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Worst ERA+ Ever

Posted by Chris J. on September 27, 2007

After my last post, a reader asks what's the worst single-season ERA+ of all-time.  Well . . . . among guys with at least 162 IP, it's Jack Neagle from 1883, whoever the hell he was, with a 54.

Worst 20th century pitcher:  Rube Bressler,  56 in 1915.

Worst liveballer: Jose Lima, 62, 2005.  Given how many really old pitchers dominate the list, this might be the worst, in context of the era.

How 'bout worst by franchise?  Well that list has the bottom 200.  Let's see what teams I can find on it.  First AL then NL teams, alphabetical by current nickname:

American League:

Angels - Willie Fraser - 1988, 71

Athletics:  Rube Bressler - 56 in 1915

Devil Rays - Mark Hendrickson, 73, 2005

Indians - Bob Feller (!?!?) - 71 in 1952

Mariners - Joel Pineiro - 68 in 2006

Orioles/Browns: Willie Sudhoff - 66, 1904

Rangers/Senators - Phil Ortega - 68, 1965

Red Sox: Jack Lamabe, 65, 1964

Royals: Jose Lima 62 in 2005

Tigers - Joe Coleman, 72, 1975

Twins/Senators - Dolley Gray, 1909, 67

White Sox - Pat Carraway - 68, 1931

National League:

Astros - Jose Lima, 74, 2000.  He's the only person to be the all-time worst with two different clubs.  Well, that's some sort of accomplishment, I guess.

Braves: Curry Foley, 59, 1880.

Cardinals: Pol Perritt, 62, 1913

Cubs - Pat Luby, 70, 1891 TIED with Tex Carleton, 1938

Dodgers: Oscar Jones, 62, 1905

Expos: Javier Vazquez - 68, 1998

Florida - Scott Olsen, 72, 2007 - PRIOR TO TODAY, WHERE HIS NUMBERS IMPROVED

Giants: Mark Davis, 66, 1984

Mets - Jack Fisher, 1967, 72

Padres - Steve Arlin 68, 1973

Phillies: John Coleman, 63, 1883

Pirates: Kirtley Baker, 58, 1890.

Reds - Eric Milton, 69, 2005 TIED with Bill Phillips, 1901

Original 16 teams not listed: Yankees.  That's it.  Those bastards! Expansion teams not here (oldest to youngest): Pilots/Brewers, Blue Jays, Rockies, D-backs.  Marlins as of tommorrow won't be listed either.

3 Responses to “Worst ERA+ Ever”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Interesting to note the quality of some of those pitchers. They always say you need to be a decent pitcher to lose 20 games, and the same is probably true for this list. If they don't believe you're going to turn it around, they won't leave you out there that long pitching that badly.

    Bob Feller of course is HOF
    Joel Pineiro looked like a future star not long ago...pitched very well tonight
    Jose Lima won 21 games in a season. He sucked, came back, and then sucked again, enabling his 2 spots on the list.
    Javy Vazquez's career #s aren't as good as they should be, but he's won in double-digits 7 years running, and will get over 150 career wins
    Mark Davis was converted to relief and won the Cy Young
    Eric Milton was a quality pitcher for a few years...100 career wins is looking tough though

  2. kingturtle Says:

    Chris J, that's awesome! Thanks so much for doing the research.

  3. spartanbill Says:

    Does Joe Maddon read this blog? He pulled Edwin Jackson today after 7 IP leaving hiom at 161 for the year.