77braves

The 10 worst regular season games in A-Braves history

Our list begins in 1977, when the Braves got off to a surprising 8-5 start. They were 8-7 on April 25 when they played host to the defending world champion Reds.

Knucksie started and didn’t make it out of the first, allowing 6 runs. Enter Jamie Easterly (5.72 ERA, 1.758 WHIP in 6 years as a Brave), who gave up 5 hits, 7 walks and 8 runs in 3-1/3 IP. His replacement, Mike Beard, gave up 9.

Only 3 of those runs were earned, thanks to 6 Braves errors — two by Pat Rockett, who’d commit 23 errors in 84 games that year. Fourteen more losses followed the April 25 defeat, and the 17-game losing streak remains a team record. Game 17, you may recall, was managed by Ted Turner.

Our list concludes 33 years later, with a 17-2 loss to the Padres in what would be Jo-Jo Reyes’ final game as a Brave. Jo-Jo, appearing in relief of Jair Jurrjens, walked three and allowed 9 ER and 10 hits in 3-1/3 IP.

Surprisingly, Hall of Famer Greg Maddux started two of the games on our list. In the same week, no less. And the best fielding pitcher ever made errors in both games.

Mad Dog lasted only two innings in the first contest, a 17-1 loss at home to the Marlins in which he allowed 9 hits and 7 runs in just two innings. He lasted 5-2/3 in his next start, April 9 vs. the Phils , but his 11.00 ERA actually rose  thanks to 7 earned runs (on 12 hits).

Needless to say the greatest pitcher of his generation rebounded, and so did the Braves, who’d go on to win 101 that year.

The rest of the list can be found here.

The 10 worst A-Braves games (tie): April 5/9, 2003

Hard to believe a game started by Greg Maddux made it onto our list. Harder to believe two games started by Mad Dog made it. Not only that, they took place in the same week. And the best fielding pitcher ever made errors in both games.

Mad Dog lasted only two innings in the first game, allowing 9 hits and 7 earned. After two starts, his ERA was 11.00

Relievers Trey Hodges and Joey Dawley didn’t  fare much better, as the Marlins jumped to a 16-1 lead in the 6th. I was at that game, with CD. If memory serves we left after the 3rd.

It took 9 innings for the Phils to score 16 runs in the April 9 game, so there was some improvement. Yet Mad Dog’s ERA actually rose; the Phillies pounded him for 12 hits and 10 runs (7 earned) in 5-2/3. Philly’s six remaining runs came off Dawley, which game him a 19.80 ERA. He lowered it to 18.00 after his next two outings, his last as a Brave.

The defense also sucked that day, committing three errors, while the Braves managed but 2 runs off 10 hits. The Braves’ record dropped to 3-6, and they looked worse than that.

But the local nine would recover, winning 101, as would Mad Dog. He finished with 16 wins, thanks to a 3.03 second-half ERA.

This completes our countdown — go here for the full list.

1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Marlins         3  6  2   0  0  5   0  0  1   17 23  0
Braves          0  0  1   0  0  0   0  0  0    1  8  2

                1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Braves          0  0  1   0  0  0   1  0  0    2 10  3
Phillies        3  1  0   2  0  4   3  3  X   16 18  0
 

The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: June 18, 1994

Who?

The Braves were destined to lose this game, considering the line-up facing the Reds that day.

Jarvis Brown RF

Jeff Blauser SS

Roberto Kelly CF

Fred McGriff 1B

Javy C

Bill Pecota 3B

Dave Gallagher LF

Mark Lemke 2B

But the Braves did have Glavine on the mound, though June 18 would not be his best day (just as 1994 was not his best year, for a number of reasons, including a 3.97 ERA). Glav and Mike Bielecki allowed 6 runs each to the Reds, who finished with 16 on 20 hits. (Former or future Braves — Deion, Jerome Walton, Reggie Sanders and Bret Boone — combined for 10 hits.) They could’ve scored more, as Braves pitchers walked 8. Eleven Reds were LOB.

Meanwhile, Reds pitchers walked none and the Braves managed but four singles.

 

                1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Reds            3  0  0   0  0  0   5  2  6   16 20  0
Braves          0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0    0  4  0

 

 

The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: April 12, 2010

(Go here for the rest of our list)

This 17-2 thumping by the Padres was a sign of things to come, in April, at least. The Braves were 9-14 that month and looked even worse than their record.

