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Bad, bad luck

Posted by Andy on June 18, 2007

OK, stat geeks. Who is the only pitcher since 1980 to have a WHIP under 1.00 and a W/L% under .500, with a minimum of 20 decisions?

You Milwaukee Brewer fans out there will undoubtedly remember immediately that it was Ben Sheets in 2004.

Holy cow, has a pitcher ever had worse luck over the course of a season? First check out his basic numbers for 2004:

34 games and starts
237.0 IP
201 hits allowed
32 BBs / 264 Ks
2.70 ERA, compared to 4.14 league ERA

and yet, W/L record of only 12 W and 14 L.

How did this happen? Well, Sheets' 2004 game log tells most of the story. He was supported with 0, 1, or 2 runs in 14 starts, and he went 1-12 in those 14 games. In his only two losses where the Brew Crew scored more than 2 runs, they lost the games 5-4 and 8-3.

Overall, the Brewers were terrible that year, finishing 67-94, with the third-fewest runs scored in the league. Still, Sheets deserved much better.

One Response to “Bad, bad luck”

  1. Atreides096 Says:

    Randy Johnson came very close to qualifying for that query, also in 2004, with even better numbers than Sheets:

    35 games and starts, 4 CG's and 2 SO's. 245.2 IP with a whip of 0.90 (177H and 44 BB) and 290 K's. Finished 16-14, though at points he was 7-8 and 10-10. In one 3 game stretch he had 23.2 IP, 40 K's, and allowed 4 ER - and was 0-3. He had a 7 game stretch of 0, 1, or 2 runs of support (10 games, and 14 of 15, if you go up to 4 ER).