Me, Elsewhere: Thanks for All the Runs

My latest at Hardball Times examines pitchers that succeeded despite not pitching very well. Our pal Ismael Valdez, who once inspired some wretched poetry, appears on this list.

For grins, here are the five lowest ERA+ of Padres pitchers who qualified for the ERA title and finished with a winning record:

  1. Kevin Jarvis, 2001: 12-11, 4.79 ERA, 84 ERA+
  2. Eric Show, 1983: 15-12, 4.17, 85
  3. Andy Hawkins, 1986: 10-8, 4.30, 85
  4. Ed Whitson, 1988: 13-11, 3.77, 91
  5. Joey Hamilton, 1997: 12-7, 4.25, 92

Hamilton’s performance is especially impressive given that the Padres had a 76-86 record that year. They scored 5.14 runs per game for Hamilton and gave him at least two runs to work with in 30 of his 31 starts.

What an awful pitching staff. Trevor Hoffman (147) and Jim Bruske (108) were the only pitchers out of the 21 who appeared for the Padres in ’97 to finish with an ERA+ better than 100. The team ERA+ was 78, which is like a whole lot of Steve Arlin or, for the younger folks, Sergio Mitre.

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2 Responses »

  1. It’s amazing that the Padres went from a team ERA+ of 78 in ’97 to 107 in ’98. Adding Kevin Brown’s 257 innings of 164 ERA+ certainly helped. The offense was actually better by OPS+ in ’97 than ’98, but you’re not going anywhere with pitching that putrid.

    The ’97 staff was actually worse than last year’s. The lesson I’m drawing from this is that the Padres just need to go out and trade for Tim Lincecum, and they’ll go to the World Series.