MLB Notebook: Lee, Cain have duel for ages
On May 26, 1966, the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies tussled for 14 innings and combined for just one run. The stars of the day were on the mound, where future Hall of Famers Jim Bunning and Juan Marichal matched zeroes for the first 10 frames. Bunning was done after 10 shutout innings, having allowed just five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Marichal went the distance, finishing with a six-hit, 10-strikeout, 14-inning shutout.
Bunning's superb effort produced a game score (an equation used to measure a pitcher's dominance) of 88, while Marichal's line produced an eye-popping 109. Since that epic duel, no other Phillies-Giants game had featured both starters producing a game score of at least 85 -- until Wendesday.
After the Phillies' Cliff Lee (10 innings) and Giants' Matt Cain (nine innings) combined for 19 innings of shutout ball, San Francisco defeated Philadelphia, 1-0, on Melky Cabrera's game-ending single in the 11th.
Lee was the first pitcher since Mark Mulder in 2005, and the ninth since 1991, to finish a start with at least 10 shutout innings. Of these nine, six walked away from their marvelous effort with a no-decision.
Starters who have pitched 10 shutout innings in a game since 1991
This game marked the 10th time in the past 20 seasons in which both starters finished their day with at least nine shutout innings, and the first since Jason Vargas and Zach Britton accomplished the feat last May 12.
Cain allowed two hits with four strikeouts and one walk in his gem, producing a game score of 86.
With a 3-2 win over Houston, Washington improved to 10-3 for the second-best 13-game start in Expos/Nationals history. The 1981 Expos opened with 11 wins against two defeats.
Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run on four hits in seven innings -- the sixth time this season a Nationals starter has gone at least seven innings and allowed no more than one run. Those six are the most in the Majors.
Zimmermann has allowed one earned run while going seven innings in each of his first three starts of the season. Before him, no Expos/Nationals pitcher had started the season with three consecutive starts of at least seven innings pitched and no more than one earned run.
Behind Derek Holland's seven innings of four-hit, two-run ball, the Rangers beat the Red Sox, 6-3, to improve to 10-2 on the season. They matched the 1989 Rangers for the best 12-game start in franchise history.
Through their first 12 games, the 1989 team averaged 5.33 runs per game and allowed an average of 3.58 runs per game, while the club this season is scoring 5.75 runs per game and allowing 2.50 runs per game. With Holland's performance, Texas starters are 8-0 with a 2.44 ERA this season.
Mike Napoli homered, doubled and drove in four runs in the Rangers' victory. Since the start of the 2011 season, Napoli has 60 extra-base hits in 472 plate appearances, for an extra-base-hit percentage of 12.7. Among players with at least 400 plate appearances since the beginning of last year, that percentage is the highest in the Majors.
Here and there
David Wright drove in three runs to give him 733 RBIs for his career, tying Darryl Strawberry for the Mets' franchise record. Wright is also second in career runs (31 behind all-time leader Jose Reyes), third in hits, first in total bases, first in doubles, fourth in home runs, fourth in walks and first in extra-base hits.
A.J. Pierzynski went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and now has four homers and 13 RBIs on the season. In the live-ball era, Pierzynski's four homers tie him with Sherm Lollar in 1957 and Carlton Fisk in '81 for the most by a White Sox catcher through 11 team games, and his 13 RBIs tie him with Fisk in '81 for the most through 11 contests.
Justin Morneau went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs in the Twins' 6-5 victory over the Yankees in New York. In 12 career games and 52 plate appearances at the new Yankee Stadium (which opened in 2009), Morneau owns a .478 average and 1.582 OPS with five doubles, seven home runs and 10 RBIs. Morneau's seven home runs at Yankee Stadium are two more than he has hit in 340 plate appearances at his home park, Target Field.
Derek Jeter went 3-for-5 and hit his fourth home run of the season in his 54th at-bat of the year. Jeter, whose fourth home run in 2011 came in his 330th at-bat, has had 266 games with at least three hits -- the 12th most for any player since 1918.
The Marlins' Mark Buehrle (eight innings, six hits, one run) won his first game as a National League pitcher. From his first season in 2000 through last year, Buehrle's 161 victories were the second most in the American League, behind CC Sabathia's 165.
The Twins' Josh Willingham went 1-for-5 on Wednesday and the Giants' Pablo Sandoval went 1-for-4. Each player has at least one hit in every game his team has played (12) this season.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.