Ryan Madson

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Ryan Michael Madson
(Mad Dog)

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Mad Dog" Ryan Madson lived up to his name on July 25, 2006, when, pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies, he threw four wild pitches in the 3rd inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, tying the record for most wild pitches in an inning. Previously in his major league career, he has thrown a wild pitch about once every ten innings.

Madson, a 6' 6" player who nevertheless supposedly weighs only 180 pounds, spent the first 14 years of his professional career in the Philadelphia Phillies organization after being drafted in the 9th round in 1998. He moved from Martinsville in the Appalachian League in 1998 to Batavia in Single A in 1999 (where he threw 10 wild pitches in 87 innings), to Piedmont in Single A in 2000, to Clearwater in Single A in 2001, to Reading in Double A in 2002, to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Triple A in 2003 when he was 23 years old.

He appeared in one game in the majors at age 23 in 2003. The next year, 2004, he had a regular job with the Phillies and was quite successful. At the age of 24, he appeared in 52 games, with a 9-3 record and an ERA of 2.34 almost exclusively as a reliever.

In 2005, his ERA wasn't quite as impressive, at 4.14 (completely in relief), as he gave up more home runs per 9 innings than previously. In 2006, the Phillies used him mostly as a starter. He had thrown four wild pitches the entire season prior to the inning in which he threw four more. His ERA was over 6.00 at the end of July, at which point he was moved out of the starting rotation and sent back to the bullpen and pitched somewhat better. He was exclusively a reliever in 2007, but was shut down after only 38 games during which he had put up a solid 3.05 ERA; he thus missed the Phillies' first trip to the postseason since 1993.

Madson had the best season of his career in 2008, serving as the primary set-up man for closer Brad Lidge. He pitched 76 games in relief, for a total of 82 2/3 innings (one of the highest in all of baseball), once again posting a 3.05 ERA and striking out 67 opposition batters. He was almost untouchable in the second half, when the Phillies surged to their second consecutive NL East title. He won a game in the 2008 NLCS, during which he pitched five scoreless innings in four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and made four more appearances in the World Series, giving up 2 runs in 3 2/3 innings to the Tampa Bay Rays. He gave up a game-tying home run to Rocco Baldelli in the 7th inning of Game 5 but did not figure in the decision.

Madson signed with the Cincinnati Reds for the 2012 season but ruptured his ulnar collateral ligament in spring training and missed the entire year following Tommy John surgery. He signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 2013 but pitched only one minor league inning in May and was released on August 5th. While the Tommy John procedure had become almost routine in recent years, Madson was one of the cases which served to remind observers that it was still a gamble. He never regained full strength after his surgery. He was again pitching in pain, and realized that he had hurt his elbow while because he had altered his mechanics prior to the injury. He had to have that injury tended to and rebuilt his pitching motion in order to regain the ability to throw heat pain-free. In 2015, after a long and arduous journey and more than three years removed from his last major league appearance, he signed with the Kansas City Royals hoping to make it back.

He is the nephew of Steve Barr, who threw 7 wild pitches in his career of 84 innings.

Notable Achievements[edit]

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