The 10 Worst Innings by Active MLB Pitchers
There is an old saying that goes something like this: "Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you, and some days it doesn't pay to go into the woods."
Those words could be used to describe all of the pitchers in this article. Most of these guys are not bums or "tomato cans". Most are decent pitchers, while some are even very good.
When things go badly, they tend to bundle up on you. Ask any of these men and I am sure they will concur.
Not all of them completed the inning. They do have much in common however. They all surrendered at least eight hits, at least six earned runs, and they all faced at least 10 batters.
In some instances the "inning" consists of three outs, not necessarily in the same frame. However, that is what history reflects, one inning (or less).
With that as a background let us look at the 10 worst innings by active pitchers.
10. Javier Lopez
On June 12, 2003, at the Metrodome, Lopez took the mound in the seventh inning, in relief of Steve Reed in a game between his Colorado Rockies and the Minnesota Twins. The Rockies were behind 8-2.
He gave up a leadoff single to Corey Koskie, followed by a two-run HR by Matt LeCroy. After inducing a groundout, the nightmare really began. Back to back singles by Doug Mientkiewicz and Dustan Mohr were followed by a three-run blast by A.J. Pierzynski.
Consecutive singles by Luis Rivas and Lew Ford were next followed by a flyout by Christian Guzman. Koskie came to bat for the second time in the inning and cleared the bases with a two-run double to right.
Clint Hurdle had seen enough and brought in Todd Jones to stop the bleeding. Upon his exodus the Twins were ahead 15-3. The final line on Lopez was as follows:
IP=0.2, H=8, R=7, ER=7,BB-0, K-o, HR=2, 10 batters and 29 pitches
9. Kris Benson
On August 21, 2005 at Shea Stadium, Benson started the game for the New York Mets against the Washington Nationals.
Ryan Church greeted Benson with a leadoff double and went to third on a ground out by Jose Vidro. So far, so good.
Nick Johnson scored Church with a sacrifice fly to deep right field. Down 1-0, two outs and nobody on base, things were not going great, but not that badly.
Back to back doubles by Jose Guillen and Preston Wilson made it 2-0. Consecutive singles by Vinny Castilla and Gary Bennett ran the score to 3-0. Christian Guzman sent a two-run double to center field and scored on a single by pitcher Esteban Loaiza, making it 5-0.
Ryan Church came up for the second time in the inning and sent Loaiza to third with a single to right field, signaling the end of the day for Benson, as Willie Randolph sent him to an early shower.
For his efforts, Benson had a final line as follows:
IP=0.2, H=8, R=6, ER=6,BB-0, K-o, HR=0, 10 batters and 37 pitches
8. Saul Rivera
On July 5, 2006 at RFK Stadium, Rivera entered the game for the Washington Nationals to start off the fifth inning, trailing the Florida Marlins 7-4.
Josh Willingham lined out to right field, followed by a triple by Wes Helms.
Jeremy Hermida was walked intentionally, setting up a possible double play. Miguel Oliva singled, driving in Helms and sending Hermida to third.
Reggie Abercrombie reached base on an error by Jose Vidro, scoring Hermida.
A single by pitcher Yusmeiro Petit scored Oliva and sent Abercrombie to third. Hanley Ramirez singled to knock in Abercrombie, sending Petit to second.
Dan Uggla cleared the bases with a double making the score 13-4. Miguel Cabrera singled to center, scoring Uggla, making it a 14-4 game.
Willingham came up for the second time and hit a "seeing eye" single to left advancing Cabrera to second.
Helms up for the second time, gets his second hit of the inning, a single to center scoring Cabrera, increasing the Marlins lead to 15-4. Frank Robinson had seen enough and brought in Bill Bray, thus sending Rivera to an early shower, having only gotten one man out, while allowing 10 in a row to reach base.
His line for the day was:
IP=0.1, H=8, R=8, ER=7,BB-1, K-o, HR=0, 11 batters and 36 pitches
7. Hayden Penn
On September 3, 2006 Penn started the game for the Baltimore Orioles in their game against the Oakland A's at McAfee Coliseum.
Penn was spotted a 1-0 lead as he took the mound.
He was greeted by successive singles by Jason Kendall, Mark Ellis and Jay Payton before inducing Frank Thomas to pop to short left, keeping the bases loaded.
Eric Chavez singled in Kendall, while moving all the runners up a base. Dan Johnson hit a grand-slam breaking the tie and putting the A's on top 5-1. Bases empty with one out, are you still with me?
