0-0 Extra inning games

Tonight, (this morning? – whatever, the game began on August 12) the White Sox and Mariners played a game where no runs were scored until the 14th inning. Five days earlier, on August 7, the Yanks and Red Sox went until the 15th until a run was scored.

How often does that happen?

Well, I don’t have info on 2009 (yet), but here were recent games that went to the 14th inning before a run was scored:

July 20, 2004: Oakland 1, Toronto 0 (14)
June 8, 2004: Brewers 1, Angels 0 (17)
August 13, 2003: Indians 5, Twins 0 (14)
May 31, 2003: Cubs 1, Astros 0 (16)
May 29, 2001: Diamondbacks 1, Giants 0 (18)
March 31, 1998: Mets 1, Phillies 0 (14)
September 29, 1993: Mets, 1, Cards 0 (17)
July 23, 1992: Indians 1, Royals 0 (14)
August 8, 1991: Tigers 4, Blue Jays 0 (14)
May 17, 1991: Phillies 1, Cubs 0 (16)
August 23, 1989: Dodgers 1, Expos 0 (22)
July 27, 1986: A’s 1, Blue Jays 0 (15)

From 1980-3, there were 9 other games, but from 1984-2008 – a full quarter-century of baseball, it happend only a dozen times. Yet it just happened twice in less than seven days.


Last time it happened twice in one week? Um . .. . it almost happened in 1972: on July 6, 1972 the Padres beat the Mets 1-0 in 14 innings. Eight days later, the Indians topped the Rangers 2-0 in 14 innings.

Before that, this happened in 1918:
May 15, 1918: Senators 1, White Sox 0 (14)
May 22, 1918: Yankees 1, White Sox 0 (15)

That sure was some week the Sox had! They won the world championship the year before and threw the Series the next year. 1918 was a rough season for them, though.

Even there, the Sox games were seven days apart. Both came on Wednesday, and last time I checked a week doesn’t have two Wednesdays. The 2008-twsome came five days apart, not seven.

Well, having put all retrosheet gamelogs from 1871-2008 into excel, I can find no examples of two such games coming so closely together as the recent NYY-BOX and SEA-CWS games. To be fair, it may have happened – retrosheet gamelogs don’t always list extra-innings for the earlier years (at least they didn’t went I exported the info), but unless someone can prove me wrong, I’m guessing this quarter of AL teams just made history this week.

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  1. Richard Gadsden said...

    Modern baseball breaks a record for not scoring runs.  That’s really unlikely.

    Though, I guess the fact that there are 90+ games a week instead of less than 50 in the 16-team era is a factor.

  2. Rowen Bell said...

    I have a friend whose first-ever MLB game was the 8/23/89 Dodgers-Expos game listed above.  He was visiting his girlfriend in Montreal; they stayed for 18 innings, never seeing a run, before having to leave in order to take the last train back to her suburb.  I’m not sure he’s been back to an MLB game since!

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