Bedard has company in The Only Nolan atop K-out list

by on August 12, 2011

Eric Bedard

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*LHP Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.) now has coming atop the all-time strikeout list by a Canadian, as he’s joined by Edward Sylvester (The Only) Nolan (below).

 

 

 

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By Neil Munro

Every once in a while the SABR Biographical Committee comes up with some new biographical data that increases of decreases the number of Canadians that played in the major leagues.

About a year ago, the found out that Edward Sylvester (The Only) Nolan was born in Canada in 1857. I had added his record to the various lists of leaders in the batting, pitching and fielding categories that I keep for major leaguers from Canada. Last month I noticed that Nolan had 52 strikeouts in his 40 innings with Wilmington (of the UA) in 1884. Obviously this meant that he must have had a least a couple of games in which he fanner 10 or more batters (he pitched and started five games that year).

No doubt, his record strikeout pace had a lot more to do with the quality of play in the Union Association that is did with Nolan’s proficiency.

I had Bill Deane in Cooperstown check his game accounts for that 1884 season and also to see what he could find out about his other games pitched in 1878 and 1881, when he had a lot of innings of work, just in case he had an outstanding game or two in those seasons.

The 1884 UA games are easy to identify because of the existence of the ICI sheets containing all game logs for that year.

Unfortunately there are no ICI sheets for the first 15 years or so of the NL seasons (supposedly they were lost or damaged shortly after the research on them was carried out).

I did find the dates that Nolan pitched in 1878 and 1881 and had Bill look at the box scores for those dates. There are ten missing K’s in the 1878 game accounts in three different games when he pitched, so he would have needed all of the missing 10 strikeouts in one game and then get zero Ks in the other two games for any chance of adding to the list of 10 K performances by Canadians.

So I am 99.9% sure that 1884 is the only year in which he has actually added to the list of 10K performances.

Here is the results for Nolan’s 1884 season: his five game strikeout totals are 8, 15, 11, 11 and 7. He had his 15 strikeout game against Boston on August 27, 1884. This ties him with Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.) for the best single game strikeout performance in history (by a Canadian).

Bedard got his 15K game with Baltimore in 2007. Nolan managed the 15 strikeouts in just 8 innings, as Wilmington lost the game 7 to 1. Nolan walked one batter. He had his two 11 K performances on Sept. 2 and Sept. 8. In the Sept. 8th game, he struck out 11 and did not give up a single walk.

This brings the total number of ten or more strikeout games by Canadians to a total of 121 (by 19 different pitchers).

 

Top Single Game Strikeout Performances By Canadians

Rank Pitcher Season Team Date Strikeouts Walks IPs Score Opponent

1 Erik Bedard 2007 Baltimore AL 7/7 15 0 9 W (3-0) Texas
1 The Only Nolan 1884 Wilmington UA 8/27 15 1 8 L (1-7) Boston
3 Ferguson Jenkins 1970 Chicago NL 6/27 14 0 8 L (0-1) Pittsburgh
3 Ferguson Jenkins 1971 Chicago NL 7/24 14 0 9 W (2-1) Philadelphia
3 Ferguson Jenkins 1971 Chicago NL 9/19 14 1 9 W (6-3) Philadelphia

6 Mike Kilkenny 1969 Detroit AL 9/17 13 5 9 W (5-0) Cleveland
6 Ferguson Jenkins 1968 Chicago NL 7/27 13 2 9 W (2-1) Los Angeles
6 Ferguson Jenkins 1980 Texas AL 7/15 13 1 8 L (1-2) Chicago
9 Bill Mountjoy 1884 Cincinnati AA 6/29 12 0 9 W (16-0) Washington
9 John Hiller 1977 Detroit AL 6/14 12 3 9 W (7-2) Toronto

9 Ferguson Jenkins 1967 Chicago NL 5/30 12 4 9 W (12-5) Atlanta
9 Ferguson Jenkins 1968 Chicago NL 4/11 12 0 9 W (10-3) Cincinnati
9 Ferguson Jenkins 1968 Chicago NL 7/19 12 5 9 W (6-2) Los Angeles
9 Ferguson Jenkins 1968 Chicago NL 8/13 12 3 9 W (10-3) St. Louis
9 Ferguson Jenkins 1969 Chicago NL 8/4 12 1 9 W (9-3) Houston

9 Ferguson Jenkins 1970 Chicago NL 6/9 12 2 8 W (7-3) San Diego
9 Ferguson Jenkins 1970 Chicago NL 9/23(1) 12 2 8 L (1-2) St. Louis
9 Ferguson Jenkins 1971 Chicago NL 5/5 12 2 9 W (5-4) New York
9 Ferguson Jenkins 1971 Chicago NL 5/10 12 0 9 W (3-0) Philadelphia
9 Kirk McKaskill 1986 California AL 4/22 12 5 9 W (5-1) Oakland

9 Kirk McKaskill 1986 California AL 7/23 12 4 10 W (3-2) Milwaukee
9 Erik Bedard 2005 Baltimore AL 5/4 12 2 8 W (5-1) Toronto
9 Erik Bedard 2006 Baltimore AL 6/21 12 0 8 W (4-0) Florida NL
9 Erik Bedard 2007 Baltimore AL 5/20 12 3 7 L (3 – 4) Washington NL
9 Ryan Dempster 2008 Chicago NL 5/15 12 1 8.1 W (4 – 0) San Diego NL

Most Times In One Season: 9 Times, Ferguson Jenkins 1970; 7 times, Ferguson Jenkins in 1969, 1971 and 1974 and Eric Bedard in 2007.

Canadian Pitchers with 10 or more strikeouts In one game (19 pitchers did it 122 times, through ug. 19)

Erik Bedard (13 times)
Reggie Cleveland (1 time)
Rheal Cormier (2 times)
Ryan Dempster (13 times)
Bob Emslie (4 times)

Russ Ford (5 times)
Jeff Francis (1 time)
Rich Harden (11 times)
John Hiller (2 times)
Ferguson Jenkins (48 times)

Oscar Judd (1 time)
Mike Kilkenny (3 times)
Joe Krakauskas (1 time)
Kirk McCaskill (6 times)
Bill Mountjoy (2 times)

Edward Sylvester (The Only) Nolan (3 times)
Scott Richmond (2 times)
Bob Steele (2 times)
Steve Wilson (2 times)

 

 

Neil Munro
Neil is a retired secondary school mathematics teacher with a life-long passion for the collection and analysis of baseball statistics. A North Bay Ontario resident for almost 50 years, Neil has fuelled his interest by serving as a research consultant with STATS Inc. He was the former chair of the Records Committee of SABR – the Society for American Baseball Research.

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