After last night's discourse on pitchers giving up 10 runs or more in a game, I wanted to take a closer look at the pitchers who really gave their all when it came to giving up runs in a game.
The list I had in this post dated back to 1969 and I used that criterion again to pick the pitchers who had given up the most runs in a game since then. And the high water mark for runs allowed by a pitcher in a game since then is 14.
Bill Travers of the Brewers gave up 14 runs in 7 2/3 innings of work in the second game of a doubleheader to the Indians back on August 14, 1977. Brewers manager Alex Grammas must have been in the mood to let his pitchers take a beating that day. Milwaukee lost the first game to Cleveland, 12-4, and starter Jim Slaton stayed in to give up 8 runs. And the Brewers used just one reliever in each end of the doubleheader.
The combined totals for Slaton and Travers in the doubleheader: 12 innings pitched, 29 hits, 22 runs (all earned), 6 walks, 6 strikeouts, 3 homers allowed.
Skipping ahead now to August 3, 1998, we encounter Mike Oquist of Oakland, starting for the 50-60 Athletics against the 77-28 Yankees. It did not go well for Oquist as the Yankees scored a run in the first, five in the second, seven in the third, and then another in the fifth, before manager Art Howe mercifully sent Oquist to the showers. Oquist gave up 14 runs on 16 hits, including four home runs in five innings of work. Four Oakland relievers finished the game giving up just one hit. Oquist was left to his fate as the Yankees and Athletics had a doubleheader scheduled for the next day. The Yankees swept those games by a 10-5 (scoring 9 runs in the 9th) and 10-4 margin. The Athletics salvaged the last game of the series with a 3-1 win.
Dave Rowe holds the major league record for most runs allowed in a game, 35, for Cleveland on July 24, 1882 at Chicago. Rowe was actually an outfielder filling in on the mound. Since 1901, the AL record is held by another Travers, Al Travers of the Tigers who was pressed into duty when the Tigers staged an impromptu strike to protest a suspension of Ty Cobb. Travers gave up 24 runs in his only major league appearance. On June 21, 1901, Doc Parker of Cincinnati gave up 21 runs to Brooklyn. Parker was not invited back to pitch another game for the Reds.