The record for fewest pitches in a complete game is 58, accomplished by Red Barrett of the Boston Braves on August 10, 1944, in a 2-0 shutout of the Cincinnati Reds.
In that game, played at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, Barrett allowed just two hits, didn’t allow a walk, and didn’t strike out a single batter.
The Braves didn’t commit any errors, either, so Barrett didn’t have to deal with any baserunners beyond the two men who got hits — Gee Walker, with two outs in the first, and Eddie Miller, to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning.
Of the two, only Miller advanced, reaching second base on a fielders choice when Woody Williams of the Reds grounded to Braves first baseman Buck Etchison for the second out.
Miller was stranded on second, though, when Cincy right fielder Tony Criscola popped out to second baseman Whitey Wietelmann to end the inning.
Reds starter Bucky Walters also pitched a complete game, giving up just six hits and a walk, and striking out one while allowing two runs to the Braves.
Thanks to the efficiency of the two hurlers that day, the 7783 fans in attendance saw an entire Major League game transpire in the span of just an hour and fifteen minutes (1:15) that summer night.
The victory left Barrett with a 7-11 record on the season, while the loss dropped Walters to 16-6.
Interestingly, though the Braves got the better of the Reds in this game, the teams finished the 1944 season with mirror-image records — Cincinnati landed in third place in the National League with an 89-65 mark, while Boston ended up sixth, at 65-89.
Another interesting tie from this game was that Barrett had spent the first four years of his career with the Reds, running up a 3-0 mark from 1937 through 1940.
The 29-year-old would play in the majors through 1949, compiling an overall 69-69 record with a 3.53 ERA over 253 appearances split between the bullpen and the rotation.
Walters, 35 in 1944, was the ace of the Reds’ staff and had been Barrett’s teammate in 1939 and 1940.
One of the game’s big stars in the 1940s, Bucky pitched in the majors from 1934 through 1950, going 198-160 with a 3.30 ERA.
Despite their divergent personal fortunes in Major League Baseball, though, Red Farrell got the best of his more celebrated former teammate on August 10, 1944 … and he set a pretty amazing record in the process!