Friday, June 16, 2006


The Kansas City Royals have given up a league worst 410 runs in 65 games. Over 162, that projects out to around 1,022 runs. If they don't improve, they could become the first team to give up 1,000 runs in the 21st century. In 1999 the Colorado Rockies gave up 1,028 runs, and in 1996 the Detroit Tigers allowed 1,103 runs to score, but before that no one had given up that many runs since 1939 when 2 teams did it (the St. Louis Browns and Philadelphia Athletics). 7 other teams allowed 1000 runs between 1900 and 1939, led by the 1930 Phillies who gave up 1,199. Before 1900, 21 teams gave up 1,000 runs in a season, led by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders who gave up 1,252 runs in their final year of existence. (Maybe this should be a rule - give up 1000 runs and your franchise gets revoked.)
But, while this year's Royals have given up the most runs in the league, they're also tied for 3rd in fewest hit batters in the league. They've hit just 20 batters this year, behind (or ahead of) only Baltimore and the Yankees who have hit 19. Since people started counting, only 4 teams have ever given up the most runs and the fewest plunks in a season - the 1982 Twins, the 1946 Browns, the 1917 Athletics, and the 1902 Orioles. Since 1900, only 19 teams have given up the most runs and been in the bottom 5 in plunking batters (including the 4 above). In that same span, 16 teams have given up the most runs and hit the most batters in a season, and 57 of the teams who gave up the most runs finished in the top 5 in plunking batters.

These Royals may not give up quite as many runs as some of those other teams, but some of those teams could score a few runs too. The '99 Rockies scored 906 runs, and the '96 Tigers scored 783. The Royals are on pace to score just 628, fewest in the league. If they don't improve they'll become the first team since the '88 Orioles to score the fewest runs in the league and give up the most. Only 7 teams have done that since 1900. They'll lose by a combined 394 runs. No one since those 1899 Cleveland Spiders has given up that many more runs than they scored in a season. The worst recent run differential was the 2003 Tigers who gave up 928 and scored 591... 337 runs behind there opponents in total.

That 1999 Rockies team actually managed to not hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, so the record for most runs allowed by a team in a season in which they plunked Biggio is 969 by the 2003 Texas Rangers.

Top 10 runs allowed by teams in seasons in which they plunked Craig Biggio:

(Hmmm... 7 out of 10 begin with the letter R...)

The 2004 Diamondbacks were the worst team to plunk Biggio based on Runs Allowed minus Runs Scored. The D-backs scored 615 runs that year, but gave up 284 more than that.

Top 10 worst run differentials by teams that plunked Biggio:
RA-RSRuns ScoredRuns AllowedYearTeam


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