But it will be forever remembered as Jo-Jo Reyes‘ final appearance as a Brave. It was a fitting send-off for Reyes, who walked three and allowed 10 hits in 3-1/3 IP, good for 9 ER. As a Brave, Jo-Jo was 5-15 with a 6.40 ERA and 1.670 WHIP.

He was sent to Toronto along with Yesco for Alex Gonzalez, so thanks to the Blue Jays for taking two albatrosses off our hands.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Braves          0  0  0   0  0  2   0  0  0    2  4  1
Padres          0  1  0  10  3  0   3  0  X   17 19  0

The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: Aug. 22, 2008

No one could have seen 2008 coming. Jorge Campillo was arguably the second most dependable hurler on a team that built its reputation on pitching. Jo-Jo Reyes (1.646 WHIP) started 22 games;  Charlie Morton (1.621 WHIP) started 15. Chuck James, who looked so promising in 2006, finished with a 9.10 ERA in 7 starts. Then there was the courageous Mike Hampton, who overcame a bruised titty and other assorted boo-boos to appear in 13 games.

Morton got the call in  the 18-3 loss to the Cards and didn’t make it out of the second, walking 5 of the 14 hitters he faced, good for 4 ER. Five Braves relievers — none of whom pitched in the majors in 2012 — would allow the game’s remaining 14 runs. The names say it all: Vladimir Nunez, Matt DeSalvo (11 H, 7 ER in 2 IP as a Brave), Blaine Boyer, Jeff Bennett and Julian Tavarez.

Might as well have been 1988.

St. Louis scored its 18 runs without a homer; 21 of the Cards’ 26 hits were singles. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright had 3 hits while reliever Joel Pineiro stroked a double in his only AB. Cesar Izturis, who hit like a pitcher, singled four times.

The Aug. 22 defeat was the Braves 6th loss in a row. They were outscored 54-14 during that stretch and finished the year 72-90, 20 games out of first. Strangely, the ’08 Bravos drew 100,000 more fans than the ’12 version.

Golden age.

Find the rest of the list here.

                1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Braves          0  0  0   0  1  0   0  0  2    3 10  0
Cardinals       0  4  0   2  6  3   0  3  X   18 26  0

The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: June 28, 1988

This 13-7 defeat wasn’t the worst loss of the ’88 season, just one of many really bad games played by the most godawful team in Atlanta Braves history. They had SEVEN losing streaks of at least 5 games, including the season’s first 10 games in which they were outscored 60-27. The June 28 loss, which dropped the Bravos to 26-47, came amid a 6-game skid and featured some of the more notable scrubs ever to don an Atlanta uniform, including:

*Starting pitcher German Jimenez, who was making his much-unanticipated debut. He was a pudgy Mexican southpaw, leading the optimists among us to dream he would evolve into the next Fernando Valenzuela, or at least Teddy Higuera. He allowed 8 hits and 5 earned in 4-1/3 and won only once in 15 appearances that year.

*Kevin Coffman — a Frank LaCorte away from being the worst pitcher in team history — relieved Jimenez and pitched accordingly, allowing 3 hits and walking 2 in an 1-1/3. Coffman walked 76 in 92 innings as a Brave, good for a 1.830 WHIP and 5.46 ERA.

*Reserve infielder Jim Morrison, who recorded the Braves’ only strikeout in 2-1/3 scoreless frames. He didn’t allow a run in 2 other appearances that year. Good thing he could pitch — Morrison batted .152, but still finished with a better OBP than …

*Andres Thomas, who committed an error. Nothing unusual about that — only 2 National Leaguers topped Andres’ 29 miscues. Hard to get away with that when you have a .544 OPs (just a shade below his career mark).

*Surprisingly, 2B Ron Gant did not make an error. He finished the year with 26 in 122 games and would find himself in Single-A ball the following year. Gant the outfielder was by no means a scrub. Gant the infielder was.

*So was Dion James, who batted third, and starting 3B Ken Oberkfell. Same for catcher Ozzie Virgil, who would’ve made this game the perfect symbol of that lost season had he hit a meaningless solo homer in the 8th with the Braves trailing by 7.

We’re halfway there. Check out the previous selections here.

     1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Giants          0  1  4   1  1  3   3  0  0   13 19  0
Braves          0  2  0   1  2  1   0  1  0    7 12  2

The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: April 25, 1977

           1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Reds            6  3  0   2 12  0   0  0  0   23 18  2
Braves          4  0  0   0  0  0   4  1  0    9 17  6

There was little expected from the ’77 Braves, even after they won 6 of 7 during the season’s second week. These were the Braves, after all, losers of 186 the previous two years.

