Seven shutouts on one day for first time since '72

Updated: September 6, 2006, 8:52 AM ET
Associated Press

In an era of offense, batters came up blank for a night.

Tuesday marked the first time in 34 years that there were seven shutouts in the major leagues on a single day.

Take that, home-run hitters!

"That's amazing," Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez said. "That's kind of a freak thing."

In the American League, Boston beat Chicago 1-0, Minnesota defeated Tampa Bay 8-0 and Kansas City blanked the New York Yankees 5-0.

Over in the National League, Arizona defeated Florida 4-0, St. Louis beat Washington 2-0, Cincinnati defeated San Francisco 3-0 and Milwaukee blanked Los Angeles 9-0.

"I was looking at that, too," Texas manager Buck Showalter said after his team beat Oakland -- not in a shutout, but by 5-4. "I was hoping we could be part of that on the good end. You usually see that in day games after night games. Maybe they were all getting ready for the day game."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the most shutouts on one day since there were a record eight on June 4, 1972, when 16 games were played. Thirteen games were played Tuesday.

"It's a freakish day, that's all -- especially with all the home runs that are being hit and all the offense in the American League," Baltimore pitcher Kris Benson said. "It's tough to understand why something like that happens. It's just one of those things, like a full moon."

Tuesday marked the eighth time there were seven or more shutouts on one day. While an average of 6.9 runs per game were scored in 1972, this year's average is 9.9.

"Obviously, pitchers had their day today," Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Maybe your intuition would say at this time of year pitchers are probably getting a little tired. Position players are, too."

Milwaukee's Doug Davis (four-hitter) and Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo (three-hitter) had the only complete-game shutouts.

"It's such a hitters-oriented time, maybe the hitters just took a day off," Texas pitcher Adam Eaton said.

St. Louis' Bob Gibson, Oakland's Catfish Hunter, Detroit's Tom Timmermann, Boston's John Curtis and Houston's Don Wilson pitched complete-game shutouts on June 4, 1972.

There was one constant: Bruce Froemming, who umpired at third base in Milwaukee on Tuesday night, worked at first base when Wilson pitched his two-hitter in Montreal.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press