As a rule visiting lefthanded starting pitchers have rarely fared well at Fenway Park. Since 1920 (the start of the live-ball era) opposing southpaw starters have a combined 558-694 record, for a .446 winning percentage in the daunting shadow of the Green Monster, a staggeringly low figure when considering that it includes some very lean years in Boston baseball history.
Those in attendance at Fenway Park on Monday night may not have been pleased with the outcome, a 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay that pulled the surging Rays to within ˝ game of the Red Sox for the American League East lead, but they did bear witness to one of the greatest pitching performances by a visiting lefthander in the history of the venerable old building. Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore threw a two-hit, complete-game shutout to become the first lefthander since Oakland’s Brett Anderson to blank the BoSox at Fenway since 2009. In fact, those two are the only lefties to pull off the feat since the start of the 1990 season, which leads us to how rare Moore’s start actually was. Here’s a breakdown of how few lefthanded visitors have accomplished what Moore was able to.
All numbers for visiting lefthanded starters at Fenway Park
- Individual games started: 1,626
- Number of different starting pitchers: 426
- Games with at least nine innings pitched: 260
- Games with nine innings and no earned runs allowed: 57
- Games with nine innings and no runs allowed: 47
- Games with nine innings, no runs and no more than two hits: 8 (Moore, Brett Anderson, Bo Belinsky, Chuck Finley, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Jimmy Key, Juan Pizarro)
- Games with nine innings, no runs, and no more than three baserunners: 4 (Moore, Lefty Grove, Tommy John, Sam McDowell)
- Games with nine innings, no runs, no more than two hits, no more than three base runners: 2 (Matt Moore, Rays on July 22, 2013 and Tommy John, Yankees on May 20, 1979.
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He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrateds 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.
Now living in Marblehead, hes focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.