It wouldn’t be long before they reverted to form, and then some. The Dodgers were the first to puncture the balloon, winning 2 of 3 at Fulco, including a 16-6 victory in the rubber match that saw Braves relievers give up 10 runs.

They’d allow 11 the next day to the defending world champion Reds. The loss dropped the Braves to 8-8, and it would be more than three years before they’d reach the .500 mark again: Aug. 27, 1980.

Knucksie started and didn’t make it out of the first, permitting 6 runs. Enter Jamie Easterly (5.72 ERA, 1.758 WHIP in 6 years as a Brave), who allowed 5 hits and walked 7 in 3-1/3 IP. Eight runs crossed the plate. His replacement, Mike Beard, gave up 9.

Only 3 of those runs were earned, thanks to 6 Braves errors — 2 by former first-round pick Pat Rockett. He’d commit 23 errors in 84 games that year.

It’s not like Cincy’s bats needed the help. George Foster homered twice and drove in 7 runs; Johnny Bench finished with 4 RBI and 4 hits.

The most fascinating stat line of the day belonged to Reds starter Jack Billingham, who allowed 17 hits and 9 runs in 8 innings.

Despite all the runs, hits, errors and walks, the game was completed in 3 hours and 1 minute, about half the time of your typical Red Sox-Yankees tilt.

Fourteen more losses followed the April 25 defeat and the 17-game losing streak remains the worst in team history. You may recall that Game 17 was managed by Ted Turner.

(Find the rest of list here.)

The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: Sept. 1, 1985

                1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Braves          0  0  0   2  0  0   0  0  0    2  6  3
Cubs            0  1  3   2  5  3   1  0  X   15 15  1

There were plenty of games to choose from in 1985. Opponents scored 10 or more runs in 12 games against the Braves in the year of Eddie Haas, including a two-game stretch in July that saw the Mets score 31 runs. September was particularly brutal; the Dodgers outscored the local nine 20-5 in a double-header on Sept. 10 then won 12-3 the following day. Interim manager Bobby Wine’s boys lost 15-5 to the Reds on Sept. 19 and 11-1 to the Padres on the 20th.

Sept. 1 set the tone for the most dreadful month of a lost season. Len Barker, who finished his last season in Atlanta with a 6.35 ERA and 1.643 WHIP, got the start and didn’t make it out of the third, when he walked in two runners. His replacement, Jeff Dedmon, was even worse, walking 6 in 1-2/3 innings. Braves pitchers walked 11 that day against one strikeout but, thanks to three errors, only 9 of the 15 runs they allowed were earned.

Cubs pitcher Derek Botelho, now a minor league pitching coach for the Braves, went the distance that day for one of his 3 career victories facing a line-up that featured four starters with averages under .230.

The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: July 30, 1978

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- – - – - – - – - – - -
Expos 0 1 8 1 3 3 1 0 2 19 28 0
Braves 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1
W: W Fryman (6-7), L: T Boggs (2-6)

I remember listening to this game on the radio as a kid. By the end of the third inning, I started to comprehend just how bad the local nine were.

Things dont always go better with Skok

This was the day Braves-killer Larry Parrish (yes, that one) homered in three consecutive innings. Two of the homers came off Craig Skok, charged with nine hits and eight runs in 2-2/3 IP.

Surprisingly, the Braves entered the day with a better record (48-54) than the Expos. They would win only 21 games the rest of the year.

The 10 worst games in A-Braves history: June 8, 1990

(in no particular order)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- – - – - – - – - – - -
Giants 0 3 0 4 2 7 0 3 4 23 27 1
Braves 3 1 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 8 15 3
W: T Wilson (1-0), L: D Lilliquist (2-8), S: M Thurmond (1)

For some reason, 32,000-plus turned out to watch the Braves — already 13-1/2 out in the West — play the 4th place ‘Gints. Someone named Rick Parker drove in six runs for San Fran, a quarter of his career total. Juan Uribe and Mike Kingery went a combined 7-for-7.

I made Blaine Boyer look like Mariano Rivera

Dwayne Henry gave up six runs and six hits in 2/3 of an inning. Charley Kerfeld allowed five hits and four runs in one frame. Treadway, Murph and Jim Presley contributed errors. Alexis Infante, who would have one hit in 28 AB”s that year as a reserve infielder, made an appearance. So did Jimmy Kremers.

It was the first of a  four-game series. The Giants tacked on 20 more runs that weekend, outscoring the Braves 43-19.