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A Look at High-Scoring Games (and the Twins’ Futility) Players With A Higher Career Strikeout% Than Craig Kimbrel
When a pitcher doesn’t have his best stuff, sometimes a game can get out of control very quickly. In this post, I look at the pitchers who gave up the most runs in the fewest number of pitches.
All the lists in this post date back to 1950, which is when the pitch data began being tracked. Let’s start with 4 runs and work up from there. These are the pitchers who used 8 pitches or fewer and gave up 4 runs:
|1||Dewon Day||2007-07-12||CHW||BAL||W 9-7||9||0.0||4||4||4||0||0||6|
|2||Mike Trombley||2000-05-13||BAL||BOS||L 1-5||8||0.0||3||4||4||0||3||7|
|3||Eric Show||1991-05-23||OAK||CHW||L 1-11||7||0.0||4||4||4||0||0||7|
|4||Tom Glavine||1989-05-16||ATL||CHC||L 3-4||1||0.0||4||4||3||0||0||7|
|5||Buddy Black||1988-05-16||KCR||TEX||W 7-6||9||0.0||4||4||4||0||1||7|
|6||Brian Rogers||2006-09-08||PIT||CIN||L 1-9||7||0.0||4||4||4||0||1||8|
|7||Jamie Walker||2005-08-16||DET||BOS||L 7-10||10||0.0||4||4||4||0||1||8|
|8||Carlos Silva||2002-07-11||PHI||NYM||L 1-9||8||0.0||4||4||4||0||0||8|
|9||Cliff Politte||2002-05-13||PHI||HOU||L 3-17||5||0.0||4||4||4||0||0||8|
|10||Matt Whiteside||1997-06-07||TEX||KCR||L 4-10||6||0.0||3||4||4||1||1||8|
|11||Graeme Lloyd||1996-08-29||NYY||CAL||L 3-14||6||0.0||3||4||4||1||0||8|
|12||Willie Blair||1996-07-12||SDP||COL||L 12-13||7||0.0||2||4||4||1||1||8|
|13||Tony Fossas||1991-07-15||BOS||CHW||L 1-7||6||0.0||3||4||4||0||0||8|
Day’s 6 pitches went like this: single, single, foul, strike swinging/wild pitch*, single, double. Boone Logan relieved him and got the first two outs, but then gave up a homer that scored Day’s two baserunners.
* You will not be surprised to hear that the batter who swung and missed at a wild pitch was Corey Patterson.
Trombley’s feat was, if anything, even more (un)impressive. He came into a game his team was leading 1-0, with a runner on 1st and 1 out. His 7 pitches went like this: ball, home run, ball, ball, home run, hit by pitch, home run. A 1-0 lead to a 5-1 deficit in 7 pitches!
Glavine is the only starter on this list. His 7 pitches went single, ball, ball, single, called strike, triple, single. He was then pulled (presumably because of an injury or illness). The reliever allowed his baserunner to score. Interestingly, Glavine’s rough outing came a year to the day after Buddy Black’s.
Next up, let’s look at the pitchers who needed the fewest pitches to give up 5 runs:
|1||Dennis Rasmussen||1989-09-21||SDP||CIN||W 11-7||1||0.0||5||5||5||0||1||7|
|2||Rich Rodriguez||1994-07-02||STL||COL||L 5-7||7||0.0||5||5||5||0||1||8|
|3||Todd Jones||2005-09-17||FLA||PHI||L 2-10||9||0.0||4||5||4||0||0||9|
|4||Juan Dominguez||2005-07-09||TEX||TOR||W 12-10||9||0.0||4||5||5||0||1||9|
|5||Manny Muniz||1971-09-11||PHI||NYM||L 2-9||6||0.2||5||5||5||0||1||9|
|6||Clay Condrey||2007-09-17||PHI||STL||W 13-11||7||0.0||4||5||4||0||0||10|
|7||Don Drysdale||1959-08-12||LAD||CHC||L 8-11||1||0.0||4||5||5||0||2||10|
|8||Jim Poole||2000-05-24||MON||SFG||L 0-18||5||0.0||4||5||5||1||0||11|
|9||Steve Cooke||1994-07-28||PIT||CHC||L 3-10||1||0.0||5||5||5||0||0||11|
Five runs on 7 pitches, and from a starter no less! Dennis Rasmussen’s start has to go down as one of the worst of all time. And yet, he left with a lead (his team scored 6 in the top of the 1st inning)! His pitches were as follows: single, ball, single, home run, single, ball, double. He was then replaced, and the reliever allowed both his baserunners to score on groundouts. His team still had a 6-5 lead, though, and went on to win the game.
