- Jayson Stark, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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Useless Blowout Info (Royals Division)
Gotta love those Royals. They score 26 runs in one game of a doubleheader, then score zero in the second game (Sept. 9 in Detroit).
Well, Elias reports that only two teams in history ever scored that many runs in one game and then got shut out in their next -- the 1955 White Sox (29 on April 23, 0 on April 24) and 1922 Cubs (26 on Aug. 25, 0 on Aug. 26). But neither of those teams pulled that off in a doubleheader.
So thanks to the miracle of retrosheet.org, we've determined that the Royals are the only team in the last 30 seasons to score at least 20 fewer runs in the finale of a doubleheader than they'd scored in the opener. Not that that's a shock.
Another first: According to Elias, the Royals tied the prestigious record for most runs scored in a game by a team that was at least 20 games below .500.
The previous record was held by their baseball ancestors, Fatty Briody's 1888 Kansas City Blues. The Blues were an attractive 40-81 before they exploded to wipe out the old Philadelphia Athletics, 26-14, on Sept. 30.
By the way, that team scored exactly one run in its next game.
And still more: The Royals set an American League record by having 13 straight hitters reach base in Game 1 of that doubleheader. They would have had 18 straight hitters fail to reach base against Jeremy Bonderman in Game 2, except for three infield singles.
Ah, but this team wasn't through. Four days later, the Royals scored 17 runs in a game against the Yankees -- and then got shut out in their next two games.
We're guessing you won't be stunned to learn they're the only team in history to go from 26 runs to none, and from 17 runs to none, at any point in the same season -- let alone the same week.
But life is full of goofy ironies. And here's one, courtesy of John Sadak, media-relations whiz for the Royals' Carolina League farm team, the Wilmington Blue Rocks:
The same day the Royals were ripping off an 11-run inning in that 26-5 game, their Wilmington farm team was allowing an 11-run inning in a blowout by Potomac (even though that one was "only" 14-6).
And naturally, since their friends in Kansas City were scoring no runs in their next game, the Blue Rocks stayed true to their mirror-image form by giving up no runs in their next game. You just couldn't make this stuff up.
But now the good news. The Royals had a 10-run inning in that game against the Yankees after scoring 11 in an inning against Detroit -- making them the first team to have two double-digit innings in the same week since the 2000 Orioles did it in back-to-back games Sept. 28 and 29.
Useless Blowout Info (Yankees Division)
What's really amazing, though, is that none of those Royals games even represent the most astonishing blowout of the year. That one took place Aug. 31 in Yankee Stadium. You'll remember this score:
Indians 22, Yankees 0.
Some items of note on that shocker:
Not only was this the worst shutout in Yankees history, it was also the worst shutout in American League history.
In fact, this was just the second 22-0 game any teams had played since 1900. The other: Pirates 22, Cubs 0, on Sept. 16, 1975.
Because the Cubs were the home team in that Cubs-Pirates game, the Yankees became just the third home team in history to endure a shutout loss that lopsided. The other was played as recently as June 28, 1887, when Egyptian Healey's old Indianapolis Hoosiers got wiped out, 24-0, by the Phillies.
The Yankees were the first team to lose a home game by 22 runs (via shutout or non-shutout) since Aug. 25, 1979, when the Blue Jays lost a 24-2 game to the Angels.
Since that Blue Jays-Angels game, only one other team had lost any game -- home or away -- by 22 runs, according to Elias. That was the 2000 Blue Jays, who lost a 23-1 game on the road in Baltimore on Sept. 28.
But then the Yankees hadn't lost any game, ever, by 22 runs. At least in their worst previous losses, Babe Ruth played in them. They lost a 19-1 game to the Tigers on June 17, 1925 and a 24-6 game to the Indians on July 29, 1928.
This was a touchdown worse than the Yankees' worst previous shutout losses. They were two 15-0 blankouts against the White Sox -- one on July 15, 1907 (to Doc White), the other on May 4, 1950 (to Bob Cain).
Those 1950 Yankees went on to win (and sweep) the World Series. But they didn't set a record for worst shutout loss by an eventual World Series champ. That one, according to Elias, belongs to the 1965 Dodgers. They lost an 18-0 game to the Reds (Jim Maloney) on Aug. 8, 1965, and recovered just fine.
Those 22 runs coughed up by the Yankees in one game were more than the 1998, '99 or 2000 Yankees allowed in the entire World Series.
But that 22-0 game was actually a portent of things to come for this pitching staff. Over the next two weeks, the Yankees also had a game in which they gave up 14 runs (in Baltimore, Sept. 10) and another in which they allowed 17 runs (Monday in Kansas City).
Elias reports this was just the second time in franchise history they gave up two touchdowns or more three times in two weeks. The other: Sept. 17, 19 and 25, 2000 -- when they allowed 15, 16 and 15 to the Indians, Blue Jays and Tigers in a stretch of nine games.
Meanwhile, if you count the two games before that 22-0 game and the run they scored in the first inning the next night, the Indians ran off a streak of 35 straight unanswered runs over four games (two of which were against the White Sox). And you sure don't see that much.
Just two other teams since 1900 have scored that many runs in a row, according to Elias -- the 1903 Pirates (38 in a row) and 1947 Yankees (36).
And because this sums up the goofiness of baseball, how long do you suppose it took the Indians to score their next 22 runs after that 22-0 game? Oh, how about a week? Yup. It took them seven games and 61 innings.
Question: Curt Schilling has now won 20 games in a season for the third time but still owns no Cy Young awards. Can you name the only two pitchers in the last 25 years with at least three 20-win seasons but no Cy Youngs?
Answer: Dave Stewart (four) and Jack Morris (three).
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.