The Braves' Jair Jurrjens Is On Quite The Streak

With another excellent effort last night, Jair Jurrjens continued his excellent start to the 2011 season. In his 9 starts, he has yet to give up more than 2 earned runs in a start. Equally impressive is that he has yet to walk more than 2 batters in any start.

Jurrjens' walk rate for the season now stands at 1.5 BB/9 (or 4.5% BB%). That's half of his previous career levels of 3.2 BB/9 and 8.5 BB%. It is undoubtedly the key to his renewed success, as his strikeout rate has actually gone down this year (5.2 K/9 compared to 6.4 K/9 career before this year).

How impressive is Jurrjens' streak? Well, he's only the third starting pitcher since 1919 to start a season with 9 games of 2 or fewer ER and 2 or fewer BB. Here's the list:

  1. Juan Marichal, 10 in 1966
  2. Bill Hands, 9 in 1968
  3. Jair Jurrjens, 9 in 2011

No one else has even had an 8-game streak to start a season. Not even Greg Maddux (whose longest streak to start a season was actually only 5 games).

Of course, the "to start a season" modifier is kind of cheap, because really, why does it matter when the streak starts? Jurrjens also fares extremely well when you consider all streaks, not just those to start a season. His 9-game streak ranks in a many-way tie for 17th all time. Here are the only 16 players to top him:

Rk Player Strk Start End Games W L IP ERA Tm
1 Mort Cooper 1942-08-14 1943-05-09 14 11 1 127.1 0.92 STL
2 Greg Maddux 1995-05-23 1995-07-29 13 9 0 105.2 1.19 ATL
3 Kevin Brown 1996-04-26 1996-07-06 12 6 4 83.1 1.40 FLA

Jim Merritt 1967-06-25 1967-08-18 12 5 3 101.1 1.60 MIN
5 Greg Maddux 2002-06-15 2002-08-07 11 5 1 64.0 1.27 ATL

Butch Henry 1995-07-15 1997-09-19 11 6 2 71.0 1.14 MON-BOS

Greg Maddux 1994-07-02 1995-05-07 11 8 2 83.2 1.08 ATL

Tom Seaver 1973-07-09 1973-08-25 11 6 3 95.0 1.23 NYM

Juan Marichal 1965-09-30 1966-05-26 11 9 0 99.0 0.73 SFG

Dutch Leonard 1945-04-22 1945-06-27 11 6 3 79.0 1.25 WSH

Jesse Barnes 1920-07-17 1920-09-06 11 8 2 87.1 1.03 NYG
12 Dan Haren 2009-05-28 2009-07-18 10 7 1 75.0 1.44 ARI

Greg Maddux 1997-04-06 1997-05-27 10 6 0 68.2 1.18 ATL

Bryn Smith 1988-06-22 1988-08-12 10 4 1 66.0 1.50 MON

Steve Hargan 1974-08-17 1975-05-08 10 5 3 71.1 2.14 TEX

Ray Prim 1945-08-08 1945-09-20 10 6 4 77.2 1.39 CHC
17 Jair Jurrjens 2011-04-16 2011-05-29 9 7 1 65.2 1.51 ATL

17 others

9




Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/30/2011.

Boy, that Greg Maddux guy was pretty good, wasn't he?

Among those tied with Jurrjens with a 9-game streak are Chris Carpenter (2008-9), Zack Greinke (2009), Kevin Millwood (1999), and the Hall of Famers Don Drysdale (1968) and Pete "Grover Cleveland" Alexander (1919).

Not bad company for a 25-year-old.

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