Where Red Sox win ranks among fastest games this century (2024)

April 18th, 2024

Where Red Sox win ranks among fastest games this century (1)

Manny Randhawa


When Tanner Houck shut out the Guardians on Wednesday night at Fenway Park, he not only pitched the first "Maddux" (a shutout on fewer than 100 pitches) by a Red Sox hurler in a decade, but he also made quick work of Cleveland to complete the gem in an hour and 49 minutes, the fastest nine-inning MLB game in 14 years.

So, where does this game rank in terms of the quickest in recent memory? Here's a look at the fastest nine-inning MLB games since 2000, as well as the fastest MLB contest on record and other notably quick affairs (if you want to know about the fastest professional game on record, you can look to the 31-minute contest between the Asheville Tourists and the Winston-Salem Twins back in 1916).

Fastest MLB games this century

1. White Sox 2, Mariners 1 -- 1 hour, 39 minutes on April 16, 2005
Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-4 with a triple and the only run Seattle would score against White Sox starter Mark Buehrle on this day -- Buehrle tossed a complete game on 106 pitches at U.S. Cellular Field, yielding just three hits while walking one and striking out 12. Two solo homers by Paul Konerko were all Chicago needed behind the All-Star left-hander.

2. Tigers 3, Royals 0 -- 1 hour, 41 minutes on July 24, 2002
Jose Lima tossed seven sparkling frames before turning things over to relievers Oscar Henriquez and Juan Acevedo, who threw an inning apiece to complete a shutout of Kansas City at Comerica Park. Randall Simon was 2-for-3 with a solo homer off Royals starter Paul Byrd for Detroit.

T-3. Tigers 3, Cleveland 0 -- 1 hour, 44 minutes on June 2, 2010
Another 3-0 shutout for the Tigers at Comerica Park, this time against Cleveland behind Armando Galarraga, who had a perfect game through 8 2/3 innings. On what should have been the final out of the game to complete the perfecto, first base umpire Jim Joyce missed a close call on a play on which Galarraga covered first base. Galarraga got the next batter, Trevor Crowe, to ground out to end the game.

T-3. Blue Jays 3, Royals 1 -- 1 hour, 44 minutes on May 10, 2005
All the scoring was done within the first three innings of this game at Rogers Centre, with the visiting Royals tallying a run in the first and the Blue Jays scoring one in the second and two in the third thanks to Shea Hillenbrand's two-run homer off Zack Greinke. That was all Hall of Famer Roy Halladay needed in a brilliant performance for Toronto -- he scattered eight hits while walking none and striking out five in a complete-game victory.

T-5. Mariners 2, A's 0 -- 1 hour, 47 minutes on April 25, 2007
Jarrod Washburn outdueled Joe Blanton in this contest, with each going nine innings, but Blanton surrendered solo homers to Jose Guillen and Kenji Johjima. Washburn gave up three hits, walked two and struck out two on 104 pitches to blank the A's in Oakland.

T-5. Pirates 2, D-backs 1 -- 1 hour, 47 minutes on Aug. 25, 2004
Arizona scored a run in the first and nothing more against the Bucs, who got a masterful outing from starter Josh Fogg. The right-hander went eight strong innings before Jose Mesa closed it out in the ninth at PNC Park. Fogg's counterpart was none other than Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, who was his usual dominant self for most of the outing, but not against Jack Wilson and Jason Bay, who hit back-to-back homers off the Big Unit to open the seventh.

7. Cubs 3, Reds 0 -- 1 hour, 48 minutes on May 24, 2001
Jon Lieber was nearly unhittable on this day, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning before Cincinnati's Juan Castro singled to right with one out. Lieber shut out the Reds on just 78 pitches at Wrigley Field.

T-8. Red Sox 2, Guardians 0 -- 1 hour, 49 minutes on April 17, 2024
Tanner Houck not only became the first Red Sox starter to reach the seventh inning on the season, he decided to go ahead and finish the job in the shortest nine-inning game in 14 years. The right-hander gave up three hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out nine Guardians at Fenway Park. He needed just 94 pitches, 69 of which were strikes.

