Masahiro Tanaka shutout the Red Sox on Thursday night, going all nine innings while only giving up three hits. It was a big win for the Yankees—as big as April wins can be—as they move to 13-7. Their +35 run differential is first in baseball and the best in the AL East by a wide margin (Orioles +9, Rays +4, Red Sox -2, Jays -19).
Back to Tanaka, though. His shutout was the first "Maddux" of the young season. The metric was created by baseball writer Jason Lukehart in April 2012. The requirements are rather simple:
"The pitcher must toss a complete game shutout and throw fewer than 100 pitches."
Of course, the name of the stat comes from Greg Maddux's ability to dominate opponents, while also throwing very few pitches. For more on Maddux, Grant Brisbee has a great article detailing his three most impressive games. Spoiler: he beat the Cubs on July 22, 1997 by throwing 76 pitches (63 strikes) in nine innings.
On Thursday, Tanaka threw 97 pitches. By my count, that's the 301st regular season Maddux on record. Full pitch count numbers only go back to 1988, so that's as far back as Madduxes go. Let's do some tables and graphs with these—with the help of B-R's Play Index.
Madduxes by Season
It's weird that Madduxes dropped so quickly after pitch count records started to get more precise. Maybe offensive approaches adjusted when better data became available? Next, the all-time career leaderboard. You'll recognize the first name.
Three of Maddux's 13 came with the Cubs; the rest were with the Braves. Next up, the lowest amount of pitches thrown in a Maddux. Jon Lieber!
Fewest Pitches in a Maddux
The fewest for Maddux was 84 in a game in 1997.
And now it's time for a bulleted Madduxes fun fact list.
- Only one player has thrown an extra-inning Maddux: Roy Halladay in 2003.
- The most strikeouts in a Maddux? It's a tie: Carlos Carrasco (2014) and Cliff Lee (2011) with 12.
- The fewest strikeouts is zero, accomplished by three pitchers: Tom Glavine (1989), Zane Smith (1994), and Rick Porcello (2014)
- The most walks is also a tie. Chuck Finley (1989) and Mike Witt (1990) had four.
- The opponent with the most Madduxes thrown against them is the Cubs with 16.
- Nine no-hitters have been Madduxes: Henderson Alvarez, Derek Lowe, Kevin Gross, Dennis Martinez, Philip Humber, Kenny Rogers, David Cone, Chris Bosio, and Kevin Brown.
- Four of those were also perfect games: Martinez, Humber, Rogers, and Cone.
- Have any of today's great pitchers recorded a Maddux? Clayton Kershaw (2013), Chris Sale (2013), David Price (2015), Madison Bumgarner (2014), Stephen Strasburg (2013), and Corey Kluber (2014) all have one. Chris Archer has two (2013, 2015).
- And lastly for our Cubs and White Sox readers, here's a list for each team.