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Bailouts! September 25, 2008

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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That’s right… in the interest of keeping up with this week’s news about the $700b bailout of the financial sector, I’m going to take a look at key instances of bailouts by the bullpen.

I originally designed this as a measure of anti-quality starts: six runs or more in three or fewer innings, with the team picking up the win nonetheless. There were fourteen of those this year alone (including one by my Favorite Pitcher of All Time, Sidney Ponson). Even Brad Penny had one. In fact, there were 485 instances of just such a thing happening in the history of baseball. Clearly I’m going to need to ratchet up the numbers on this one.

For 8 or more runs, the numbers get a little cleaner. Only 37 this time. There were still two instances in 2008, and John Garland had one last year and one this year. Hmm… looks like Garland may come out the winner of this little contest. Big ups to Sidney Ponson, though, for not having an 8-run, 3-inning game since 2005 (that was back when he was still talented). Sid gets an honorable mention, along with Nate Robertson from this year, for having all 8 runs be earned. (Garland had 8 earned runs but nine total.)

For 9 or more runs, we’ve cut it all the way down to 9 games. The eventual winner here is obvious, but I’d really like to point out how cool Andy Pettitte’s stats were for this game: a game score of 1, and an ERA of 72.00. (I can’t help but think that someone mixed up the two numbers.)

Finally, the winner: Sean Bergman of the San Diego Padres. Ending with an admirable game score of 7, Bergman pitched two innings and two thirds, allowing 10 runs, all of them earned, on seven hits and three walks (meaning that every last baserunner he allowed scored). What’s more, of the eight batters he retired, he struck out six! Once Bergman came out, a parade of relievers came to his rescue, shutting down the Colorado Rockies except for one inning later in the game, and his team rallied to 13 runs to get the win with a five-run 9th inning.

Sean also had a hit that night, wrapping up this installment of the “weirdest line” contest.

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