Games That Honor the Decimal System

As the first game of Friday’s White Sox/Indians double-header was winding down (a 19-10 free-for-all), ESPN.COM’s Doug Kern tweeted at me:

Doug Kern @dakern74

@dianagram I don’t have a handy lookup for this (yet), but there are innings of 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 in that game. That can’t happen often.

Fortunately for Doug (and you!), I happen to have such a lookup, having spliced and diced the Retrosheet game logs to parse out the inning-by-inning scoring of each team in every game from 1871-2012.  Armed with this data, I can report the following:

  • There have been no fewer than 88 games with half-innings of at least 0 through 6.  The most recent of these (prior to 2013) occurred May 2, 2012 in a 15-13 11-inning Braves win at home over the Phillies.  Even though the game went extras, the teams had covered 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 during the first nine innings.
  • The last nine-inning game with half-innings of at least 0 through 6 happened on July 3, 2011.  The Royals hammered the Rockies 16-8 in that one.
  • There HAVE been games that have featured half-innings of 0 through GREATER than 6:
    • There was a National Association game on May 1, 1872 between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Baltimore Canaries which ended 34-19 in favor of Philly.  That contest saw 0 through 8 covered.  No game has gone from 0 past 8, in sequence.
    • In the modern era, the Reds blitzed the Marlins 22-8 on August 31, 1996 in a game featuring half-innings of 0 through 7.
  • Tangentially, the record for most DIFFERENT number of runs scored in a half-inning in a game is nine.  The aforementioned Athletics/Canaries game was actually the second instance of this, but those Athletics were also involved in the first.  The highest-scoring organized game of all-time, the 49-33 National Association contest on June 28, 1871 also had nine different half-innings in terms of runs scored (1 through 5 and 7 through 10 . . . yes there were no scoreless half-innings in that one, the only such game in organized baseball history).
  • In the modern era, the record for most DIFFERENT number of runs scored in a half-inning in a game is eight.  Again, the most recent instance of this occurred in the Reds/Marlins game in 1996.



2 thoughts on “Games That Honor the Decimal System

  1. Awesome article. I love random statistical things like this!

    Also, random tidbit as a Braves fan: That 11-inning Braves/Phillies game also had lots of lead changes. A Braves graphic that circulated last year called it a “triple comeback,” although the third “comeback” was really just a walkoff.

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