Posted by Chris J. on September 27, 2007
Random Memory Day:
Once upon a time, in a blogosphere far far away, Aaron Gleeman wrote that Carlos Silva's ERA of 5.94 was the worst by any AL pitcher with at least 180 IP since 1969. (No, I don't remember quite when Gleeman wrote it; and I sure as heck ain't gonna check his site looking for it, either).
For no good reason, this quote stuck with me - was it true? Why make 180 IP his benchmark (aside from the fact that Silva tossed 180.3 IP that is). More strangely, why use 1969 as a benchmark? I mean, 1963-8 was the new deadball era, so the worst score from 1969-onward should also be the worst score for an even longer time back.
Five minutes ago I realized the PI could solve the riddles for me. Turns out, it is true. (I'd love to do this as save'n'share it, but for some reason that function won't work for me at the moment):
1 Jose Lima 6.65
2 Darryl Kile 6.61
A couple guys had worse years, but they were all in the NL.
If you drop it down just 5 innings, he wasn't as bad as fellow Twin LaTroy Hawkins in 1999 (6.62 ERA) or Chris Carpenter (6.26 ERA) in 2000.
But who was the last AL pitcher to have an ERA higher than 5.94 in 180 or more innings?
Silva's the worst since expansion by those standards.
He's the worst since integration by those standards.
But, if you go back to 1939, you'll see Nels Potter of the Philadelphia A's under Connie Mack scoring a 6.60 ERA in 196.3 IP. That's nothing. In 1936 Jack Knott had a 7.29 with the Browns.
Silva's is the seventh highest ERA in AL history by those standards, also trailing Sloppy Thurston's 1925, Pat Caraway's 1931, Jim Walkup's 1935, and Earl Caldwell's 1936. Caldwell was Knott's teammate. Some rotation, eh?