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Allowing 10+ runs but 5- earned runs

Posted by Andy on August 30, 2007

Reader denniscookfanclub posed the question of how many times a team has scored at least 10 runs while at least half were unearned. I've done a search for almost this: a pitching game finder where at least 10 runs were allowed, but no more than 5 were earned. (This is actually slightly more restrictive than denniscookfanclub's idea.)

I was shocked to see how many such games there have been. The full list is shared here. There have been a whopping 352 such games since 1957! Here is a sample:

  Cnt Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt  IP   H  **R** ER BB SO HR Pit Str IR IS  BF  AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk Ptchrs   ERA
+----+-------------+---+----+-------+----+--+------+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+------+------+
    1 1992-06-30    TOR  TEX L 13-16  9   20   16    5  7  9  1 209 121  2  2  53  45  6  1   2   1  0  0   1  2  0  1      3   5.00
    2 1989-06-05    NYY  BAL L  3-16  9    9   16    3  5  8  3 182 107  3  3  46  41  3  0   1   0  0  0   0  0  0  0      3   3.00
    3 1985-07-27(1) HOU  NYM L  4-16  8   15   16    0  3  4  1          0  0  45  39  5  0   0   0  2  1   1  0  0  1      4   0.00
    4 1978-09-14    TEX  CAL L  1-16  9   18   16    3  2  3  2         10  9  49  45  4  0   2   0  1  1   0  1  0  0      5   3.00
    5 1976-09-12    MIN  KCR L  6-16  9   14   16    3  4  8  0          1  1  49  43  5  1   0   1  0  1   0  1  1  0      3   3.00
    6 1973-05-31    HOU  CHC L  8-16  8   14   16    3  5  8  2          5  5  47  41  1  0   1   1  0  0   0  0  0  1      5   3.38
    7 1963-09-03    CHC  SFG L  3-16  8   16   16    5  3  3  3          0  0  44  41  3  1   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0      3   5.62
    8 1962-08-26    NYM  LAD L  5-16  9   13   16    4  6  7  2 177 108  2  2  49  41  1  1   0   1  1  0   1  4  0  0      4   4.00

16 runs is the most any team has allowed while allowing 5 or fewer earned runs. Look at that Astros/Mets game in 1985....are you kidding me? 16 runs, none earned? But indeed, the box score backs it up. The 'Stros made 5 errors: 1 by German Rivera, one by recently-fired Astros manager Phil Garner, one by Dickie Thon, and two by first baseman Glenn Davis. Davis was a slightly below-average first baseman in his career, but still it's rare to see two errors by a 1B in the same game. It appears all of the errors were on infield balls, either grounders or bunts.

Sort by team games in each year, we see that 4 teams have pitched 3 such games within a single season:

 Tm  Year Games Link to Individual Games
+---+----+-----+-------------------------+
 TBD 2001     3 Ind. Games
 NYM 1962     3 Ind. Games
 CLE 1975     3 Ind. Games
 CHW 1979     3 Ind. Games

That's just sad.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 30th, 2007 at 6:04 am and is filed under Box Scores, Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Allowing 10+ runs but 5- earned runs”

  1. This goes to show the flaws in the definition of an earned run. A batter who reaches on an error is not the pitcher's fault. But the following batters are his responsibility even if the error would have been the 3rd out.