The Best Career of All-Time…

Statistically, Brad Zielger is the best pitcher in Major League history.

I mean, the right-handed submariner hasn’t allowed a run in his entire career. How could he not be? Granted, that career only consists of a half-season, 27 games and 35 innings of work out of the Oakland A’s bullpen.

OK, so I’m stretching it a bit…he’s NOT the greatest thing since sliced bread, nor is he the best pitcher ever. But he’s doing something much cooler than that, anyway.

Sure, the whole no-runs-thing in 35 innings to start his career is beyond remarkable — not to mention a slaughtering of the previous record of 25 by the immortal George McQuillan in 1907. But that’s NOT EVEN CLOSE to as impressive as another streak that he has going…

And NOBODY is talking about it. Maybe because pretty much nobody has noticed.

But I have.

And I’m going to tell you what it is. But before I do, I’m going to give you a pair of statistics and see if you can figure it out on your own:

  • Batting Average Against: .194
  • Slugging Percentage Against: .194

For those astute baseball minds who figured it out, I say congratulations. For those that didn’t, don’t worry, I’m here to tell you…

In 35 innings pitched, Ziegler has allowed 21 hits — good for an opponents batting average of .194. Of those 21 hits, guess how many of them went for ANY of the following: double, triple or home run?

How about…ZERO. None. Zilch. Nada. Zippo.

That’s right, in 35 innings, Ziegler has yet to allow an extra-base hit. Not one. Hence, opponents have the same slugging percentage (.194) against him as they do batting average.

Remarkable. Incredible. Simply unbelievable. Perhaps the most impressive statistic I have ever seen. I legitimately cannot fathom that this is remotely possible.

I don’t know how this has been overlooked. This is MUCH MORE impressive than the 0.00 ERA in 35 innings. Think about it. What is harder to do: make one bad pitch and give up a double, triple or home run OR make several bad pitches and give up a run? Heck, pitchers give up extra-base hits all the time on GOOD PITCHES.

Check out how many extra-base hits there have been in baseball this season:

  • Doubles: 6,330
  • Triples: 600
  • Home Runs: 3,450

That comes to a total of 10,380 extra-base hits. Exactly NONE of those have been allowed by Ziegler — a 28-year-old rookie and career Minor League journeyman. Incredible.

Those 10,380 extra-base hits have come in approximately 15,360 total innings of Major League Baseball this season — that computes to one extra-base hit every 1.5 innings or so (a little less).

So what does all this mean? Honestly, I’m not quite sure. But what I do know is this: what he’s currently doing is bordering on the impossible. And I can’t wait to see how long this lasts.

And while we’re at it, here is more Ziegler craziness…

AAA: 1 ER in 24.1 IP (0.37 ERA)
MLB: 0 ER in 35 IP (0.00 ERA)
TOT: 1 ER in 59.1 IP (0.15 ERA)

Now THAT is how you hold down a lead as a reliever.

p.s. I just jinxed him, didn’t I??



  1. Nate

    He’s probably going to get hit in the leg with a line drive the next time he pitches, and then the ball’s going to roll into right field for a triple. That’s really the only end I see to it.

  2. David Blattman

    Very nice post. Very interesting. And as I was reading this I was thinking to myself, “I hope you didn’t jinx him.” And of course you wrote that on the bottom of your article. Anyway this was a fun read. Keep it up.
    Check out my blog – “The Hot Corner” –

  3. districtboy

    Wow, great entry. That’s something I never noticed. Peter Gammons will talk about this on the next Baseball Tonight. That is next time ESPN shows an A’s game, which will be……never. Too bad Ziegler is already 29 years old.


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