In baseball, when we talk about amazing pitching performances, we usually end up just talking about no-hitters and perfect games. However, not all no-hitters and perfect games are created equal. In fact, just last year we did a whole list of the worst no-hitters of all-time. So wouldn’t it be nice if there were some other way to talk about great pitching performances?
Well, there is. Baseball stats guru Bill James came up with a great statistic called game score, and it’s really pretty simple. For every start, a pitcher stars with 50 points, and then points are either added or taken away depending on what transpires. You add 1 point for every out, 2 points for every inning completed after the 4th, and 1 point for each strikeout. Then you subtract 2 points for each hit allowed, 4 points for each earned run allowed, 2 points for each unearned run allowed, and 1 point for each walk. The result is that the truly great games in baseball history will score somewhere around 100—which is a nice, round number.
Today, we’re going to run down the best game scores of all-time—with one small exception: we’re excluding extra innings games. You see, back in the day they would let guys just pitch until their arms fell off, so guys would sometimes pitch 12, 14, or 16 innings. That led to some pretty crazy game scores. So here, we’re limiting the results to games that went no more than nine innings.
So, are you ready to see some of the best-pitched games of all-time? Then start clicking.