Drew Hutchison, the Blue Jays, and “The Maddux”
This Monday night, Drew Hutchison did something quite remarkable. He pitched a “Maddux” – a nine-inning complete game shutout, using less than 100 pitches.
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The “Maddux” name for this pitching feat was
by Jason Lukehart, a blogger and lifetimeGreg Maddux
fan, to recognize pitchers who were both effective and highly efficient. Maddux-es are rare: since MLB started keeping consistently accurate pitch counts in 1988 there have been only 292, or roughly 10 per year.
Watching Hutch’s Maddux, and remembering Stroman’s Maddux of last September, made me wonder about past Jays’ Madduxes. Turns out that, since 1988, Jays pitchers have pitched a total of 16 Madduxes, as follows (with thanks to Baseball Reference!)
Some possibly interesting observations:
- I would have thought that the decade with the most Jay Madduxes would have been the 90s. Two World Series wins, generally excellent pitching, and so on. But in fact, the Jays only had one Maddux in those ten years – by Todd Stottlemyre in 1992 (note 1 above). By comparison, the Jays had four Madduxes in 1988-89 alone.
- The record for most Madduxes by a Jays pitcher? No surprise – it was Roy Halladay with four.
- The only Maddux ever earned (by the Jays or anyone else) in a 10-inning win? Halladay again, in 2003 (note 3)
- The only Jays Maddux earned as part of a double-header? This is getting boring – yes, it was Roy (note 2)
- Madduxes are generally associated with superb pitching performance, but they often do not record exceptionally high game scores (such as the one in the table above, created by Bill James). This is largely due to the lack of strikeouts – it is doubly difficult to stay under 100 pitches while still recording the Ks. The only four Jays Madduxes with a James gamescore of 90 or better? Halladay, Halladay, Halladay … and Stieb. And the lowest gamescore for a Jays Maddux? 71, by Josh Towers in 2005 (note 4). Just for context – in 2014, the Jays had 23 games with a game score of 71 or better.
- And a final bit of almost-Jays trivia. Only one pitcher in the major leagues was able to pitch a Maddux in each of 2012, 2013 and 2014. He has a total of four Madduxes in his career – the same as Roy, and more than Felix Hernandez, C.C. Sabathia, Clayton Kershaw, Randy Johnson, Justin Verlander and Tim Lincecum combined. Who is this paragon of pitching perfection? Why, Henderson Alvarez, of course!