Monday, June 10, 2013

Losing by 7 or More Runs in Extra Innings

Most extra-inning games are pretty interesting--a team scored in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game or whatever. What ISN'T great is when teams manage to do what Reds did on Sunday, June 9th, 2013, go into the 10th inning tied 4-4...and walk out losing 11-4. That got me curious as to how many times this has happened in Major League history--how often have teams gone into extra innings and lost by seven or more runs?

I have game data going back to 1871, but I have doubts on the accuracy of the data much before 1920. Baseball-Reference shows over 30,000 teams (i.e., around 15,000 games) that went 9.1 innings or more, and my database is less, around 28,000. I created it a couple of years ago and I suspect improvements in research have occurred that give greater light on this subject, but it's not that important. I found 50 games since 1920 which met this criteria:

The columns should speak for themselves, and we can see as recently as last year, the Rockies defeated the Tigers by scoring eight runs in the top of the 10th. And for those (like  me) who didn't realize this at first, the reason these are all visiting teams is that when home teams win, the game is over--ergo, they can never win by more than four runs (via a walk-off grand slam) and thus could never be part of this sample set. It only took me a day (a day after I initially posted this, by the way) to figure this out.

Two games jump out at me:
1. On July 3rd, 1983, the A's started the 15th inning tied 4-4 with the Rangers, but had a rough inning:
Inn Score Out RoB Pit(cnt) R/O @Bat Batter Pitcher wWPA wWE Play Description
Top of the 15th, Rangers Batting, Tied 4-4, Athletics' Dave Beard facing 2-3-4
t15 4-4 0 --- TEX B. Dent D. Beard 8% 58% Walk
t15 4-4 0 1-- TEX B. Bell D. Beard 12% 70% Single to LF; Dent to 2B
t15 4-4 0 12- O TEX L. Parrish D. Beard 2% 72% Groundout: P-1B; Dent to 3B; Bell to 2B
t15 4-4 1 -23 TEX G. Wright D. Beard -0% 72% Intentional Walk
t15 4-4 1 123 RR TEX B. Jones D. Beard 24% 96% Double to RF; Dent Scores; Bell Scores; Wright to 3B
t15 6-4 1 -23 R TEX B. Johnson D. Beard 2% 98% Wild Pitch; Wright Scores; Jones to 3B
t15 7-4 1 --3 TEX B. Johnson D. Beard 0% 98% Walk
Ben Callahan replaces Dave Beard pitching
t15 7-4 1 1-3 R TEX L. Biittner B. Callahan 1% 99% Single to LF; Jones Scores; Johnson to 2B
t15 8-4 1 12- TEX J. Anderson B. Callahan 0% 99% Walk; Johnson to 3B; Biittner to 2B
t15 8-4 1 123 RR TEX M. Rivers B. Callahan 1% 100% Reached on E4 (Ground Ball); Johnson Scores; Biittner Scores; Anderson to 3B
t15 10-4 1 1-3 R TEX B. Dent B. Callahan 0% 100% Single to RF; Anderson Scores; Rivers to 3B
t15 11-4 1 1-3 R TEX B. Bell B. Callahan 0% 100% Single to RF; Rivers Scores/unER; Dent to 2B
t15 12-4 1 12- RR TEX L. Parrish B. Callahan 0% 100% Double to RF; Dent Scores; Bell Scores
t15 14-4 1 -2- O TEX G. Wright B. Callahan 0% 100% Flyball: LF
t15 14-4 2 -2- R TEX B. Jones B. Callahan 0% 100% Double to RF; Parrish Scores/unER
t15 15-4 2 -2- R TEX B. Johnson B. Callahan 0% 100% Single to RF; Jones Scores/unER
t15 16-4 2 1-- O TEX L. Biittner B. Callahan 0% 100% Flyball: LF
12 runs, 8 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB. Rangers 16, Athletics 4.
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/10/2013.

And this was after being defeated by the Rangers 13-3 the day before--not a good couple of days.
2. The Royals managed to accomplish this twice in 2002--on June 10th, giving up seven runs to the Marlins in the top of the 14th and September 8th, also giving up seven to the Mariners in the top of the 11th.

This is trivia, no doubt about it, but not TRIVIAL--there's no way Dusty Baker's game plan included giving up seven runs in the 10th inning, dude, particularly to the team leading their division by four games and leaving them tied with the Pirates for second (but still three games up in the wild card standings). A loss is a loss, and to imbue one loss with more meaning than another, other than the obvious elimination game in the playoffs, is to begin the walk down the Baseball Whacko path. Having said that, it sure can't be fun to have the air let out of the tire like this.

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