Brewers Losing Spectacularly

Last weekend the Brewers beat Charlie Morton and the Pirates by a score of 8-4.  Morton allowed seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, another in a long list of terrible outings this season for the righthander.  He is now 1-10 with an ERA of 10.03.  I noted at the time he is one month away from setting a record for worst ERA by a ten-game loser.

On Monday night in Cincinnati, Trevor Hoffman allowed a run in the bottom of the tenth inning and was tagged for his 75th career loss.   I pointed out his ERA is an unsightly 19.62 in his seventy-five losses.  Of course, it should be no surprise that a relief pitcher has a high ERA in his losses.  Pitchers who go only one or two innings per game simply do not have as many innings to lower their "loss ERA" as starting pitchers do.  This effect is magnified for closers, who enter most games needing to give up at least two runs in an inning to lose.

I don't intend simply to talk about the bad days of Trevor Hoffman and Charlie Morton or link to my inane Twitter feed.  However, if you can't tell already, I have losing pitchers on my mind.   I figure this is as good a time as any to look at the Brewers' pitchers who have lost most spectacularly.  Put another way, this is a list of Brewers who, when they lost, lost in a big way.

No, this will not tell you much, if anything, about the pitchers involved and nobody looks good while losing.  Still, sometimes it is fun to sit back and look at stupendous failures.

A couple things to keep in mind: 1) to be eligible for this list, a pitcher must have lost at least ten games in a Brewers uniform; 2) since giving up runs is a prerequisite for losing, I am using ERA to sort this list; and 3) there is a definite "closer/reliever bias" for the reason given above.

Follow the jump to see the list.

Rk Player L GS IP H ER HR BB SO ERA ER/IP ER/L WHIP
1 Derrick Turnbow 16 0 10.3 33 35 4 16 8 30.48 3.39 2.19 4.74
2 Luis Vizcaino 10 0 9.0 23 23 10 6 7 23.00 2.56 2.30 3.22
3 Pete Ladd 16 1 20.7 45 38 16 14 21 16.55 1.84 2.38 2.85
4 Valerio de los Santos 10 1 13.7 25 25 9 15 10 16.46 1.83 2.50 2.93
5 Matt Wise 14 1 16.0 33 28 8 11 13 15.75 1.75 2.00 2.75
6 Bob Wickman 25 0 25.3 62 44 7 24 20 15.63 1.74 1.76 3.39
7 Rollie Fingers 17 0 19.3 48 33 7 16 11 15.36 1.71 1.94 3.31
8 Mike DeJean 14 0 16.7 34 28 9 16 16 15.12 1.68 2.00 3.00
9 David Weathers 17 0 21.0 44 35 8 11 16 15.00 1.67 2.06 2.62
10 Doug Henry 12 0 11.0 26 18 6 14 5 14.73 1.64 1.50 3.64
11 Mike Fetters 19 0 20.0 44 31 2 24 15 13.95 1.55 1.63 3.40
12 Mark Clear 10 1 12.7 22 17 2 15 9 12.08 1.34 1.70 2.92
13 Doug Jones 10 0 12.7 29 16 3 1 7 11.37 1.26 1.60 2.37
14 Carlos Villanueva 24 12 71.0 110 89 31 38 43 11.28 1.25 3.71 2.08
15 Graeme Lloyd 16 0 18.7 29 22 3 9 10 10.61 1.18 1.38 2.04
16 Dan Plesac 37 4 64.7 113 76 16 41 42 10.58 1.18 2.05 2.38
17 Jose Cabrera 10 6 34.3 60 39 4 19 19 10.22 1.14 3.90 2.30
18 Bob Scanlan 13 10 59.3 90 67 9 33 30 10.16 1.13 5.15 2.07
19 Chuck Crim 31 4 62.0 101 70 15 36 27 10.16 1.13 2.26 2.21
20 Ben Hendrickson 10 9 36.7 56 41 5 19 17 10.06 1.12 4.10 2.05

You will note the three different earned run rate stats presented.  Conventional earned run average sorts the table and ER/IP is simply earned runs per innings pitched, a nod to the fact most of these pitchers were used for one inning at a time, if that.  The third rate stat is earned runs per loss, which is another way of looking at how poorly each pitcher threw in each loss since losses don't often come in neat one-inning or nine-inning packages.  Of course, this number is higher for starting pitchers since they have more innings to accumulate earned runs.

There is nothing earth-shattering or profound here, though you do get a sense of why Bob Scanlan was not long for the Brewers rotation.  Most of these pitchers are not, when remembered at all, remembered for being losers.  Still, it is hard to deny that when they had bad days at the ballpark, they had really bad days.

Final note: as I write this, Trevor Hoffman has a 25.77 ERA in his nine Brewers losses.  He may yet join the list this season.

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