Last night’s 18-3 drubbing by the Texas Rangers was bad. Painfully bad. Awkwardly, embarrassingly bad. But it isn’t the worst game the Red Sox have played even if it felt like it. Last night brought the Red Sox not even three innings of Jon Lester, four strikeouts for Kevin Youkilis and a Mark Melancon inning that included four hits, three homeruns, six runs and no outs. So to take away the sting, here are 11 games worse than (or at least just as bad as) last night’s game:
1. July 7, 1923 at Dunn Field ~ Cleveland Indians 27 – Red Sox 3
In the first game of a Saturday doubleheader (the Red Sox lost both games) the Red Sox got 13 hits but made four errors and only scored three runs against Indians pitchers Stan Coveleski and Dewey Metivier. Only nine of the 27 runs were earned and not one of Cleveland’s runs came from a home run.
2. May 18, 1955 at Fenway Park ~ Cleveland Indians 19 – Red Sox 0
The Indians scored 19 runs on 19 hits against three Red Sox pitchers while the Red Sox couldn’t score one run off of Herb Score who pitched a complete game shutout and only gave up three hits.
3. June 26, 1960 at Comiskey Park ~ Chicago White Sox 21 – Red Sox 7
The White Sox had 12 more hits and scored 14 more runs than the Red Sox on this Sunday in June and they swept the Red Sox in that day’s doubleheader. White Sox righty Early Wynn pitched a complete game and improved his record to 4-6.
4. May 31, 1970 at Fenway Park ~ Chicago White Sox 22 – Red Sox 13
At least this Sunday afternoon game had more offense by the Red Sox but, ultimately, Chicago’s pitching was just better than Boston’s. The White Sox used two pitchers in nine innings, the Red Sox used six, including starter Gary Peters who gave up six runs in the first inning and Red Sox legend Bill Lee who gave up five runs in the one inning he pitched.
5. April 12, 1980 at County Stadium ~ Milwaukee Brewers 18 – Red Sox 1
It took the Brewers four pitchers to do it (including current Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure) but they held the Red Sox to eight hits and one run while starting pitcher Mike Torrez only made it four batters into the second inning, giving up a total of six runs on four hits.
6. June 20, 1980 at Fenway Park ~ California Angels 20 – Red Sox 2
Frank Tanana pitched a complete game and only gave up two runs on five hits during this Friday night beating. Although a three-time All Star, Tanana was no Cy Young in 1980. Coming into that June game his ERA was well above 6.00 and he ended that season with a losing record but that night Fred Lynn, Dwight Evans and Jim Rice couldn’t do anything with his pitches (collectively they went 1-11).
7. April 16, 1990 at Fenway Park ~ Milwaukee Brewers 18 – Red Sox 0
Milwaukee Pitchers Teddy Higuera, Tom Filer and Dan Plesac combined for a three-hit shutout against the likes of Wade Boggs, Ellis Burks and Dwight Evans. Each of the five Red Sox pitchers on the mound that day gave up at least one run (none to the long ball) and all but one of the Brewers’ runs were earned.
8. June 19, 2000 at Fenway Park ~ New York Yankees 22 – Red Sox 1
On a Monday night in June of 2000, the Yankees, behind the pitching of Ramiro Mendoza, scored 22 runs on 19 hits against the pitching of Brian Rose, Bryce Florie, Rob Stanifer and Tim Wakefield. The Sox scored only one run on 6 hits.
9. August 1, 2002 at The Ballpark in Arlington Texas Rangers 19 – Red Sox 7
Red Sox starter John Burkett couldn’t make it through two innings without giving up eight runs but reliever Frank Castillo followed him with 3.2 innings consisting of 11 hits and 10 runs. Sadly, this wouldn’t be the worst game Grady Little managed in his career.
10. October 16, 2004 at Fenway Park ~ New York Yankees 19 – Red Sox 8
Arguably the worst on this list mainly because it happened in the playoffs and this game marked a 3-0 deficit for the Red Sox, the Yankees pummeled the Sox into submission by getting 22 hits off of six Red Sox pitchers. The drubbing stunned not only the Red Sox and their fans but also all the experts who had chosen the Sox to win the World Series. Joe Buck famously uttered, “What did we know?” in response to thinking the Sox would roll over the Yankees. Games 4-7 of the ALCS make this game nothing more than an anecdote to the greatest comeback in MLB history. What did they know indeed?
11. August 21, 2009 at Fenway Park ~ New York Yankees 20 – Red Sox 11
Red Sox starter Brad Penny gave up eight earned runs in four innings. The Yankees tried to give the game to the Red Sox with starting pitcher Andy Pettitte giving up seven runs, but the Red Sox pitching went from bad to worse when Michael Bowden came in and gave up eight runs in two innings and Ramon Ramirez finished off the game giving up four runs in one inning.
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