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History Lesson: Orel Hershiser's scoreless streak

Zack Greinke's scoreless innings streak was broken with an unearned run his previous start, and last night his earned run scoreless innings streak was snapped via a Vernon Wells single. A nice couple of streaks there anyway you slice it, and given that Greinke was staked to a big lead early last night and got the win, I don't suppose he'll be crying too much about it today.

Greinke's feat wasn't the greatest of its kind, of course, but it was good enough to inspire Lar of Wezen-Ball to weigh in on the one that was:

It was a very exciting streak that landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week (and would've been even more exciting if his defense hadn't allowed an unearned run last week, thus forcing us to look for other ways to adequately qualify its awesomeness). But, as impressive as it was, Greinke was still two complete game shutouts away from breaking the all-time record, set just over 20 years ago by the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser. To put that in perspective, in Greinke's six games without an earned run, he only went 9 innings twice (in his last two starts). He would've needed to double that output to pass Hershiser.

But I'm not here to talk about Zack. Instead, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at Orel's 1988 season and see what everyone was saying.

Lar then proceeds with a start-by-start and game story-by-game story look back at Hershiser's streak. Highly recommended reading if, for no other reason, than for the fact that, as Lar points out, none of the contemporaneous game stories mentioned the scoreless innings streak record until Hershiser had reached 31 shutout innings. 1988 doesn't seem that long ago to me, but in its paucity of hype and overhype, it may as well have been a million years ago.