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Most Dominant Pitching You've Witnessed

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  • Most Dominant Pitching You've Witnessed

    Winning pitchers usually settle in. Sometimes they find a groove, felling the subsequent batters. Rarely will a pitcher enter the zone to make batters look silly.

    Then there are occasions, oh so rare occasions, that a pitcher's soul leaves him and begins calling the shots for the body to utterly dominate in otherworldly mastery. Maybe it's brief, just a batter or two, or maybe it lasts several innings.

    It doesn't have to be a no-hitter. It's the act of diminishing a major league hitter(s) to a little leaguer. What are the most dominant bouts of pitching you've ever seen, in person or on TV, or maybe even heard on the radio?
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

  • #2
    I saw or listened to 4 perfect games but when Kerry Wood struck out 20 hitters would probably be my choice.
    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)


    • #3
      I've seen a lot of masterful pitching, but the best pitching performance I've ever seen was a random late inning Octavio Dotel pitched with Chicago back in 2008 or 2009. I forget what team the White Sox were playing that day (we get WGN up here), but I just remember thinking as he struck out the side IIRC that I've never seen an inning as good as this one, that the hitters just had absolutely no chance against him that inning.

      As far as starts go, Johan Santana v. Freddy Garcia back in 2005 was a game I'll never forget (Freddy being the better man that day, IIRC). Johan's 17 K's in 8 innings vs. Texas in 2007 is up there, certainly.
      "Baseball is really fun"~ Joe Dimaggio
      "I really like baseball"~ Babe Ruth
      "Baseball is my favorite sport"~ Pete Rose


      • #4
        I remember watching Craig Kimbrel pitch an inning when he first came up in 2010 and being in awe of how nasty his stuff was.
        Baseball Junk Drawer


        • #5
          For one game, Kerry Wood in 1998.

          For a prolonged stretch of starts?

          I'm not old enough to remember Gooden or Guidry. With that being said I'd have to go with Johan Santana from June 9th 2004 until the end of that season.

          22 starts. 19-3 record. 1.36 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 204 strikeouts and 31 walks in 159 innings. Just an unbelievable stretch of dominance.
          My top 10 players:

          1. Babe Ruth
          2. Barry Bonds
          3. Ty Cobb
          4. Ted Williams
          5. Willie Mays
          6. Alex Rodriguez
          7. Hank Aaron
          8. Honus Wagner
          9. Lou Gehrig
          10. Mickey Mantle


          • #6
            Felix Hernandez Perfect Game. Once he was perfect through 3 innings, he was just so on, I didn't even worry about the batters. He was just so.... perfect that I just felt something great was going to happen. Not necessarily a Perfect game (though one always can hope) but a No-hitter certainly was not out of the question. Was not at the game but glad I got to see it.

            Other than that, Randy Johnson's 20 SO performance back in 2001, 3 hits, 1 run, 0 walks and a No Decision. But those 20 SO were something to see. The SO master just doing his thing.


            • #7
              There were a couple of games Doc Gooden pitched in his prime that was like goliath vs. an infant. Totally blew away hitters with the fastball and embarrassed them with the deuce. He was as good as Koufax that way for that short period of time.
              “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson


              • #8
                Recent one I remember watching was Halladay's no-hitter vs Cincinnati in Game 1 of the NLDS.

                He only allowed one baserunner and that says alot since the Reds were the highest-scoring offense that season.
                "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ian2813 View Post
                  I remember watching Craig Kimbrel pitch an inning when he first came up in 2010 and being in awe of how nasty his stuff was.
                  He's a real treat to watch.
                  Chop! Chop! Chop!


                  • #10
                    Bob Gibson's game one in the 1968 world series is the game that comes to mind.
                    "It's better to look good, than be good."


                    • #11
                      Palmer, Gibson - it was always a surprise when the game ended and they didn't get the W; for one season, J. R. Richard. In relief, Wilhelm of course, but Sutter maybe even more so - because you knew they weren't going to hit Wilhelm, but it always looked as if Sutter could be got at if the batter would just hit the ball, but they never did (for a while there, anyway).


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by drstrangelove View Post
                        Bob Gibson's game one in the 1968 world series is the game that comes to mind.
                        You beat me to it. It's one thing to have a dominant game against a demoralized team, or against a bunch of September callups. But Gibson got seventeen strikeouts, while allowing one walk and five scattered hits against a team whose eight starting players averaged around a 120 OPS+.


                        • #13
                          He wasn't a very effective postseason pitcher in general, but one of Greg Maddux' WS starts against Cleveland in '95 was truly masterful. The Braves only won 3-2, but I never had the sense while watching that Maddux was in the slightest bit of trouble...he just seemed to throw unhittable strikes with no effort whatsoever. Kenny Lofton scored both runs and they were unearned, first he reached on an error and scored and then later scored on errors after a hit. Maddux sure wasn't blowing them away, but beat the Tribe with excellent control and pitching smarts on 2 hits, 4K, and no walks.
                          I watched one of Ryan's no hitters on TV in Dallas, but he was crazy wild to start the game...I thought he was going to get pulled really early, but he had so much on the ball the the Jays' hitters were swinging at pitches face high. Ryan settled down, but it amazed me that he got the no hitter after looking so bad early on.
                          "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson


                          • #14
                            June 30, 1979 JR Richard threw a 3 hit SHO at San Diego. I sat right behind the plate. The dude was awesome.

                            Houston Astros beat San Diego Padres (3-0). Jun 30, 1979, Attendance: 20154, Time of Game: 2:12. Visit for the complete box score, play-by-play, and win probability
                            This week's Giant

                            #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry


                            • #15
                              There are many criteria we can use to determine the most pitching one can witness. And it's great to acknowledge a great pitching performance or stretch, and the go look at how the statistics back what you have witnessed.

                              In my case I didn't need that. All the sets were on the table. The opponent were the reigning champions, first place in their division and their league, who were cruising for their 2nd consecutive title. This was at the height of the steroid era and the team, The Yankees, had their best offensive season of this dinasty.

                              Date: September 10, 1999.

                              Pitching for the second place archrival Red Sox was the most dominant pitcher in a seven season stretch, Pedro Martinez. And he delivered.

                              Complete Game, 17 K's, 1 hit (a home run of Chili Davis) and no walks. Yankees fans to this date remember the wrath they felt when they knew they were going to face this guy come October. He utterly dominated. And the language of the game was of the charts.

                              I've never seen anything like this.
                              "I am not too serious about anything. I believe you have to enjoy yourself to get the most out of your ability."-
                              George Brett


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