T-8. A's 2, Mariners 0 -- 1 hour, 49 minutes on July 8, 2008
Justin Duchscherer, who would be named an All-Star for the second time in his career in 2008, turned in his finest performance of that season against the Mariners in early July. He shut out Seattle on 105 pitches, allowing only two hits and striking out four.

T-8. A's 1, Twins 0 -- 1 hour, 49 minutes on June 2, 2007
Chalk another quick and dominant pitching performance up for Oakland. In this game, there was little margin for error for Blanton, who only got one run of support -- Minnesota starter Carlos Silva was nearly as good over eight innings. But Blanton was up to the task, shutting out the Twins on 108 pitches. He yielded three hits and struck out six.

T-8. Giants 2, Pirates 1 -- 1 hour, 49 minutes on May 9, 2005
The Giants scored twice in the third inning and starter Brett Tomko made that stand up. The right-hander dueled with Pittsburgh lefty Mark Redman, but it was Tomko who emerged victorious in a complete-game win. He gave up a run on six hits, walking one and striking out seven.

T-8. A's 6, White Sox 0 -- 1 hour, 49 minutes on May 6, 2003
Not only did their starter make quick work of Chicago's lineup, but the A's were even efficient on offense, scoring six runs and still keeping the game under two hours in length. Mark Mulder stymied White Sox hitters in a 105-pitch shutout -- he yielded five hits and walked two while striking out four in the victory.

T-8. Cubs 2, Cardinals 1 -- 1 hour, 49 minutes on June 21, 2002
Lieber appears for a second time on this list thanks to another quick gem at Wrigley Field. The second batter of the game, J.D. Drew, hit a solo homer off the right-hander, but that was all St. Louis would get that afternoon. Lieber gave up just two other hits and didn't walk a batter. He struck out seven and completed the game with 108 pitches. Fred McGriff's two solo homers were all he needed.

Other notable games that flew by

Fastest nine-inning game on record:

New York Giants 6, Phillies 1 -- 51 minutes on Sept. 29, 1919
Nine innings in under an hour? The Giants and Phillies did that with time to spare at the Polo Grounds on the second-to-last day of the 1919 regular season. Right-hander Jesse Barnes was the winner, giving up a run on five hits with two strikeouts. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, no nine-inning game in Major League history has been faster.

Fastest official game on record (tie):

Philadelphia A's 4, Cleveland Napoleons 0 (5 innings) -- 35 minutes on June 14, 1904
Seven minutes per inning? That was what this game averaged before it was called after five -- Hall of Famer Charles "Chief" Bender limited Cleveland batters to just one hit while walking one and striking out seven. Socks Seybold homered and Danny Hoffman singled and drove in two.

Pittsburgh Rebels 6, Baltimore Terrapins 2 (5 innings) -- 35 minutes on Sept. 18, 1915
This was a rare Federal League game -- the league lasted only two years, from 1914-15. It was also a quick one. A six-run second inning at Exposition Park in Pittsburgh was more than enough for the Rebels to claim victory.

Fastest extra-inning game on record (tie):

Boston Americans 5, Cleveland Napoleons 4 (10 innings) -- 1 hour, 10 minutes on June 20, 1903
Both starters in this game went 10 innings, with Norwood Gibson defeating Earl Moore. The game was tied, 4-4, after nine innings, but Boston promptly took the lead in the top of the 10th and held on for the win.

New York Highlanders 1, Boston Americans 0 (10 innings) -- 1 hour, 10 minutes on Oct. 10, 1904
There's something about the Boston Americans and super-quick extra-inning games. They were involved in the two fastest extra-inning contests on record. This time, though, Boston was on the wrong end of the ledger -- Ambrose Puttman threw all 10 frames for New York without permitting a run. He yielded four hits and struck out five. The Highlanders finally broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the 10th to win it.

Fastest postseason game on record:

Cubs 2, Tigers 0 in Game 5 of the 1908 World Series -- 1 hour, 25 minutes on Oct. 14, 1908
Until 2016, the year 1908 haunted Cubs fans because it was the last time their beloved club won the World Series. But there was some other history made in the 1908 Fall Classic as well. Orval Overall allowed three hits, walked four and struck out 10 as the Chicago clinched the title over Detroit in the fastest postseason game in MLB history. Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance fame, each went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Cubs.

Where Red Sox win ranks among fastest games this century (2024)
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