“The Worst Pitching Performance Ever”

by Jason Epstein

So says SI’s Joe Posnanski about Vin Mazzaro’s relief appearance against the Indians last night:

His line: 2 1/3 innings, 11 hits, 14 runs, all earned, three walks and two strikeouts.

And that’s history: No reliever since World War II has allowed 14 runs in a game — that unlucky soul was the somewhat unfortunately named Les McCrabb, who teammates called “Buster.” Heck, no STARTING PITCHER has allowed 14 runs in a game since 1998 when Mike Oquist did the deed, and it has now only happened three times in the last 60 years.

What’s more amazing is that nobody in baseball history had ever allowed 14 earned runs in fewer than three innings pitched until Mazzaro did it. True, you could argue that Lefty O’Doul’s outing in 1923, when he allowed 16 runs in three innings was worse … except THIRTEEN of those runs were unearned (That’s right: 13 were unearned). It seems pretty clear. Vin Mazzaro — through a combination of bad luck, bad pitching and bad timing — had the worst pitching performance in baseball history.

And yet Poz manages to find a silver lining for the Royals pitcher:

There’s no telling what happens to Mazzaro now. It seems unlikely that he will stay in the big leagues. But you never know about the future. Mazzaro should take a little solace knowing that one game, a 20-year-old pitcher gave up 15 hits and 15 runs — including home runs to a couple of guys named DiMaggio and Gehrig. He walked nine. He threw away a wild pitch. It wasn’t good.

That guy was named Bob Feller, and he led the American League in victories the next three years.

The Indians and Royals play again at Kauffman Stadium at 7:10 p.m. CDT. Mazarro will not be in attendance, though, as he has already been sent down to AAA Omaha.

Right Field

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