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Most earned runs allowed in a complete game

Posted by Andy on March 30, 2009

Since 1954:

  Cnt Player            Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt App,Dec    IP   H  R **ER** BB SO HR Pit Str GmSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk BK WP   ERA
+----+-----------------+-------------+---+----+-------+---------+----+--+--+------+--+--+--+---+---+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+--+--+------+
    1 Mike Norris       1980-09-26    OAK  MIL L  7-10 CG 9  ,L   9   17 10   10    1  9  4           21       45 44  3  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  1  10.00 

    2 Ken Holtzman      1979-05-18    CHC  PIT L  5-9  CG 9  ,L   9   13  9    9    3  4  3           26       43 39  3  2   1   0  1  0   0  1  0  0  0  1   9.00 
    3 Nolan Ryan        1978-05-17    CAL @CHW L  6-9  CG 8  ,L   8   10  9    9    7  6  2           25       40 31  1  1   1   0  1  1   0  0  0  0  0  0  10.12 
    4 Jim Kaat          1964-07-02    MIN @BOS W 15-9  CG 9  ,W   9   13  9    9    4  3  2           24       42 36  1  1   0   0  0  2   2  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 
    5 Lew Burdette      1960-10-02    MLN @PIT L  5-9  CG 8  ,L   8   15  9    9    1  0  0           15       40 39  4  1   0   0  0  0   1  0  0  0  0  0  10.12 
    6 Frank Lary        1960-08-25    DET @BAL L  3-9  CG 8  ,L   8   10  9    9    4  3  2           25       38 32  1  0   0   2  0  0   2  0  0  0  0  0  10.12 
    7 Hal Griggs        1959-07-26(1) WSH @CLE L  0-9  CG 8  ,L   8    9  9    9    7  3  2           24       39 31  2  1   1   0  0  1   0  0  1  0  0  0  10.12 

    8 Randy Johnson     1998-07-05    SEA @TEX L  4-8  CG 8  ,L   8    9  8    8    2 12  3 141  84   42       35 33  3  0   0   0  0  0   0  1  0  0  0  1   9.00 
    9 Pat Hentgen       1996-08-07    TOR @BOS L  0-8  CG 8  ,L   8    9  8    8    1  5  3 103  69   36       34 31  0  0   0   2  0  0   1  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 
   10 Mark Williamson   1988-05-25    BAL @OAK L  1-8  CG 8  ,L   8    9  8    8    2  7  2 129  84   37       35 32  3  0   0   1  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 
   11 Floyd Youmans     1986-10-02    MON  NYM L  2-8  CG 9  ,L   9    8  8    8    3 10  2           46       36 33  2  0   0   0  0  0   1  3  0  0  0  0   8.00 
   12 Fernando Valenzue 1986-05-09    LAD @MON L  4-8  CG 8  ,L   8   11  8    8    1  6  3           33       35 33  1  1   1   0  1  0   0  1  0  0  0  0   9.00 
   13 Britt Burns       1985-07-13    CHW @BAL W 10-8  CG 9  ,W   9    8  8    8    5  4  3           38       37 32  0  0   0   0  0  0   2  0  0  0  0  0   8.00 
   14 Chris Codiroli    1983-06-12(2) OAK  CHW L  1-8  CG 9  ,L   9   11  8    8    4  4  0           33       42 38  3  0   1   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   8.00 
   15 Rick Langford     1980-10-02    OAK @CHW L  4-9  CG 8  ,L   8   15  9    8    1  2  1           19       39 34  1  0   0   0  1  3   0  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 
   16 Mike Norris       1980-06-16    OAK @BOS W 11-8  CG 9  ,W   9   12  8    8    2  3  3           32       41 39  3  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   8.00 
   17 Phil Niekro       1977-05-03    ATL  PIT L  7-8  CG 11 ,L  11   12  8    8    5  9  2           45       48 41  2  0   1   0  1  1   0  2  2  0  0  0   6.55 
   18 Mickey Lolich     1975-08-15    DET @CAL L  0-8  CG 8  ,L   8   14  8    8    1  3  1           24       38 35  3  0   0   0  1  1   0  2  0  0  0  0   9.00 
   19 Mel Stottlemyre   1971-07-19(1) NYY  CHW L  3-8  CG 10 ,L  10   13  8    8    3  2  1           33       43 40  1  0   0   0  0  0   2  1  1  0  0  0   7.20 
   20 Don Drysdale      1968-07-28(1) LAD @CHC L  3-8  CG 8  ,L   8    8  8    8    3  6  1           37       35 29  3  0   2   0  1  2   0  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 
   21 Bob Sadowski      1964-08-24    MLN  PHI W 12-9  CG 9  ,W   9   13  9    8    0  4  3           31       41 40  3  1   0   1  0  0   1  1  0  0  0  0   8.00 
   22 Gary Blaylock     1959-05-27    STL @SFG L  4-9  CG 8  ,L   8    8  9    8    3  2  3           31       35 29  2  0   0   0  0  3   0  2  1  0  0  0   9.00 
   23 Robin Roberts     1956-09-30(1) PHI  NYG L  3-8  CG 9  ,L   9   15  8    8    1  4  3           28       42 39  3  0   0   0  1  1   0  1  0  0  0  0   8.00 
   24 Bob Feller        1956-09-30    CLE  DET L  4-8  CG 9  ,L   9   14  8    8    3  0  1           24       42 38  1  1   0   0  1  0   2  1  0  0  0  0   8.00 
   25 Art Ditmar        1955-08-21    KCA @CLE L  4-9  CG 8  ,L   8    7  9    8   10  3  2           27       41 28  2  0   1   1  0  2   0  4  0  0  0  1   9.00 
+----+-----------------+-------------+---+----+-------+---------+----+--+--+------+--+--+--+---+---+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+--+--+------+
  Cnt Player            Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt App,Dec    IP   H  R **ER** BB SO HR Pit Str GmSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk BK WP   ERA
+----+-----------------+-------------+---+----+-------+---------+----+--+--+------+--+--+--+---+---+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+--+--+------+
   26 Bob Trice         1954-07-02    PHA @BOS L  4-8  CG 8  ,L   8   10  8    8    4  2  0           28       37 33  2  2   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   9.00 

