Just four days ago, the Philadelphia Phillies scored a ridiculous 12 runs in the first inning against the Nationals. The opposing starting pitcher, Jeremy Gutherie, eventually left the start with a 135.00 ERA. Yes, those decimals and zeros are in the correct places. And yes, it’s hilarious.
But things don’t always end up that way. Just ask Angel Ventura of the Biloxi Shuckers.
That Brewers Minor League pitcher allowed an almost equally insane eleven runs to cross the plate in the first two innings of his latest start, yesterday, but somehow left with a sparkling 0.00 ERA (Call him up to the show!). Why was his fortune so much more, uh, fortuitous than Gutherie’s?
Errors, of course. Lots and lots of errors.
Ventura may have thrown 62 pitches to 18 batters while allowing six hits (including two homers) and three walks, but his teammates’ miscues in the field helped preserve a perfect statistical start to the season.
But just so you get an idea of what/how eleven UNEARNED runs can score on a pitcher in two innings, I’ll break it down for you, plate appearance by plate appearance:
- Fielding Error
- Single, Throwing Error – Run #1
- Throwing Error – Out #1, Run #2
- Walk, Steal, Throwing Error – Run #3
- Pop-up Out – Out #2
- Home Run – Runs #4,5, and 6
- Strike-out – Out #3
Four errors, a couple of singles, a couple of walks a steal, and a homer later and we’re half-way there! Of course, bad-luck like that can’t last long … right? Nope!
Check out the play-by-play in the second inning, for some more enjoyment (you know, at an entire team’s expense)
- Throwing Error
- Pop-out – Out #1
- Wild Pitch
- Fielding Error – Run #7
- Grand Slam – Runs # 8, 9, 10, 11
- Strikeout Out #2
- Pop-out Out #3
So, if you’re keeping score at home that was a total of six errors, four singles, three walks, a steal, a wild pitch, a three-run home run, and a grand slam in two innings … and a 0.00 ERA.
I’d like to say I feel bad for the Biloxi Shuckers … but think of their poor score keeper. This is not what he signed up for. And that pitcher, boy is he lucky. “Hey, look Ma! A clean start!”
More like the Biloxi Suckers … amiright?!
[My editor would like you to know he does not approve of the previous pun … because he preferred “More like the Biloxi Awe-Shuckers … amiright?!”]