By Jon Weisman
I don’t really have a timely hook for the trivia question I’m posting here, other than the fact that tonight’s starter, Ross Stripling, could conceivably become the next answer — and that Thursday’s starter, Clayton Kershaw, really should someday.
But I was just curious: Who was the last Dodger pitcher to get a complete game and a save in the same season?
Wilson Alvarez came to the Dodgers in 2003 amid pretty low expectations, but he ended up with a 2.37 ERA in 95 innings, as well as this combo platter:
- In his second appearance with Los Angeles, Alvarez picked up a save by pitching four innings of shutout ball with six strikeouts to close out a 5-2 victory June 14 at Cleveland.
- After two spot starts in July, Alvarez joined the Dodger starting rotation in August. On September 12, the 33-year-old shut out the Padres, 6-0, allowing five baserunners while whiffing seven.
Before Alvarez, the most recent Dodgers to have a complete game and a save in the same year were Ismael Valdez (1995), Kevin Gross (1994), Mike Morgan (1991) and, in a real memory challenge, Mike Hartley (1990).
Click the link for the full list, which includes three appearances by Orel Hershiser, in 1984, 1987 and 1988. Hershiser, of course, separately accomplished the feat in the 1988 National League Championship Series.
Sandy Koufax was one of four Dodger pitchers to nab this exacta in seven separate seasons, along with Ralph Branca, Watty Clark and Sherry Smith.