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Thread: Worst Earned Run Averages (ERAs)

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Worst Earned Run Averages (ERAs)

    Hello Baseball Fever Fans,

    I was answering a question over on Baseball Almanac about hall of fame pitchers with the worst ERA and gave this list of those with an ERA above 3.59:

    1. 3.80 : Red Ruffing
    2. 3.67 : Ted Lyons
    3. 3.64 : Jesse Haines
    4. 3.60 : Herb Pennock

    This made me wonder about pitchers in general who had some of the worst earned run averages ever. I set some levels so it could be fair and came up with the following names:

    100 IP : 8.86 Andy Larkin
    250 IP : 6.99 Bill Kissinger
    400 IP : 6.74 Jim Walkup
    800 IP : 5.84 Claude Willoughby
    1,000 IP : 5.11 Mike Sullivan

    Plenty of other levels for you to take a look at, but I hope you enjoyed this brief list nonetheless. Reply with other plateaus if you do the research and share with us your findings...

    Sean

  2. #2
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    If this is correct:
    75 IP Andy Larkin 8.96?
    60 IP Charlie Stecher 10.32
    40 IP Stu Flythe, 13.12
    20 IP Sid Schacht, 15.00
    15 IP June Greene, 18.95
    6 IP Jim Brady, 29.51
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  3. #3
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    Some are HOFers and some or not...worse ERAs

    2000 IP Kid Carsey 4.95
    3000 IP Earl Whitehill 4.36
    4000 IP Gus Weyhing 3.89
    5000 IP Phil Niekro 3.35
    6000 IP Jim Galvin 2.85
    7000 IP Cy Young 2.63
    Last edited by chanceron; 04-30-2005 at 06:57 AM.

  4. #4
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    Well how many people actually pitched 7000 innings?
    "I don't like to sound egotistical, but every time I stepped up to the plate with a bat in my hands, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the pitcher."
    -Rogers Hornsby-

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
    -Rogers Hornsby-

    Just a note to all the active members of BBF, I consider all of you the smartest baseball people I have ever communicated with and love everyday I am on here. Thank you all!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubsfan97
    Well how many people actually pitched 7000 innings?
    Only Cy Young did it. For your info, Pud Galvin is also the only one with 6000 + IP, and there are 10 guys who have 5000 +.

    Claude

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubsfan97
    Well how many people actually pitched 7000 innings?
    This got me curious too. The first guy who came to mind was Walter Johnson, and I see he was just short of 6000 (5914). Then I wondered about Christy Mathewson, but even he didn't make 5000 (4780).

    If I'm not mistaken, the guy with the highest tangible (non-infinite) ERA is Joe Cleary at 189.00, thanks to the 7 ER he surrendered in his 1/3 inning career in 1945.

  7. #7
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    Special acknowledgement for futility should go to Jim Brady, for having recorded the most outs while giving up more earned runs that outs. He recorded 19 outs and gave up 20 earned runs. Tough to do.
    Last edited by Brooklyn; 01-04-2006 at 09:19 AM.

  8. #8
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    I forgot about Joe Cleary. China's Shuai Li had a 40.50 ERA in 2/3 innings during a World Baseball Classic game last weekend.

  9. #9
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    Worst E.R.A.'s

    How about single season Starters? I guess this could be a seperate thread. Some come to mind:

    1) Bobo Newsome 1938 Browns 20-16 5.08 E.R.A.
    2) Rick Helling 1998 Rangers 20-7 4.41
    3) Jim Merritt 1970 Reds 20-12 4.08
    4) Dan Spillner 1980 Indians 16-11 5.29
    5) Len Barker 1980 Indians 19-12 4.17

    These are,of course,before this crazy era of 4.25 E.R.A.s being respectable!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGelnarFan
    How about single season Starters? I guess this could be a seperate thread. Some come to mind:

    5) Len Barker 1980 Indians 19-12 4.17
    You call that bad, another Indian, Milt Shofner's 7.03
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  11. #11
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    High E.R.A.s

    Mine were regulars in the rotation and pitched at least 190 innings but that's bad for anyone that gets into a number of games.I looked him up and he actually had back to back years over 7.20! The first,In 1930,he was 3-4 with a 7.97 In 24 games and 10 starts,he pitched 84.2 Innings.His numbers were awful! In 1931,he was 2-3 with a7.24. He pitched in 12 games,4 starts and 41 Innings. He was Ok for a few years after that. Amazing that he got another shot. How do you know about this Guy??!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGelnarFan
    Mine were regulars in the rotation and pitched at least 190 innings but that's bad for anyone that gets into a number of games.I looked him up and he actually had back to back years over 7.20! The first,In 1930,he was 3-4 with a 7.97 In 24 games and 10 starts,he pitched 84.2 Innings.His numbers were awful! In 1931,he was 2-3 with a7.24. He pitched in 12 games,4 starts and 41 Innings. He was Ok for a few years after that. Amazing that he got another shot. How do you know about this Guy??!!
    They used to have a thing on the radio every once in a while about worst Indian stiffs, so I started researching
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  13. #13
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    Shofner

