Detroit Tigers All-Time Lists

Detroit Tigers: Ten best pitching performances in team history

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SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 10: American League All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers deals during the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park on July 10, 2007 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 10: American League All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers deals during the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park on July 10, 2007 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – APRIL 7: A general view of Comerica Park prior to the start of the opening day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers on April 7, 2017 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

One of the Tigers best pitchers that you’ve likely never heard of, Ed Summers threw 999 innings in the Motor City with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Those nearly 1,000 innings were only across five seasons however, as Summers was out of pro baseball by age 27.

That’s not before he unleashed a performance that would make modern pitching coaches and analysts shake in their boots. On July 16, 1909, Ed Summers threw a complete game shutout, giving up seven hits and two walks while striking out 10. That in itself is a phenomenal game. But here’s the kicker.

Summers threw 18 innings.

Oh, and the game ended in a 0-0 tie.

Perhaps my favorite story from this game is that the length of the game was (get this) 3 hours and 15 minutes. An 18-inning game in 1900 took less than last season’s 9-inning average. Wow.

Summers burst onto the scene as a 24-year-old rookie, going 24-12 with a 1.64 ERA in 1908. He was a big part of Detroit’s World Series against the Chicago Cubs. He went 19-9 in 1909 before tapering off the next few seasons. After only making three starts in 1912 his career was over, as quickly as it began.

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