As the Yankees were busy losing their sixth consecutive game last night, Kansas City Royals’ right hander Vin Mazzaro was in the midst of a nightmarish relief appearance. The confluence of events was fitting because less than one week earlier, the Yankees’ skid was started with Mazzaro on the mound. In that 3-2 extra inning loss, the slumping Bombers were unable to take advantage of 10 base runners in only four innings against the Royals’ righty. After surrendering 14 earned runs during last night’s game in Cleveland, however, it seems as if Mazzaro’s luck finally ran out.
Beyond its karmic link to their losing streak, last night’s historical futility has several other connections to the Yankees. The last time a pitcher surrendered as many earned runs in one game, it was the Bronx Bombers parading around the bases. On August 3, 1998, Mike Oquist was the victim of the onslaught as the Yankees pounded out 16 hits, four homeruns and 14 earned runs against the Athletics’ right hander.
The Yankees were also responsible for the worst outing in major league history, at least according to total earned runs allowed. On September 28, 1923, the Red Sox’ Howard Ehmke, who had won his 20th game only two starts earlier, was tagged for 17 runs, 16 of which were earned. In the outburst, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig combined for nine hits and seven RBIs, so at least Ehmke fell victim to some brand names.
Speaking of brand names, the list of 19 pitchers who have surrendered at least 14 earned runs in one outing (since 1919) is headlined by one of the greatest pitchers ever. In the first game of a doubleheader on August 26, 1938, a 19-year old fire-baller named Bob Feller was upended by Joe DiMaggio’s Bronx Bombers. The Yankee Clipper himself did most of the damage, knocking in seven of the 15 earned runs surrendered by Feller, who still managed to last seven innings despite allowing 24 base runners.
Considering the Yankees’ prominent role in so many of these epic pitching failures, Mazzaro should have had his meltdown five days earlier. And, based on his performance that night, he may have been trying. Lately, however, the Yankees have been very generous to opposing pitchers. Unfortunately for Mazzaro, the Cleveland Indians weren’t as kind.
Pitchers Who Have Surrendered 14 or More Earned Runs, Since 1919
|Vin Mazzaro||5/16/2011||KCR||CLE||L 1-19||2.1||11||14||14||3||1|
|Mike Oquist||8/3/1998||OAK||NYY||L 1-14||5||16||14||14||3||4|
|Bill Travers||8/14/1977||MIL||CLE||L 5-14||7.2||18||14||14||4||2|
|Al Jurisich||6/28/1947||PHI||NYG||L 6-14||8||16||14||14||6||3|
|Les McCrabb||4/16/1942||PHA||BOS||L 4-19||4||14||14||14||2||2|
|Chubby Dean||9/28/1940||PHA||BOS||L 4-16||8||19||16||14||5||1|
|Carl Doyle||6/8/1940||BRO||CIN||L 2-23||4||16||14||14||4||1|
|Bob Feller||8/26/1938||CLE||NYY||L 9-15||7||15||15||15||9||2|
|Jim Walkup||7/25/1937||SLB||WSH||L 5-15||8||16||14||14||5||1|
|Hod Lisenbee||9/11/1936||PHA||CHW||L 2-17||8||26||17||14||4||2|
|Slick Castleman||6/9/1936||NYG||CIN||L 4-15||8||18||15||15||3||1|
|Flint Rhem||8/4/1933||PHI||NYG||L 1-18||8||21||16||15||3||0|
|Dutch Schesler||7/11/1931||PHI||NYG||L 5-23||8||22||16||14||0||4|
|Johnny Miljus||7/25/1929||CLE||PHA||L 3-21||3||13||14||14||3||3|
|Hugh McQuillan||9/11/1927||BSN||CIN||L 5-16||6.2||17||16||15||3||1|
|Nelson Greene||6/20/1925||BRO||PIT||L 5-21||6.2||18||15||15||3||3|
|Ted Lyons||7/21/1924||CHW||WSH||L 2-16||8||18||16||14||5||0|
|Howard Ehmke||9/28/1923||BOS||NYY||L 4-24||6||21||17||16||4||2|
|Win Noyes||9/5/1919||PHA||BOS||L 7-15||7||22||15||15||2||1|