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.