If someone had guessed before the start of the year that the Phillies would have won just two 1-0 shutouts through 86 games, you would probably have said the number was plausible, though maybe a bit low. The offense isn't going to be as powerful as in years past, but the pitching should be great, so a few or even several 1-0 shutouts would seem likely by the All-Star Break.
Well, here we are, 5 games before the break and the Phillies recorded just their second 1-0 shutout of the season tonight. That's a bit odd, but it's not what I'm really focusing on here. What's so odd is who was involved in both of them.
If you had told your fictional guessing friend at the start of the season that the same starting pitcher and the same reliever were involved in both games, you likely would have gotten pairings such as these: Roy Halladay and Brad Lidge; Cole Hamels and Ryan Madson; Cliff Lee and Jose Contreras.
Never in a million years would someone have guessed the correct answer: Vance Worley and Michael Stutes.
The Phillies now have two 1-0 shutouts this year. The following pitchers have not been involved in either of them: Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Roy Oswalt, Lidge, Madson, or Contreras. Instead, both games have been started by Worley. Both games saw Stutes come out of the bullpen. The first game also saw David Herndon and Juan Perez pitch in relief. The second game, tonight's, was closed out by Antonio Bastardo.
If you saw that coming at the start of the season, can you send me some lottery numbers? My email is below. Thanks.