- Dumb Luck Wins
- Tough Luck Losses
- Out Prevention Percentage
- Infield Outs Prevented
A couple days ago, Justin Berg of the Cubs had a nightmarish outing. He faced 3 batters, and walked all 3 of them. What’s more, he did it on 12 pitches–no strikes. How common is it to face at least 2 batters and not throw a strike?
Since 1950, which is the earliest that Baseball-Reference has any pitch data, I found 46 relief appearances (see the full list here
|1||Miguel Asencio||2002-04-06||KCR||CHW||L 0-14||0.0||4||16||0||4||0||0||1|
|2||Justin Berg||2011-05-25||CHC||NYM||L 4-7||0.0||3||12||0||3||0||0||0|
|3||Sergio Mitre||2006-08-10||FLA||WSN||W 9-6||0.0||2||12||0||3||0||1||0|
|4||Andy Pratt||2004-04-12||CHC||PIT||L 2-13||0.0||2||9||0||3||0||1||0|
|5||Sean Lowe||2001-04-10||CHW||CLE||W 8-7||0.0||3||12||0||3||0||0||0|
Since Pratt and Mitre both hit a batter in their appearances, Berg is only the third player to face at least 3 batters and walk them all (although Mitre’s HBP came on the 4th ball of the PA, so that would have been a walk anyway). Still, perhaps Berg can take some comfort in knowing that his appearance was far from the most disastrous. Miguel Asencio in 2002 faced 4 batters, walking all of them on 4 pitches, and threw a wild pitch. The game Asencio was in was a blowout, but one has to wonder what his manager was thinking in letting him face that 4th hitter.
Of the other 41 matching appearances, three (Joe Beimel2008 Mike Hartley 1993 Danny Leon 1992
Only 6 of the matching games occurred before 1990, and none of them were between 1962 and 1988. I’d guess that this was due largely to different bullpen usage; relievers in that era were generally used for more than a few batters. Even if they started badly, with 2 walks on 8 pitches, I suppose they were required to stay in the game, and eventually threw strikes.
The weirdest game on the list is Moe Drabowsky1961
My favorite game on the list, though, is Armando Almanza2001
Almanza’s game made me wonder just how many other pitchers recorded an out without throwing a strike, thanks to caught stealings, pickoffs, and the like. But that will have to wait for another post.
Tagged with: Andy Pratt Armando Almanza bad games Justin Berg Miguel Asencio Moe Drabowsky relief pitching Sean Lowe Sergio Mitre walks Warren Spahn
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
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