Lest you think that appearing on one of these lists is a sign of mediocrity, look at Glavine in the previous list, or Drysdale on this list. Anyone can have a disastrous game.
Next up, the fewest pitches in an outing when giving up 6 runs:
|1||Mike Myers||1999-04-14||MIL||MON||L 1-15||7||0.2||5||6||6||0||1||12|
|2||Turk Farrell||1969-08-03||PHI||CIN||L 17-19||5||0.1||6||6||6||0||1||14|
|3||Carl Erskine||1950-08-16||BRO||NYG||L 7-16||1||0.1||5||6||6||1||1||15|
|4||Jose Santiago||2001-07-03||PHI||ATL||L 7-14||7||0.1||6||6||6||0||0||16|
|5||Eric Weaver||2000-05-26||ANA||KCR||L 4-9||6||0.0||5||6||6||1||2||16|
|6||Bob Kipper||1991-04-15||PIT||NYM||L 3-9||9||0.1||4||6||6||2||0||16|
|7||Ryan Madson||2005-05-14||PHI||CIN||L 4-12||7||0.1||5||6||6||0||2||17|
|8||Brian Meadows||2005-04-18||PIT||STL||L 1-11||9||0.1||4||6||6||2||0||17|
|9||Todd Rizzo||1998-04-02||CHW||TEX||L 4-20||7||0.0||4||6||6||2||0||17|
Myers’ outing is interesting because not only did he allow 6 runs in 12 pitches, he also got two outs! His pitches went like this: single, ball, foul, home run, called strike, foul, groundout, flyout, single, single, double, hit by pitch. After the hit batsman, he was replaced by the appropriately named Eric Plunk, who gave up a triple that scored Myers’ two baserunners.
Erskine’s outing was also memorable. He gave up an inside-the-park homer that scored 3 runs, and the reliever who followed him (Joe Hatten) gave up a bases-loaded triple on which the batter scored on a throwing error. So twice in that inning a batter circled the bases despite the ball not going over the fence. Seven runs scored on those two plays, and 9 total before the inning was over.
Next up, the fewest pitches in a 7-run outing:
|1||Terry Adams||2001-05-05||LAD||CHC||L 1-20||7||0.0||6||7||7||0||0||12|
|2||Mike DeJean||1999-04-18||COL||ATL||L 5-20||9||0.0||5||7||6||1||1||17|
|3||J.D. Durbin||2007-09-01||PHI||FLA||L 6-12||1||0.0||5||7||7||1||0||19|
|4||Kerry Ligtenberg||2005-05-08||ARI||PIT||L 2-16||9||1.0||7||7||7||0||1||19|
|5||Mark Leiter||1997-05-16||PHI||HOU||L 7-12||1||0.1||5||7||7||1||2||20|
|6||Dale Murray||1975-09-06||MON||PIT||L 5-12||11||0.1||5||7||7||2||0||20|
|7||Donovan Osborne||2002-04-17||CHC||MON||L 8-15||3-4||1.0||6||7||7||1||0||22|
|8||Jeff Robinson||1990-08-03||DET||BOS||L 5-14||1||0.0||5||7||7||1||1||22|
|9||Jackie Collum||1954-08-08||CIN||BRO||L 7-20||8||0.0||4||7||0||2||0||22|
|10||Mark Wohlers||2002-04-30||CLE||ANA||L 2-21||8||0.2||6||7||7||0||1||23|
Hey, not one but two former Braves closers (Ligtenberg and Wohlers)!