Nick Swisher doubled to deep center field and advanced to third when Bobby Kielty grounded out.
Marco Scutaro tripled to center field scoring Swisher, increasing the lead to 6-1. Jason Kendall came to bat for the second time in the inning and hit his second single, scoring Scutaro, making it 7-1 with two outs and a man on first.
Manager Sam Perlozza had seen enough and brought in Russ Ortiz from the pen. Mark Ellis greeted Ortiz with a HR scoring Kendall making the score 9-1, and of course Kendall is inherited so he goes into Penn's final line:
IP=0.2, H=8, R=8, ER=8,BB-0, K-o, HR=1, 10 batters and 38 pitches
6. Brian Burres
On August 22, 2007 at Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles' Burres took to the hill in the sixth inning in relief of starter Daniel Cabrera against the Texas Rangers. He entered the game with a clean slate, nobody on and nobody out, trailing 6-3 as Cabrera was pulled after a HR by Jarrod Saltalamaccia.
Ramon Vazquez singled to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch to Frank Catalanotto, who walked four pitches later. Ian Kinsler bunted the runners ahead one base, making the first out of the inning.
Michael Young singled to left, loading the bases. Marlon Byrd hit a grand-slam to left field making the score 10-3.
Jason Botts struck out looking, making the second out of the inning. Nelson Cruz followed with an infield single and went to second on a single by David Murphy.
Saltalamaccia came to bat for the second time in the inning (first time facing Burres) and singled, scoring Cruz and sending Murphy to second.
Vazquez got his second single against Burres in the inning, scoring Murphy and sending the runner to second.
Catalanotto singled to left scoring Saltamaccia and advancing Vazquez to second, making the score 13-3. Burres was pulled for Rob Bell who gave up a run-scoring single to Kinsler (charged to Burres).
Burres final line for the day:
IP=0.2, H=8, R=8, ER=8,BB-1, K-1, HR=1, 11 batters and 34 pitches
5. Dave Bush
On September 7, 2007 at Great American Ball Park, Dave Bush and the Milwaukee Brewers paid a visit to the Cincinnati Reds.
Josh Hamilton began the onslaught with a double to left. Alex Gonazlez singled moving Hamilton to third.
Ken Griffey scored Hamilton with a single, sending Gonzalez to second. Brandon Phillips hit into a fielders' choice, advancing both runners.
Adam Dunn singled, scoring Gonzalez and advancing the runners to second and third. Javier Valentin fouled out to the first baseman.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run single to left moving Phillips to second, making the score 4-0.
Joey Votto hit a double, scoring Dunn and Encarnacion making it a 6-0 game.
Bronson Arroyo took a third strike and was followed by Hamilton, batting for the second time in the inning. He singled to right, but Votto was thrown out at the plate, ending the inning.
His night continued and for the purpose of this list, he pitched officially only one inning, but I digress.
In the bottom of the second inning the Reds were still on top 6-0.
Gonzalez lead off with a double to right and scored on a long HR by Griffey, increasing the lead to 8-0 and closing the book on the afternoon for Bush. He was relieved by Matt Wise.
Bush's line for the days work:
IP=1.0, H=9, R=8, ER=8,BB-0, K-1, HR=1, 12 batters and 40 pitches
4. Ervin Santana
On May 25, 2009 at Angels Stadium, Santana and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim played host to the Chicago White Sox.
This is another scenario that lasted through part of another inning, without another out being recorded making it officially one inning of work.
Scott Podsednik led off the game with a single to center and moved to third on a single by Alexei Ramirez.
Jermine Dye singled to right, scoring Podsednik and moving Ramirez to third. Score 1-0.
Jim Thome singled to right, scoring Ramirez and advancing Ramirez to second, making it a 2-0 game.
Paul Konerko hit a harmless popup to the second baseman, making the first out of the inning. Carlos Quinton hit a double, scoring Dye and sending Thome to third.
A.J. Pierzynski was safe on a ground ball to the shortstop, as Thome was thrown out at the plate, for the second out.
Josh Fields went down swinging stranding a runner at first. The score at the end of the first inning was 3-0. The Angels tied the score at three in the bottom of the first.
Santana came out for the second inning and surrendered consecutive singles by Chris Getz, Podsednik and Ramirez making it a 4-3 game.
