The year in shutouts

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I wanted to dig into scoreless games for a minute. Here’s a look at the teams throwing the most and fewest and then the teams that are on the other end.

Throwing shutouts

Most
Braves – 8
Brewers – 8
Phillies – 8
Rangers – 8
Tigers – 8
Mariners – 7

Fewest
Blue Jays – 1
Cubs – 1
Astros – 2
Reds – 2
Yankees – 2

Nothing seems especially out of place there, except maybe Detroit’s ranking. The Tigers are just 23rd in MLB in ERA. They do have Justin Verlander, of course, but he’s been on the mound for just two of the shutouts.

Getting shut out

Most
Padres – 11
Angels – 9
Nationals – 9
Pirates – 8
Athletics – 7
Indians – 7

Fewest
Astros – 1
Diamondbacks – 1
Blue Jays – 2
Mariners – 2
Orioles – 2
Rangers – 2
Reds – 2
Tigers – 2

Ah, yes, the Padres. That was my reason for pulling up the numbers in the first place. Baseball’s lowest scoring team has been shut out 11 times. But not making the list were the Giants. They’ve scored just six more runs than the Padres this season (230 to 224), but they’ve only been shut out six times.

Seeing Houston on the second list is a something of a shocker. The Astros rank 18th in MLB scoring at 262 runs, but they always manage at least one or two runs per game. The Red Sox, who lead the majors with 350 runs, have already been shut out five times, while the Yankees, in second with 330 runs, have been held scoreless four times.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.