Friday, January 29, 2010

The 1876 Brown Stockings: Bradley's Streak Comes To An End

Only about 200 spectators witnessed the game between the Cincinnati and St. Louis clubs at the Brown Stocking Park yesterday afternoon. The poor attendance is probably due in a great measure to the poor record of the Cincinnati club, who have won only six games during the season. The game was not a very brilliant one, it being an entirely too one-sided affair. The Browns did well in the field, but experienced considerable difficulty in hitting the delivery of Dean, the new pitcher of the Cincinnati club. Fisher was not present, nor did he come to town with the club. Dean, who occupied the pitcher's square, worried the Browns considerably, as they had never faced him before. His delivery is very swift, and the ball, after leaving his hands, has a downward tendency, which rather got the best of the home club, as the score will show. The Cincinnatis found more trouble in batting Bradley, and only pasted him for two bases, one of them being a double by Jones, in the ninth inning; Booth also made his base in the last inning.

The lads from abroad played a miserable fielding game, with the exception of Kessler, who assisted five times and played his position without an error. The veteran Sweazy also did good service at second, but had a couple of costly errors charged to his account. Dean, the pitcher, proved a strong card in the game for his own club, and made but one error-a wild throw. Neither side scored a run until the fifth inning, when Pearce came home on a very wild throw by Foley to first base, when he had no chance of putting his man out. The Cincinnatis were blanked in one, two, order until the eighth inning, when Battin gave a base runner a life, but the player was left on base. In the ninth inning "baby" Jones pasted Bradley for two bases, and went to third on a passed ball. Booth, the next man at the bat, brought him home on a fine drive to left field, and thus saved the club from a nest of goose eggs.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 19, 1876

George Washington Bradley threw thirty-seven consecutive shutout innings over five starts, from July 8 to July 18. Included in the streak was the first no-hitter in NL history. Baseball Almanac only lists pitchers with more than 40 consecutive shutout innings and I can't find anything better than that so it's difficult to say what kind of record Bradley set. I'll go out on a limb and say that Bradley set the NL record for most consecutive shutout innings in 1876. He probably held the major league record until Jack Chesboro threw 41 consecutive shutout innings in 1902. If anybody has any better information on the record, I'd like to hear about it.

As to this game, Bradley was perfect through seven and took a no-hitter into the ninth. What can you say? The guy was on a roll. In fact, he would give up only one run in each of the three Cincinnati games, meaning he only gave up three runs in six games between July 11 and July 22.

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