    That's a great thing to share with fans.Do you remember any of the other names(Stiffs)?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGelnarFan
    That's a great thing to share with fans.Do you remember any of the other names(Stiffs)?
    I made up my own list, and some of them are short-timers. I hope you can stomach this
    P-Jose Roman
    P-Jeff Mutis
    P-Denis Boucher
    P-Ross Grimsley
    C-Scooter Tucker
    1B-Bill Schwartz
    2B-Gus Gil
    3B-Kurt Bevacqua
    SS-Houston Jimenez
    OF-Larry Littleton
    OF-Otto Velez
    OF-Arthur Hauger
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  15. #15
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    In the modern era some of the single season bad boys by range were:

    100 - 199 IP's Leo Sweetland 7.71
    200 - 299 IP's Pedro Astacio 6.23
    300 - 399 IP's Snake Wiltse 5.13
    400+ IP's Joe Mc Ginnity 2.43
    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

  16. #16
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    Quite a List. I looked them up. You're right! I didn't know that Ross Grimsley's father played in the majors. One that might be left off is my all-time favorite player,Del Unser. His one year(72') in Cleveland wasn't......very good.They shipped him out in a hurry. He was better than these guys though! I do have a soft spot for Gustavo Gil though because he was a Pilot!


    Quote Originally Posted by RuthMayBond
    I made up my own list, and some of them are short-timers. I hope you can stomach this
    P-Jose Roman
    P-Jeff Mutis
    P-Denis Boucher
    P-Ross Grimsley
    C-Scooter Tucker
    1B-Bill Schwartz
    2B-Gus Gil
    3B-Kurt Bevacqua
    SS-Houston Jimenez
    OF-Larry Littleton
    OF-Otto Velez
    OF-Arthur Hauger

  17. #17
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    A more recent player to come to mind with a high ERA is Hideo Nomo. In 2004 his ERA was 8.24 in 84.0 innings. In 2005 he had a 7.24 ERA in 100.7 innings. Another player from Tampa Bay, Dewon Brazelton had a 7.61 ERA in 71.0 innings last year. Ouch, that hurts for the D-rays.

  18. #18
    Scott Elarton, in 2001, posted an ERA of 7.06 in 132 2/3 IP. He also managed to allow 34 HR's that year in only 132 innings!

  19. #19
    Eric Milton had the 5th lowest ERA ever for a pitcher who started at least 34 games last year.

    This topic was in Baseball Digest a few months ago.

  20. #20
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    Elarton

    How did he keep getting thrown out there? The rest of the staff must have been brutal!! You guys have come up with some great examples.
    Camilo Pascual had a few yeras like this before he became a very good pitcher.

    1955 43 games,129 Innings 2-12 6.14 E.R.A.
    1956 39 games,188.2 Innings 6-18 5.87 E.R.A.
    These are almost good compared to some above!




    Quote Originally Posted by flash143817
    Scott Elarton, in 2001, posted an ERA of 7.06 in 132 2/3 IP. He also managed to allow 34 HR's that year in only 132 innings!

  21. #21
    what was Nolan Ryan's era. Im jus curious.

  22. #22
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    Josh Towers' ERA is 9.11 through 54.1 innings. He has had 12 starts and is now on his second stint in the minors. He is 1-9.

    PS Nolan Ryan's career ERA was 3.19.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by redbuck
    Eric Milton had the 5th lowest ERA ever for a pitcher who started at least 34 games last year.

    This topic was in Baseball Digest a few months ago.
    i assume you mean 'highest". yeah, one of the worst ever, easy. i watched him all yeah, unfortunately . it got me to thinking he might have had the worst season of any fulltime starter ever. but who were the 4 guys "ahead" of him- with worse ERAs? thanx in advance red.

    oh yeah, another question. who has the worst adjusted ERAs ever at each level- 1,000, 2000, 3000 IP, etc? anybody know?

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGelnarFan View Post
    How about single season Starters? I guess this could be a seperate thread. Some come to mind:

    1) Bobo Newsome 1938 Browns 20-16 5.08 E.R.A.
    2) Rick Helling 1998 Rangers 20-7 4.41
    3) Jim Merritt 1970 Reds 20-12 4.08
    4) Dan Spillner 1980 Indians 16-11 5.29
    5) Len Barker 1980 Indians 19-12 4.17

    These are,of course,before this crazy era of 4.25 E.R.A.s being respectable!

    I used to think Ron Bryant's 1973 season where he posted a 24-12 record with a 3.53 ERA was terrible.

  25. #25
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    I doubt Jeff Weaver will get many more chances to improve on the 0-6 record and 14.32 ERA he currently has.

    Jose Lima had more than one year with a high ERA
    2006 - 0 wins 4 loses 17.3 innings 9.87 ERA
    2005 - 5 wins 16 loses 168.7 innings 6.99 ERA
    2002 - 4 wins 6 loses 68.3 innings 7.77 ERA
    2001 - 6 wins 12 loses 165.7 innings 5.54 ERA
    2000 - 7 wins 16 loses 196.3 innings 6.65 ERA
    1996 - 5 wins 6 loses 72.7 innings 5.70 ERA
    1995 - 3 wins 9 loses 73.7 innings 6.11 ERA

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