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Big -Game James
The Chicago Cubs’ Matt Garza threw MLB’s 167th complete game of the 2011 season Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley, one of 82 guys to accomplish the feat this year.
2011 will produce the second-highest total of complete games in the last eight years, surpassed only by 2005’s 189, and the fourth consecutive season to see an increase.
While the rate of complete games—just over one per day over the season’s first four months—has slackened slightly since the arrival of the dog days of August, Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson and the pitcher’s wing of Heaven’s Hall of Fame must be pleased by this development.
Here’s the by-month and by-league breakdown, through games of Wed. Sept. 21:
| ||AL ||NL ||Total
|April ||12 ||14 ||26
|May ||22 ||16 ||38
|June ||18 ||16 ||34
|July ||18 ||13 ||31
|August ||14 ||8 ||22
|September ||7 ||9 ||16
| ||91 ||76 ||167
The top complete gamers are James Shields (11), Roy Halladay (eight), Cliff Lee (six, all shutouts) and Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw (five apiece).
Look at it this way—when a pitcher throws a complete game, at least the manager can’t get in his way, can he?