and 11–24 since July 3.
  6. Jeremy Guthrie, who struck out a season-high eight, ran his scoreless streak to 15 innings, the longest streak of his career. Maybe he’s found a home in KC.
  7. Chad Billingsley has a streak of five consecutive wins since July 23, and an ERA of 1.56.
  8. The Phils are having their best month of the season, 8-5 with a .615 winning percentage.
  9. Tim Hudson (12-4) allowed two hits and one walk in 6.2 innings and has won six straight decisions.
  10. Huge walkoff win for the Mariners scoring twice in the bottom of the 9th. Great starting pitching by both teams.
  11. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Hiroki Kuroda,  “Probably our best pitching performance of the year.”
  12. Just like in Seattle, both the White Sox and the Jays exhibited great pitching.
  13. Madison Bumgarner pitched a five-hitter and the Giants scored four in the 8th to break this game open. These teams showed why they are division leaders.

Here are the the number of games in which a team has scored two or fewer runs over the last 20 seasons:

Rk Year #Matching W L
1 2011 1505 224 1281 Ind. Games
2 2010 1488 214 1274 Ind. Games
3 2005 1376 199 1175 Ind. Games
4 2002 1360 174 1186 Ind. Games
5 2008 1356 165 1191 Ind. Games
6 2009 1345 160 1185 Ind. Games
7 2003 1320 168 1150 Ind. Games
8 2001 1294 155 1137 Ind. Games
9 2004 1275 147 1128 Ind. Games
10 1993 1273 168 1103 Ind. Games
11 1998 1268 151 1117 Ind. Games
12 2007 1242 145 1097 Ind. Games
13 1997 1235 166 1069 Ind. Games
14 2006 1230 152 1078 Ind. Games
15 1999 1171 132 1037 Ind. Games
16 2000 1144 141 1003 Ind. Games
17 1996 1103 135 966 Ind. Games
18 2012 1074 140 934 Ind. Games
19 1995 1047 129 916 Ind. Games
20 1994 794 84 710 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/15/2012.

Games won by a shutout, from 1993 to 2012

Rk Year #Matching
1 2010 329
2 2011 323
3 2002 275
4 2009 273
5 2008 271
6 2005 261
7 2006 260
8 2003 259
9 2004 251
10 1998 244
11 2007 243
12 2001 227
13 2012 220
14 1993 220
15 1997 211
16 2000 204
17 1995 204
18 1996 196
19 1999 193
20 1994 143
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/15/2012.