Dye blasted a three-run HR extending the White Sox lead to 7-3. Thome walked, ending the evenings work for Santana, as he was replaced by Rafael Rodriguez.
His line for his efforts:
IP=1.0, H=9, R=7, ER=7,BB-1, K-1, HR=1, 13 batters and 41 pitches
3. Chan Ho Park
On June 21, 2005, again at the Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Chan Ho Park and the Texas Rangers visited the Angels. Not to seem repetitious but this is the same scenario when a pitcher gets only three outs, but overlaps the inning but receives credit for one inning.
Park started the game with a 7-1 record.
Park began his night of misery by giving up consecutive singles to Chone Figgins, Darin Erstad and Vlad Guerrero. Score 1-0.
Garret Anderson hit into a double play as Erstad went to third. A man on third with two outs, and Benjie Molina singles him in.
Jeff DaVanon drew a walk and sent Molina to second. Darrin McPherson doubled, clearing the bases making it a 4-0 game.
Maiser Izturis and Adam Kennedy singled, as McPherson scored the fifth run of the game. Figgins, up for the second time, popped up to the first baseman, stranding Kennedy.
In the home half of the second inning, Park loaded the bases with singles by Erstad, Guerrero and Anderson and was relieved by John Wasdin. All three runners later scored and were charged to Park.
The line for Park that day:
IP=1.0, H=10, R=8, ER=8,BB-1, K-0, HR=0, 13 batters and 44 pitches
2. Brian Bannister
On August 17, 2008 at Yankee Stadium, Brian Bannister and the Kansas City Royals paid a visit to the New York Yankees.
Bannister entered the contest with a record of 7-12.
The Royals spotted him an early 3-0 lead as Bannister faced Johnny Damon. He walked and stole second.
Derek Jeter hit a weak infield single that made Damon stay at second.
Bobby Abreu lined to left for the first out of the inning. Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run blast to left-center tying the score at three.
Jason Giambi grounded to the second baseman, making the second out. Xavier Nady hit a solo shot down the right field line, putting the Yanks ahead 4-3.
Robinson Cano singled and Jose Melina doubled him home, making it a 5-3 game. Brett Gardner tripled, scoring Molina and increasing the lead to 6-3.
Damon, up for the second time, flew out to right ending the inning.
The Royals didn't score in the second inning so Bannister began trailing 6-3.
Jeter singled, Abreu and Rodriguez walked, followed by a grand-salami by Jason Giambi making the score 10-3.
Back to back singles to Nady and Cano ended the afternoon for Bannister. Both runners were stranded by reliever Josh Newman.
Bannister's line for his efforts:
IP=1.0, H=10, R=10, ER=10,BB-3, K-0, HR=3, 16 batters and 65 pitches
1. Bronson Arroyo
Bronson Arroyo wins the trophy as having pitched the worst inning in MLB history.
At Rogers Centre in Toronto on June 24, 2008 Bronson Arroyo and the Cincinnati Reds came to the Great White North to play the Toronto Blue Jays.
Arroyo entered the game with a 4-7 record.
Marco Scutaro led off the home half of the first inning with a double, and Joe Inglett followed with a walk.
Alexis Rios singled to left to load them up for Vernon Wells. Arroyo set him down with three straight pitches, for the first out of the inning.
Matt Stairs lined out to left, but deep enough to score Scutaro with the game's first run. Runners are now on first and second with two out and one in.
Third baseman Scott Rolen hit Arroyo's first offering over the center field fence for a three-run HR, making it a 4-0 game with two outs.
Lyle Overbay followed the blast with a double to right field, and Gregg Zaun brought him in with a two-run blast down the right field line. Score is now 6-0 with two outs.
Adam Lind and Scutaro (for the second time) both singled before Inglett ended the inning on a fielder's choice.
Yes, this is another situation where the pitcher overlaps into the next inning without recording a single out.
The Reds scored one in the top of the second making the score 6-1.
In the second inning, Rios hit a laser over the fence making it a 7-1 game. Wells singled and scored on Stairs'double to right, extending the Toronto lead to 8-1.
Stairs went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Rolen's double down the left field line, giving the Jays an 8-1 lead.
Gary Majewski relieved Arroyo with nobody out and Rolen on base. He would score the game's 10th run, charged to Arroyo.
His final line for an inning of work is as follows:
IP=1.0, H=11, R=10, ER=10,BB-1, K-1, HR=3, 15 batters and 52 pitches