On April 5, 1989, former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser had his record-setting 59 consecutive scoreless innings streak snapped in his first start after winning the 1988 World Series MVP.
One inning into Hershiser’s 1989 season, the Cincinnati Reds capitalized on an errant pickoff attempt which allowed leadoff hitter Barry Larkin to advance into scoring position after a leadoff single.
Larkin was brought in later that inning on a two-out RBI base hit by Todd Benzinger to end Hershiser’s remarkable scoreless streak. Benzinger’s RBI was the first run Hershiser had allowed in the regular season since Aug. 30, 1988, when the Montreal Expos scored two in the fifth inning.
After that, Hershiser went on to blank the Expos over the final four innings en route to yet another complete game and thus began the seemingly unbreakable scoreless streak. Hershiser went on to finish the regular season with six consecutive complete-game shut outs and with a 23-8 record and a 2.26 ERA, earning the only Cy Young Award of his career.
Hershiser’s streak broke another legendary Dodger pitcher’s stretch, previously set by Don Drysdale in 1968 when he threw 58 consecutive scoreless innings. The way Hershiser broke Drysdale’s record was a true testament of his mentality by pitching 10 scoreless innings in his final start of the regular season after the Dodgers had already clinched the division title.
Hershiser’s memorable 1988 season was capped off with an incredible postseason run, helping the Dodgers win their sixth World Series championship. Hershiser won the National League Championship Series and World Series MVP that postseason.
He was honored by the Dodgers during the 2018 regular season when they gave away a Hershiser bobblehead to commemorate the streak and remarkable campaign he had.