Q & A: Barrett sorts all

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The Independent Online
Q. Twenty-four pitches would, theoretically, be the fewest required in a complete game of baseball. What is the lowest recorded number thrown in a full game by a single pitcher?

A. The question contains a theoretical error. In order to win a complete nine-inning game a minimum of 27 pitches would be required. However, the losing pitcher of a visiting team could be credited with a complete game (the home team not being required to bat if ahead after 81/2 innings) having retired only 24 batters. But he would have to have given up at least one run, which would argue another delivery, presumably a first- pitch home run. Thus 25 pitches is the absolute minimum for a complete game.

According to the Records Committee of SABR, the international baseball research society, the major league record for fewest pitches by a single pitcher in a complete game is held by Charles "Red" Barrett, who, on 10 August 1944, pitching for the Boston Braves, shut out the Cincinnati Reds over nine innings, throwing just 58 pitches.

Patrick Carroll, Crewkerne

ANSWERS PLEASE

Q. Thoroughbred racehorses who break a leg on the course are normally humanely put down. Singspiel suffered a fracture at the Breeders' Cup meeting in Kentucky and was operated on. Why such special treatment for him, and, indeed, are there any other examples of racehorses being saved after breaking a leg?

Tom Pearce, Lincoln

If you know the answers to this question or have one of your own, write to Q&A, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171- 293 2894

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