(BaseballStL) – The last time the Cardinals were close to 21 shutouts, Lyndon Johnson was President, Bob Gibson had forced MLB to lower the pitching mound by five feet and the Redbirds were trying to defend their World Series title.
The 1968 Cardinals team recorded 30 shutouts, Gibson (13), Steve Carlton (5), Nelson Briles (4), Ray Washburn (4) and Larry Jaster (1), representing the shutouts for the starters.
All of baseball had seen an increase in team shutouts last season with 173. This year that number is down a bit to 166 so far, but the Cardinals have improved their number of shutouts with each season. The Cardinals had only 10 shutouts in 2012, but they’ve more than doubled that total this year.
Cardinals’ backstop Yadier Molina said he believes his staff’s experience has been the key to their high number of shutouts.
“They’re not afraid to throw,” he said, “They’re not afraid to pitch and they go right after people. They have some good talent. When you get experience and you get confidence that’s what happens.”
Thursday night’s complete game shutout for Adam Wainwright set a new single-season shutout mark of three as he leads the Redbirds starting pitching staff.
“Starting pitching has just been so strong for us,” said manager Mike Matheny, “And we need them to stay with us. Adam’s had an exceptional season. He’s a special pitcher.”
Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller are the only other Cardinals starters who have recorded complete game shutouts this season. And with only ten games remaining, the 1968 Cardinals pitching staff can rest assured their mark won’t be bested, at least for another year.