This pitching statistic in baseball is awarded to a pitcher when he or she has pitched every inning played and faced every batter in the game without the benefit of a relief pitcher. The most common complete game is a nine-inning outing for the pitcher, but it could be as few as eight innings (in the event of the home team leading after the completion of the top of the ninth) or more than nine in the event of extra innings in a tied ballgame.
Perhaps no trend in baseball has changed as much as the complete game. In the 19th century a pitcher was almost expected to complete the game each time he took the mound. By way of illustration, in 1904 over 87 percent of the 2,496 games started ended with a pitcher receiving a CG. It was not uncommon for both pitchers to complete the game, and this led to something we rarely see in baseball today: the complete game loss (CGL). By comparison, in 2004 a paltry 150 of the 4,854 games started ended with a pitcher throwing a complete game-that is a lowly 3.1 percent. Based on the trends in baseball regarding complete games, it is very likely that Cy Young's record of 749 career complete games will stand unsurpassed forever.