Derek Holland was absolutely masterful in Game 4 of the 2011 World Series. In what was essentially a must-win for the Rangers, the southpaw turned in 8.1 innings of two-hit baseball (with Lance Berkman producing both Cardinal hits).
In this decade, there have been a total of eight World Series shutouts. What's interesting is that all eight of those shutouts were thrown by the team that went on to win the World Series.
In other words, no team has gone on to win the World Series after being shut out. Not good news for Cardinals fans.
Here's how I rank all eight shutouts since the turn of the century.
Chris Carpenter will start an all important Game 5 Monday night, and he is the only pitcher in this World Series (besides Derek Holland) on this list.
Back in 2006, Carpenter threw eight shutout innings against the Tigers. He allowed only three hits, struck out six, and did not walked just one batter. Former Mets great Braden Looper threw a perfect ninth inning to complete the shutout.
Seems like Carpenter knows how to pitch in October, doesn't it?
Starting pitching was one of the main reasons that the Giants defeated the Rangers in last year's Fall Classic. In fact, this is not the only game from that series on this list.
Matt Cain was brilliant in Game 2 at AT&T Park. He threw 7.2 shutout innings, allowing four hits, striking out two, and walking two.
Javier Lopez recorded the final out of the eighth, and Guillermo Mota pitched a scoreless ninth.
Although the final score wasn't close, it was tight with Cain on the mound. A seven-run eighth inning broke the game open.
That brings us to Sunday night. There aren't many lefties around that throw as hard as Derek Holland, and he was about as good as I've ever seen him.
In Game 4 of the 2011 World Series, 8.1 innings pitched. Two hits. Two walks. Seven strikeouts. He had about every Cardinal hitter fooled except for Lance Berkman.
What makes this effort so important and meaningful is this: Say he gets rocked and the Cardinals win, they go up 3-1, and Texas has to win three straight, two of those in St. Louis.
I'm sure it's been done, but Holland came through in the biggest start of his young career.
Neftali Feliz put the finishing touches on this shutout, bringing the Rangers even in the series.
Like I mentioned, the Giants shutout the hot hitting Rangers twice in last year's World Series. This time, Madison Bumgarner did most the damage.
With San Francisco up 2-1, Bumgarner tossed eight three-hit innings, striking out six and walking two, while Brian Wilson came in to close it out.
This game made a comeback seem nearly out of reach for Texas. It also set the stage for Tim Lincecum's domination in the series-clincher.
The 2001 World Series was an all-time classic, and the Diamondbacks wouldn't have won it if it was't for Randy Johnson.
He was huge in Game 6, came out of the bullpen in Game 7, and was dominant in Game 2 in. Unlike the previous starting pitchers on this list, The Big Unit went the distance. He struck out 11, allowed three hits and walked just one batter.
Johnson's outing put the D'Backs up 2-0 in a series they eventually won in seven.
People tend to forget how good this White Sox team was. They dominated in the regular season and went 11-1 in the postseason.
They swept Houston in the World Series, and tossed a shutout in the clincher. Freddy Garcia went seven innings, Cliff Politte and Neal Cotts pitched the eighth, and Bobby Jenks closed it out.
Garcia went 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in the '05 postseason.
I think every non-Yankee fan appreciates what happened in 2004. The Red Sox came back from down 3-0 in the ALCS, and went on to win their first World Series in 86 years.
The Cardinals were a really good team that year, but I don't think any team would have stopped Boston after their historic ALCS.
Derek Lowe threw seven three-hit innings in the series clincher, while striking out four and walking just one. The cornrowed Bronson Arroyo and Allan Embree worked the eighth, and Keith Foulke came on to wrap up an unforgettable postseason.
I'm not a Marlins or a Yankees fan, but I remember this game so vividly.
This was a great postseason, and it often gets overshadowed by the whole Steve Bartman incident. But let's not forget what the Flordia Marlins accomplished.
They earned a win in the NLCS over the Cubs, then fell in a 0-2 hole to the Yankees. The series shifted to Miami, and Florida won three straight, including a crucial 12-inning affair.
When the series returned to New York, Jack McKeon handed the ball to Josh Beckett, putting on one of the most clutch pitching performances I've ever seen. He threw a complete shutout, allowed five hits, walked two and struck out nine.
The night ended when Beckett picked up a soft dribbler up the first base line hit by Jorge Posada, and tagged him to record the final out. He shut down a prolific offense in front of 56,000 Yankee fans to clinch a World Series title.
I think that deserves the top spot on this list.