In his magical 1968 season, Bob Gibson threw 28 complete games and 13 shutouts. He pitched 304.2 innings and won the Cy Young and MVP awards. But in the midst of that season, he threw 5 consecutive shutouts, which fell just one shy of the Major League record. The fifth of these shutouts occurred on June 26th. But as I was verifying that fact, I found something really mind-blowing about what Gibson accomplished that season. After the 5 shutouts, he threw 6 more complete games, 3 of them shutouts. Add those to two more complete games that he threw before his shutout streak, that’s thirteen consecutive complete games between May 28th and July 30th. Then, in his next start on August 4th, he pitched 11 innings of a 13 inning loss for the Cardinals. Immediately after that, ten of his next eleven starts were complete games, with five shutouts. Basically, starting on May 28th, Gibson pitched in 25 games, threw a complete game in twenty-three of them, and pitched all thirteen of his shutouts in that stretch. No, I’m not assuming that you couldn’t follow my math, because I know you can. I just wanted to spell that all out because it’s so darn impressive.
In case you were wondering, those six consecutive shutouts had been thrown earlier in the season by Don Drysdale, en route to his setting a Major League record with 58.2 consecutive scoreless innings pitched. That record would be broken in 1988 by another Dodger, Orel Hershiser, who had 59 innings.