I can understand that sometimes a starting pitcher is left in even when he's not that effective. This can happen when a bullpen is worn out or if there are more important games coming up immediately and the manager wants to keep other arms fresh.

But I wonder about the story behind some of these games.

Why was Jim Kaat allowed to stay in a July game to give up 9 earned runs? The Twins were way ahead 12-2 in the 7th inning when Kaat got hit up for 3 runs. Then they got those runs back in the 8th, going up 15-5. He had toruble closing out the 9th, giving up 4 more runs for a final score of 15-9 with Kaat as the winning pitcher. I guess that makes sense--the game was never really in doubt, and if Kaat was uninjured and was willing to stay in, why not?

I'm sure there are lots of other interesting stories here. Share any with us that you might know.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 8:00 am and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Most earned runs allowed in a complete game”

  1. How about Phil Neikros 11 inning complete game. he gave up 8 runs and the braves lost the

    at first i thought neikro just had a rough first inning or two before setlling down for the last 9 innings, this was not true. he scattered 7 runs over the first 6 innings. I supoose he stayed in only because the braves offenseanswered for the priates offense.

    I also think that these games would be a lot more in number prior to say 1940 when relief pitching was used virtually never

  2. Norris was part of Billy Martin's staff that threw 94 CGs that year. I guess it was one of Martin's 'manhood' gimmicks that resulted in several shortened careers. Anyway, Norris was cruising with a 7-2 lead. The Brewers added two in the 5th and 1 in the 8th to trail 7-5. It wasn't quite as unusual then -- especially for Oakland -- to let the starter try to finish it. Even when the Brewers loaded the bases with one out, Norris was just a ground ball away from the win, but Ben Oglivie then hit a 9th inning grand slam to turn the game, followed by a Gorman Thomas solo shot for the final margin.

  3. Hentgen's game was interesting in that he threw only 103 pitches. He was 'in' it, trailing only 4-0 in the bottom of the 8th, when Tony Rodriguez (remember him? me neither) hit his only Major League home run, a three-run shot, to blow it open. Hentgen ended up taking it for the team as Tom "Flash" Gordon was virtually unhittable in completing the shutout.

  4. No! I mis-read the box, Rodriguez' homer was a 7th-inning solo shot to complete a 3-RBI day; Mo Vaughn put it away with his two-run homer in a 3-run 8th. Sorry.

  5. Mike Norris had a 148 ERA+ in a season when he gave up 8 and 10 runs in two games? Must have had a heck of season otherwise.

  6. David in Toledo Says:

    I'd like to know more about Bob Feller's 8-run CG on September 30, 1957, the last day of the season. Was this some sort of backhanded tribute to his career, or was management trying to make sure he would retire more-or-less willingly?

    Feller finished 0-4 for this last season. He had not pitched since Sept. 15, when he had his other CG (loss, of course) for the year and gave up 5 runs.

    In this final appearance (Sept. 30), the onetime strikeout king had zero K's.

    Why not take Feller out? The day before, Art Houtteman had given up another 8 runs in 6 innings and was then relieved. These Cleveland pitchers had not thrown in a week: Lemon, Garcia, Mossi, McLish, Daley, and Maglie (assuming none was injured and all were on the active roster). The Indians finished 9 games behind the Yankees (in second place, as usual). Al Lopez resigned and moved to Chicago. Had Feller been badgering Lopez for more chances?

    It seems a funny way to end the career of (arguably) your greatest player.