2015 National League Game Scores

January 31, 2016

Flipping through The Bill James Handbook can reveal a lot of fun and interesting tidbits about the most recently completed Major League Baseball season. For instance, looking at the best Game Scores in the National League in 2015 shows some very notable performances.

Top National League Game Scores, 2015
Player Game Score
Max Scherzer, Was 104
Max Scherzer, Was 100
Jake Arrieta, ChC 98
Cole Hamels, Phi 98
Chris Heston, SF 98
Clayton Kershaw, LAD 97
Max Scherzer, Was 97
Madison Bumgarner, SF 94
Madison Bumgarner, SF 94
Johnny Cueto, Cin 93
Stephen Strasburg, Was 93

The player that obviously stands out on that list is Max Scherzer. He had a historic season, pitching three of the seven best games in the NL, including the top two.

However, looking a little closer, there is another interesting name on that list. Chris Heston threw the first of MLB’s seven no-hitters in 2015, a performance that was good enough to tie him for the third-best individual Game Score in the NL. As a 27-year-old having just completed his first full season in the major leagues, Heston seems like the most unlikely name on that list. In fact, looking at another list that can be found in the Leader Boards section of The Bill James Handbook confirms how unlikely that performance was.

Lowest Average National League Game Scores, 2015 (Minimum 30 Games Started)
Player Game Score
Jeff Locke, Pit 48
Andrew Cashner, SD 49
Rubby de la Rosa, Ari 50
Tom Koehler, Mia 50
Brett Anderson, LAD 51
Bartolo Colon, NYM 51
Anthony DeSclafani, Cin 51
Alex Wood, Atl-LAD 51
Ian Kennedy, SD 51
Chris Heston, SF 52

Of the NL pitchers that were able to make at least 30 starts in 2015, Heston had the 10th-lowest average Game Score. That is not to say that Heston was the 10th-worst pitcher in the NL, because it obviously takes a certain quality pitcher to be trusted with at least 30 starts in a season. However, it is still interesting to see how one of the more unremarkable pitchers in the game today can still surprise you with one great outing.

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COMMENTS (2 Comments, most recent shown first)

"Tie-breaking No-No"
For Chris Heston: 6/9/2015
The Village Elliott: 6/15/15

"Sixteen No Hitters Tossed," Giants boast,
Half in Gotham, next eight on West Coast;
When Chris Heston won’t yield
Hits at Mets’ Citi Field,
Jints’ successors are tie-breaking host.

Gotham days Jints played at Polo Grounds;
First "Big Six," then Jeff Tesreau astounds;
The lone New York rookies
No-hitting the bookies;
Over century till “Heston” resounds.

Fifty years-plus in San Francisco;
No Giants rookie throws a "No-No;"
Seems poetic it took
First pitched by S.F. rook
To break tie; beating Mets, makes it so.

In my Giants’ 2015 Season Recap, I named Chuck Heston No Hitting the NY Mets: 5-0 on June 9th the Game of the Year.

7:16 AM Feb 1st
I feel bad that Bartolo was on the bad list. He actually was quite valuable for the Mets last year. But I understand why he is on it. He doesn't strike out many and gives up a lot of hits and has some bad outings

4:32 PM Jan 31st
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