Below is my summary of players with 3 consecutive starts in my research years (1897-1909 NL & 1901-1912 AL):
Win Mercer, Wash (NL), 1897 - 9/13 (ejected in 3rd), 9/14 (CG), 9/15 (CG)
9/13 - Mercer was thrown out of the game versus Cincinnati in the 3rd by Carpenter for "criticising the umpire's ruling on a ball". Mercer "resorted to a pantomimical play by prospecting his pocket and pulling out a pair of smoked spectacles and handing them to Carpenter." He left the game with the score 0-0. Washington ended up losing an 8 inning darkness shortened 2-1 decision.
9/14 - Won a 10-9 6 inning darkness shortened decision. Washington scored 1 in the 5th & 4 in the 6th to overcome a 9-5 defecit to the Cincinnatis. Mercer allowed 7 hits (4 doubles), 4 walks, & 1 hbp. He struck out 3 batters.
9/15 - Lost a 5-4 decision to Brooklyn. Allowed the winning run with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. Mercer allowed 8 hits & 3 walks. He struck out 5.
Mercer's inclusion with the rest of the names on this list stands out. A talented all around player who hit and played in the field as well - he would later be known for committing suicide
Joe McGinnity, Balt (AL), 1901 - 9/9 (CG), 9/12, G1 (CG), 9/12, G2 (CG) - ALL Complete Games!
9/9: McGinnity lost a darkness shortened 8-4 decision at Detroit. He allowed 14 hits and walked 2. He struck out 2.
9/12, Game 1: "Iron Man" as we was already being referred to as, won game 1 4-3 versus Philadelphia when the Orioles scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th. McGinnity allowed 7 hits and walked 3. He struck out 2. The Orioles scored their 2 winning runs on a Jimmy Williams triple, and singles by Bill Keister, Steve Brodie, and Wilbert Robinson.
9/12, Game 2: McGinnity lost 5-4 in game 2 on a Philadelphia run in the 9th. McGinnity allowed 10 hits, a walk, and an hbp. He struck out none.
3 consecutive team complete games, albeit one was shortened by darkness. 1-2 record.
Rube Waddell, Phil (AL), 1904 - 6/5 (pulled after 3), 6/6 (CG), 6/7 (CG)
6/5: Waddell was batted out of the box in the 3rd inning in Chicago in a 14-2 loss. According to the Philadelphia Record, he "asked permission of Manager Mack to pitch the entire 4 game series, thereby establishing for himself a record that would stand for a long time unequaled". Waddell gave up 7 hits and 3 runs in his outing. Chief Bender reilieved him after 3 and he gave up 3 runs as well. Barthold came in in the 6th and finished out the game. Waddell did walk 1 and strike out 3 in his brief outing.
6/6: Rube was back out there for game 2 of the Chicago series. This time he was a bit more successful, winning 6-3. He allowed 8 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 5.
6/7: In game 3 of the series, Waddell lost 6-1, allowing 10 hits. He struck out only 1, his lowest total for the season (he struck out 349 (350 by my tabulation) for the season)).
Connie Mack decided to "try" Eddie Plank in the 4th game of series instead of Waddell. Plank lost 8-2.
Waddell went 1-2 for his 3 game stretch and "only" 9 k's.
Walter Johnson, Wash (AL), 1908 - 9/4, 9/5, 9/7 G1
9/4: Won 3-0 at New York. He allowed 6 hits and 5 walks. He struck out 4.
9/5: Won 6-0 again in New York. He allowed 3 hits, the first one in the 6th to Wid Conroy. He was apparently used in this 2nd consecutive game because all of the other Washington pitchers were under the weather. Johnson also struck out 3 batters.
9/7 Game 1: Johnson pitches his 3rd shutout in 4 days, winning 4-0 over New York again. This time he allows only 2 hits and no walks. He struck out 5 batters and scored 2 runs of his own.
For Johnson's 3 straight Nationals complete games - 27 ip, 11 hits, 0 RUNS, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts.
Ed Walsh, Chi (AL), 1908 - 9/29 G1 (CG), 9/29 G2 (CG), 10/2 (CG) - ALL CG's!
9/29, Game 1: Won 5-1 at home versus the Red Sox. He allowed 3 hits & 0 walks.
He struck out 10 batters. He also through in a double of his own for good measure.
9/29, Game 2: Won 2-0 at home versus the Red Sox. He allowed 4 hits & 1 walk.
He struck out 5 batters.
10/2: Many consider this among the Top Pitching Matchups of all time - Walsh vs. Joss, Joss pitching a perfect game. As for Walsh, he didn't pitch too bad a game himself - 9 ip, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 15 strikeouts!
For Walsh's 3 straight White Sox complete games - 27 ip, 11 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 30 strikeouts.
Walsh's and Johnson's feats definitely rank up there as the best 3 game stretches whether in consecutive team games or individual games. And you wonder why 1908 was considered a "year of the pitcher".
Ed Walsh, Chi (AL), 1912 - 6/12 (left in ??), 6/13 (CG), 6/15 (left in ??)
6/12: Walsh only pitched 3 innings against New York and is pulled by manager Jimmy Callahan in order "to practice of conservation of energy...so as to save up the rest of the Big Reel for the coming contest for first place with the Boston Red Sox." (We know in this centennial year how that ended up). Chicago was leading 8-0 when pulled, the White Sox going on to 11-2 win with George Mogridge in relief.
6/13: Walsh won versus Boston 3-2 on a run by Chicago in the bottom of the 9th. Walsh allowed only 3 hits and a walk. He struck out 5. There was an hour rain delay in the 2nd. The winning run was scored on a Ping Bodie single (Rollie Zeider pr for him), sacrifice by Buck Weaver, and a single by Walsh himself!
6/15: Walsh lasted only 2 innings, giving up 3 runs ("biffs according to the Chicago Tribune) in the 1st and none in the 2nd. Benz came in in the 3rd. Chicago later tied it with 3 in the 6th, but Benz gave up a go ahead run in the 7th in a "critical" 4-3 loss to the Red Sox.
I learned that Walsh had the nickname of the "Big Reel" according to the Chicago Tribune, not sure of the origin.
While I was at it, I did some analysis of the number of occurrences of pitchers having consecutive (2 or more) team starts during the research era. Here is what I discovered:
|Starts In a row|
Interestingly in 1901 & 1902, the NL did not have a single pitcher pitch consecutive team games.
The highest totals were in 1897 & 1899, but it should be noted that these seasons were 12 team seasons.
On an individual basis, here are the players with the most 2 or more consecutive team starts for the study era:
|2 or more Consecutive Starts|
Waddell is easily the leader here. He was known to ask his manager to pitch consecutive games, especially if he didn't do well in the 1st of the 2 . Also of note is that Walter Johnson, one of the 6 3 consecutive game pitchers above only had that one and one other (in 1911) consecutive team starts (thru 1912).
Joe McGinnity was well known for his reputation for pitching both ends of doubleheaders and the data bears it out. Here is the list of leaders in starting both games of a doubleheader:
|Started both ends of DH|
It is nice to see Cy Seymour show up here for me. Although he was quite a wild pitcher (and very good strikeout pitcher for the era), he did have a couple of decent seasons before becoming a solid outfielder.
Again, it should be noted that the analysis for the NL only goes through 1909.
As Retrosheet fills in data from 1910/1913 to 1915, we should be able to get an even better picture of this phenomenon.
Complete data is on my Google docs site: