Jun 17, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (43) at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

How Impressive Was Josh Tomlin's 1-Hit Performance?

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Josh Tomlin‘s Game Score of 96 Bested Only By Clayton Kershaw’s No Hitter In 2014

Josh Tomlin dominated the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night allowing just one hit in facing one over the minimum while striking out 11 and walking none.

He became the first Cleveland Indians pitcher to throw a 1-hit complete game shutout since Billy Traber did it against the New York Yankees on July 8, 2003.

How impressive of a start was it for Tomlin? One measure we can use to rank his performance is Bill James Game Score.

To calculate game score a pitcher starts with 50 points.  A pitcher can earn points by recording outs, finishing innings, and striking hitters out. The scoring is as follows: add one point for each out recorded, add two points for every inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout.  At the same time the pitcher loses points for hits, runs allowed (earned and unearned), and walks. The scoring is as follows: subtract two points for each hit allowed, subtract four points for every earned run allowed and two points for every unearned run, and subtract a point for each walk.

Tomlin’s Game Score last night was 96 which is higher than the no-hitters thrown by Tim Lincecum and Josh Beckett and is bested only by the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw who fanned 15 in his no-hitter which earned a Game Score of 102.  The best game scores of 2014 are included in the link in the tweet below.

Tomlin joins good company. In the last 25 years of major league baseball there have only been 61 games pitched with a game score of 96 or higher (LINK).

Going back to the 1969 season (after the mound was lowered) only three Indians hurlers have posted higher game scores than Tomlin did last night.

Dennis Eckersley registered a 98 in his 12 strikeout no-hit (one walk) performance on May 30, 1977 (Box) over the California Angels.

Len Barker also had a 98 in his perfect game effort over the Toronto Blue Jays on  May 15, 1981 (Box).

Bartolo Colon had a 97 in his 12 strikeout one hit performance over the New York Yankees on September 18, 2000 (Box).

Gaylord Perry matched Tomlin’s 96 but required 11 innings in 2-1 complete game victory over the New York Yankees on October 1, 1972 (Box).

There have been higher game scores in Cleveland Indians history (LINK) but most of these came back in a time when starting pitchers would last longer than 9 innings.

The highest game score in franchise history belongs to Willis Hudlin who threw a 15-inning complete game shutout against the Philadelphia Athletics on August 24, 1935, In that game he allowed eight hits striking out six and walking one.


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