On April 19, 1972, Los Angeles Dodgers starter Don Sutton tossed a complete-game shutout against the Atlanta Braves, giving up just two hits and walking one while striking out two in a 4-0 victory.
The victory was Sutton’s second in two starts to begin the season, and he wound up winning his first eight decisions of the year, with five of them being complete-game efforts.
The 1972 Dodgers, led by Sutton, who was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and finished fifth in the Cy Young voting, went 85-70 and failed to make the postseason.
Sutton went 19-9 with a 2.08 ERA, 2.24 FIP and 0.91 WHIP, while striking out 207 and walking 63 in 272.2 innings. He had a career-high 18 complete games that season, with nine of them being shutouts.
Through his first 10 starts of the season, Sutton was nearly perfect, going 8-0 with a 1.14 ERA. Sutton’s first loss of the season came June 9 when he gave up 10 hits and five runs (two earned) in seven innings to the Pittsburgh Pirates. That began a span of three straight losses for the right-hander.
Sutton pitched in the Majors for 23 seasons, with 16 of them coming with the Dodgers. He won a career 324 games and yielded a 3.26 ERA while striking out 3,574 hitters. Sutton returned to the Dodgers for the 1988 season, where he won a World Series and then retired from baseball.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. Sutton is the Dodgers all-time franchise leader in wins (233), starts (533), innings (3,816.1) and strikeouts (2,696).