Most hits without a run? (Baseball question)

The other day I watched a game on TV between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees. It ended in a 1-0 victory, but in a rather odd way. Seattle got only 1 hit, and scored a run to win the game, but New York got 6 hits and scored no runs. Here’s ESPN’s scoreboard for the day of the game, and I notice that on the same day of the Mariners-Yankees game that I’m writing about, the Montreal Expos notched five hits without earning a run in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

This led me to wonder: what is the major league record for the most number of hits that a team produced in a game without earning a run? I’ve poked around using Google, but can’t seem to find an answer. I’m hoping maybe somebody out there with the mother of all baseball almanacs will have the answer somewhere.

I don’t know the answer; it is above 9 though. A few years ago I was listening to an Expos game and the pitcher had given up 12 hits without a run and that was going to be a new Major league record, except that #13 proved unlucky and he didn’t actually finish the game, although I think he won it.

Semi-related question: What are the most hits possible for one team without scoring a run in a nine-inning game? Anyone?

Wouldn’t that be 27?

Though if the runner on third gets tagged out leading off/stealing for the three outs, you’d get 54 as a theoretical maximum.

Oops, of course that would be 45. The third out happens after the fifth hit.

Most possible would probably be 45. If in each inning, a team loaded the bases through singles, then two of those runners got picked off, then another two singles occurred (without a run coming home) before the final out of the inning, then it could happen.

I can’t think of any way a team could have more than five hits in an inning without scoring a run, but perhaps our resident board baseball geniuses could.

54 by my count. You could get a maximum of 6 per inning without scoring. Here’s how:
First three batters get on on singles.
Have the next three batters single but the man on third gets tagged out. This would have to be in a way that the batter is not charged with a fielder’s choice. For example, imagine if every runner going from third to home was tagged out after he forgot to touch home plate. Likely? No, but this is pure theory.

I may be wrong, but if the runner from third did not score, then the batter would not be credited with a hit, would he? I’m getting 5 hits per inning as a maximum.

It’s 54, and here’s how. The first 3 batters in each inning get a basehit, loading the bases. The next 3 batters hit groundballs that hit a runner. The batter gets credit for a hit, but the ball is dead and the runner is out.

I doubt if this has ever happened, but if it has, the Cubs did it. :slight_smile:

OK, so the theoretical maximum is 54, but my question is about what actually happened…what team generated the most hits without earning a run?

Larry Cheney of the Cubs tossed a 14-hit shutout against the NY Giants on 9/14/1913 and Milt Gaston of the Washington Senators did the same to Cleveland on 7/10/1928.

For the record, the Cubs beat the Giants 7-0 in Cheney’s shutout. Cheney, as you would expect had no walks and the Cubs committed no errors.

But Gaston walked 2 batters in his game. Cleveland stranded 14 runners and hit into 2 DPs. Washington won 9-0 and the game only took 1:49 to play.

According to Mighty Cecil you can get seven batters in one inning. His method adds up to five hits (I think), because the last batter never gets to take a base.

I’m not sure, barbitu8. Does YOUR last batter get credit for a hit, or is the inning over before the batter reaches the bag, and therefor no hit is credited?

If a runner is hit by a batted ball, the batter gets credit for a single even if he makes the third out.

It’s scored as a single for the batter and the runner hit by the ball is ruled out and the fielder closest to him gets credit for the putout.

Slight nitpick yojimboguy: according to Cecil’s column, seven men can come to the plate in an inning without a run scoring, but only six of them actually bat.

Of course, you’re all assuming the game will only go 9 innings. With an extra-inning game, you can (potentially) have an infinite number of hits without a run scored.

Zev Steinhardt

Anybody who is really familiar with the rules want to clarify whether my example above would work? The more I think about it, the less I’m sure.

Bases loaded, two outs. Batter hits a line drive single into the outfield. Man on third comes home, but commits a running error by not touching homeplate. Before the next pitch, the ball is thrown to home, where the catcher tags the base and the runner is called out. Would the batter be given a hit, or would the runner’s error take the hit away from the batter?

It’s got to be a fielder’s choice, doesn’t it? A hit isn’t a hit unless runners or the batter advance safely. If the run didn’t count, then the runner, though he appeared to advance, did not advance, and was in essence forced out at home plate. I’m not a total rules expert, though, so I admit there may be some wording in the rulebook that proves me wrong.

Wasn’t “Merkel’s Boner” in a similar vein? [huhuhuh…Boner…vein.] A batted ball had apparently won the game, but the runner never touched second (?) base, so the run didn’t count. I would assume (though I shouldn’t do so when it comes to baseball rules) that the hit was also negated, since the guy basically hit into a force play, though it took several minutes to occur while the ball was located and given to the second baseman.

There is no hit if the runner who is forced fails to touch the first base he gets to.

So in the above situation, the runner on third is out on on appeal and the batter is safe on a fielder’s choice.

If a batter/runner misses second on his way to third, he gets credit for a single. If he missed third on his way to home, he gets a double. If he misses home, he gets a triple.

If a runner misses home plate and doesn’t make an attempt to comeback and just goes back to the dugout, all the catcher has to do is touch home plate while holding the ball and the guy is out.