Monday, June 3, 2013
The Maddux Undone by Defense (AKA: The Ohka)
* Cliff Lee deserves special mention for managing to get through an entire game on just 95 pitches back in 2010, while still allowing 6 runs.
To be clear, none of the games I'm about to list qualify as a Maddux, but you can find lots of information on performances that do qualify here and here, if you're interested. And thanks to Baseball-Reference, whose Play Index makes tracking these things down manageable.
June 7, 1988: Scott Bailes (Indians) - 88 pitches, 3 runs due to error by Julio Franco
July 18, 1989: Orel Hershiser (Dodgers) - 98 pitches, 1 run due to error by Jeff Hamilton
July 21, 1989: John Smiley (Pirates) - 98 pitches, 1 run due to errors by Rey Quinones and Barry Bonds
June 1, 1991: Greg Swindell (Indians) - 90 pitches, 1 run due to error by Carlos Baerga
May 7, 1993: Bill Wegman (Brewers) - 94 pitches, 1 run due to error by Matt Mieske
August 28, 1993: Steve Avery (Braves) - 91 pitches, 1 run due to error by Jeff Blauser
September 9, 1993: Darryl Kile (Astros) - 83 pitches, 1 run due to error by Jeff Bagwell
April 14, 1994: Greg Maddux (Braves) - 96 pitches, 1 run due to error by Deion Sanders
June 26, 1994: Mike Mussina (Orioles) - 97 pitches, 1 run due to error by Jeffrey Hammonds
August 6, 1994: Frank Castillo (Cubs) - 98 pitches, 1 run due to error by Sammy Sosa
May 15, 1998: Jeff Suppan (Diamondbacks) - 93 pitches, 1 run due to errors by Jay Bell
June 5, 1998: Andy Pettitte (Yankees) - 91 pitches, 1 run due to error Chuck Knoblauch
August 6, 2000: Shawn Estes (Giants) - 95 pitches, 1 run due to error by Bill Mueller
June 29, 2003: Tomo Ohka (Expos) - 98 pitches, 2 runs due to errors by Edwards Guzman, Orlando Cabrera, Tomo Ohka, and Jamey Carroll
September 11, 2003: Roy Halladay (Blue Jays) - 93 pitches, 1 run due to error by Eric Hinske
September 26, 2003: Tomo Ohka (Expos) - 91 pitches, 1 run due to error by Henry Mateo
June 30, 2005: Freddy Garcia (White Sox) - 96 pitches, 1 run due to error by Pablo Ozuna
June 6, 2009: John Lannan (Nationals) - 96 pitches, 1 run due to error by Elijah Dukes
Tomo Ohka deserves recognition as the only pitcher to make the list twice, but he's also the only pitcher who made an error of their own in any of these games, and frankly, runs should probably be considered "earned" if the pitcher's own error led to it.
Bill Wegman has the distinction of being the only pitcher on this list who actually lost his game.
I'd also like to point out that 4 of these 18 games were undone by an error by someone named Jeff. Get it together, fellas!
It should come as no surprise to see Greg Maddux on this list, since no one worked their way through an entire game on so few pitches as often as he did. Of the 17 pitchers who appear on this list, 11 of them threw at least one actual Maddux at some point in their career: Maddux (13), Halladay (5), Mussina and Smiley (2), Avery, Garcia, Hershiser, Kile, Ohka, Suppan, and Swindell (1). That leaves Bailes, Castillo, Estes, Lannan, Pettitte, and Wegman as the unfortunate souls who lost their best chance at a Maddux due to a teammate's error.
It's been four years since anyone missed out on a Maddux because of an unearned run, let's hope that streak continues.