Heading into Sunday's game against the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox reliever Addison Reed had some of the best numbers of any reliever in the American League. He had yet to give up an earned run, and his WHIP was under 1.00.
Clearly, Reed was due for a catastrophic outing. That outing came at the hands of the Royals in the top of the ninth inning, and it wasn't pretty.
Clinging to a 3-1 lead entering the ninth inning, it was in Kansas City's interest to add an insurance run or two. Going up against Reed, however, the odds of the Royals adding to their lead were somewhere between slim and none.
Reed didn't make it easy on himself by walking Alcides Escobar to lead off the inning, and then the wheels fell off in a hurry.
Humberto Quintero followed Escobar's walk with a double to right, setting up runners at second and third with nobody out. Reed was than asked to intentionally walk leadoff man Jarrod Dyson to load the bases. With Johnny Giavotella pinch hitting, a passed ball allowed the first run of the inning to score.
The first, but not the last. Reed was able to strike out Giavotella. He then intentionally walked Alex Gordon to load the bases again with one out with Billy Butler coming to the plate. Reed beaned Butler with a pitch, bringing home another run to make it 5-1. Then came an infield single from Jeff Francoeur to make it 6-1.
Reed was pulled after that, but the hits kept coming. The Royals tacked on three more runs, all of which went on Reed's final stat line.
His final stat line is pretty brutal: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 28 P, 11 S.
Reed entered the game with a perfect 0.00 ERA. He exited it with an ugly 5.23 ERA.
To be fair, it's not liked the Royals knocked Reed all over the yard. He just didn't have his best stuff, nor did he have good luck.
All the same, damage was done. Yesterday's game was yet another chance for Reed to lock down Chicago's closer job, which has been up for grabs ever since the start of the season. He looked like a clear choice before Sunday's game. Now, not so much.
Reed will bounce back. A reliever's season is never doomed by one bad outing, and one bad outing doesn't change the fact that Reed has excellent stuff that will make him a nightmare for hitters more often than not.
But we have to commemorate his epic fail on Sunday in some way, and I can think of no better way to commemorate it than by giving Reed an American League "Worst of the Night" award.
He's this week's first winner, but he'll soon have company. Fails of the epic variety happen every day, and they never go unnoticed.
If you ever want to nominate a player for "Worst of the Night" honors, hit me up on Twitter.