Terry Adams blows away the field here, needing 5 fewer pitches than anyone else to give up 7 runs. Here’s what happened: single, called strike, single, ball, ball, single, sac bunt/fielder’s choice (no out), single, foul, single, called strike, single. Adams was then replaced by Jose Nuñez, who gave up a 3-run homer scoring Adams’ 2 remaining baserunners. (Nuñez would go on to give up 8 more runs in the next inning, so the Dodgers had 2 relievers give up 7+ runs in that game.)
Both Ligtenberg and Osborne managed to get 3 outs while giving up 7 runs in very few pitches. Ligtenberg actually finished the game.
Finally, here are the games with the fewest number of pitches while giving up 8 runs or more:
|1||Paul Wilson||2005-05-06||CIN||LAD||L 6-13||1||0.0||5||8||8||1||2||25|
|2||Jon Rauch||2002-05-02||CHW||SEA||L 4-15||1||0.1||6||8||5||0||2||25|
|3||Blake Stein||1998-08-31||OAK||CLE||L 6-15||1||0.0||4||8||8||3||0||25|
|4||Vern Law||1950-09-19||PIT||BRO||L 3-14||1-2||1.0||6||8||7||1||2||27|
|5||A.J. Sager||1997-07-14||DET||BOS||L 4-18||6-7||1.0||9||8||8||0||2||28|
|6||Chris Hammond||1996-04-28||FLA||SFG||L 4-10||1-2||1.0||9||9||9||0||2||30|
|7||Jesus Colome||2002-04-11||TBD||BAL||L 6-15||6||0.1||6||8||7||2||0||31|
|8||Mark Langston||1995-06-04||CAL||NYY||L 3-11||1||0.1||6||8||8||2||0||31|
|9||Joe Blanton||2005-05-25||OAK||TBD||L 6-14||1||0.1||6||8||7||1||0||32|
|10||Jose Lima||2002-04-21||DET||CHW||L 8-11||1||0.2||5||8||8||2||1||32|
|11||Mike Morgan||1999-05-23||TEX||BAL||L 6-15||1||0.2||5||8||8||1||0||32|
Three guys tie for the top spot here, but my favorite of those games is Blake Stein’s. Stein managed to walk 3 guys in his 25 pitches. That means that nearly half his pitches were used up just on the balls of those walks, yet he still gave up 8 runs. It went like this: 6-pitch walk, hit-by-pitch on a 1-2 count, 5-pitch walk, 1st-pitch single, 1st-pitch single, 5-pitch walk, 1st-pitch single, 2nd-pitch single. He was then replaced, and the reliever allowed both baserunners to score (plus 2 runs of his own). It’s not like he was hit hard, but man is that a nightmarish start.
Chris Hammond’s 30-pitch appearance holds the record for the fewest number of pitches while giving up 9 runs. He had a game score of -1. The record for 10 or more runs is Jason Jenningsthis game
Finally, a post like this isn’t complete without a Jose Lima entry, so there it is. 8 runs on 32 pitches, with 5 hits, 2 walks, and a hit batsman thrown in for good measure. RIP, Jose. I hope it’s Lime Time in heaven.
Tagged with: bad games Blake Stein Bud Black Carl Erskine Chris Hammond Dennis Rasmussen Dewon Day Don Drysdale Donovan Osborne Eric Show Joe Blanton Jon Rauch Jose Lima Kerry Ligtenberg Lima Time! Mark Wohlers Mike Myers Mike Trombley Paul Wilson Ryan Madson Terry Adams Todd Jones Tom Glavine
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
For more about the site or the author, read the About page
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