Worst Tigers Pitching Seasons

Following up on last weeks look at the best and worst offensive seasons, we’ll look at the pitchers now.

Armed with the power of the Baseball Reference Play Index I was able to pull the worst Tiger season in terms of ERA+ for those pitchers with at least 10 starts. Using the suckage index calculation of


from Batters Box here are the ten worst pitching seasons in Tigers history.

Full spreadsheet available

Jesse Stovall’s 1904 tops the list, but I don’t know if it can surpass Mike Moore’s 1995. Stovall at least was a workhorse who pitched 13 complete games. Mike Moore on the other hand had a K:BB ratio of 68:64 while posting a 7.53 ERA. Oh yeah, and Moore was making $3.3 million.

And can you really have a worst list without Jose Lima?

Other items of intereest from the top (or bottom) 50 include Mike Maroth’s 20 loss season in 2003 checking in at 25. Maroth was really hurt by the fact that he racked up nearly 200 innings.

A couple of solid Tiger pitchers such as Mickey Lolich and Dan Petry.

Only two players made the list twice – Adam Bernero and Mike KilKenny.

Not surprisingly 1990-2005 was the darkest era with 22 of the 50 worst seasons being racked up over this period.

6 thoughts on “Worst Tigers Pitching Seasons”

  1. “Lima-Time” was not ’02…he’d probably make the list for a few teams. He was also traded for Dave Mlicki, I believe, who follows him on the list, who’d won himself a contract after finishing ’00 strong, but quickly proved “unworthy”.
    How is Mark Redman not on the list?? I didn’t look up his stats, but they couldn’t have been good in his 8-15 year with us…maybe he just wasn’t as bad as the rest.

  2. Redman wasn’t terrible in 2002. He was 8-15, but mostly because he had not much run support. He worked 203 innings at an ERA of 4.21 compared to league ERA of 4.20 and had 109 Ks vs only 51 walks.

    He was basically a league average starter that year who ate up over 200 innings and likely would’ve made the rotation of nearly any team in the lAL.

    As a team in 2002, Detroit only scored 575 runs. For comparison, in 2006 they scored 822 runs. That 3.57 runs/game ranked dead last in the American League by over 1/2 run per game. (Baltimore was next to last at 4.12 runs/game).

  3. Jose Lima = Proof that steroids do help pitchers.

    Oh man and they left off the legendary season when Bill Gullickson won 20 games and had an ERA of like 7.

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