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Infinity no more
2007-05-07 21:08
by Bob Timmermann

New York Mets reliever Lino Urdaneta who was called up to the majors last week with an ERA of ∞, got two outs Sunday in Arizona without giving up a run to lower his career ERA to 81. Tonight, Urdaneta faced two batters in San Francisco, but one of them,  Bengie Molina,  connected for a home run (a 3-run shot, his second homer of the inning) and Urdaneta was charged with another run to further lower his career ERA to 63.

The highest finite ERA in major league history belongs to Joe Cleary, a pitcher for the 1945 Washington Senators, who gave up 7 runs in 1/3 of an inning in his major league career for an ERA of 189. Cleary was finishing up a fourth inning in which the Boston Red Sox scored 12 times.

Cleary's only out was by strikeout and he gave up five hits and three walks and then was relieved by Bert Shepard, who lost part of his leg fighting in World War II. Shepard gave up just one run in 5 1/3 IP.

The game, the second game of a doubleheader on August 4, 1945, was the only major league appearance for both Cleary and Shepard.



2007-05-07 22:42:13
1.   fordprefect
There must be a movie in there somewhere.
2007-05-07 23:26:18
2.   das411
Only five more months until Infinity No More is starting a pivotal Game 6 of the NLCS against those peksy Milwaukee Brewers...
2007-05-08 07:11:40
3.   ziggy29
Anyone know who Cleary struck out? Talk about embarrassing...
2007-05-08 09:46:25
4.   JeffinTokyo
That was a classic game in many ways. Joe Cleary, the infity guy, was also the last native of Ireland to pitch in the show. I also read that in that fateful 4th inning, outfielder Tom McBride tied a major league record (at that time) with 6 RBIs.
2007-05-08 12:24:44
5.   ziggy29
I did a little more digging around and found out whom Cleary fanned. It was the pitcher, Boo Ferriss, which makes it a little less embarrassing (though Ferriss was a pretty good hitter and pinch-hit frequently, posting an OPS+ of 111 in 1945).

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