Esoteric Boxscore of the Day

October 03, 2005

Efficiency IV - Mile-High Frustration

While looking for the least efficient game, I expanded my definition of efficient. I found there was really no one true test...but really a judgement call of some combination of men left on base, hits, walks, opposing team errors, and other things like double plays. And then I remembered that I never mentioned an incredible game that occurred in August, one that was perfect for this theme. So here's my choice for most inefficient game of all time, fresh off the '05 season.

August 13, 2005
Washington 8, Colorado 0
WAS   0  2  2    0  1  1    0  0  2  -   8 13  1
COL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 13 0
Today's Boxscore

First off, it's pretty tough to bang out 13 hits and be shut out, period. It's only been done four times since 1969, including the one that inspired this theme to begin with. But there were no more than two walks in any of those games. Only twice has a team saturated the bases with as many as 17 baserunners in a shutout. But to get all those hits, plus five walks plus another reaching on an error plus a wild pitch? That's almost impossible! Nineteen batters reached base...and none of them came in to score!

Colorado batters hit .361 with a .429 OBP. Here's the breakdown:

No Runner In Scoring Position
12-for-21, 4BB
Runner in Scoring Position 1-for-15, 1BB
Runner in Scoring Position, 2 out 0-for-8, 1BB
Runner on Third, 0 or 1 out
0-for-3, 0 RBI

Yeah, they really went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and two outs. Yes, that means in eight of the nine innings, they left a runner on second or third. That's almost "perfect"!

Here's a summary of how far the baserunners got:

Did Not Reach
Reached First 19
Reached Second 12
Reached Third 6
Scored 0

Runners left on base: 2+2+3+1+1+0+2+2+2 = 15

What else did they do wrong? How about grounding into two double plays, a caught stealing, and a pickoff? All that, and having only one extra base hit of the 13 helped, as well.

Both teams' starters allowed nine hits and two walks--Colorado's Byung-Hyun Kim in five innings and Washington's Tony Armas, Jr. over six. But Kim gave up six runs, his already bloated 5.05 ERA rising yet more 5.33. Armas, on the other hand, gave up no runs, and actually lowered his ERA from 4.64 to 4.33!

So it was kind of a "perfect storm" scenario: lots of singles and walks, evenly distributed throughout nine innings--but only before a runner reached second base, and a few strategic baserunners erased. Like I've said before, timing. Reading through the play-by-play, it actually doesn't seem all that strange, which is exactly how "perfectly" Colorado pulled off this amazingly esoteric feat!


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