Corey Lidle pitched a 1-hit shutout tonight for the A's against the Indians in Cleveland running his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 31. In total Cleveland had two baserunners: the one hit, a single by Ellis Burks and a walk to Jim Thome, which were back-to-back in the first inning. Lidle was perfect through the last eight and one-third innings. The scoreless streak is set to go another three games before the Devil comes to collect his soul.
This was his second one-hit shutout of his season, the first coming July 19 against Texas (the first one also had one walk). He did pitch 7 scoreless innings of one-hit ball (with 2 walks) on August 4 against Detroit to start his scoreless streak (relivers itched the last 2 innings without a hit). Before the streak he was 3-9 with a 5.15 ERA. He is now 7-9 with a 4.04 ERA.
How improbable is all this for Lidle? In 65 major-league starts he has three complete games and two shutouts, both in the last month. In his 87 minor-league starts, he had 10 complete ganmes (6 for independent Pocatello of the Pioneer League) and one shutout in 1994 (for Beloit of the Midwestern League). Of course Lidle has had a rather improbable career. He has been in seven organizations (including Pocatello) though he only made it to the majors with three of them. And of those three major-league teams that he has pitched for, only the A's have allowed him to be a starter. He has pitched in a grand total of 293 professional games and has only started about half of them (152).
One last Lidle note: He was acquired by the A's from Tampa Bay in a three-team deal January 8, 2001. The A's also received Mark Ellis, their starting second baseman, and Johnny Damon, their former starting outfielder, from the Royals. The A's gave up Ben Grieve, who has proved a bust; A. J. Hinch, the Royals backup catcher; and Angel Berroa, who had a cup of coffee with the Royals last year.