Washington’s futility: some historic perspective

The Nats just lost to the Cubs, dropping their record to 26-64 (.289), putting them on pace for a 47-115 season. Sucks, don’t it?

They should regress to the mean some, but here’s one way to look at it: the Nats are the 14th team in history to have a 26-64 record at the 90-decision marker. Here are the previous contestants, their final winning percentage:

1890 BUF (PL) .273
1894 WAS (NL) .341
1909 BOS (NL) .294
1909 WAS (AL) .276
1911 STB (AL) .296
1920 PHA (AL) .312
1921 PHI (NL) .331
1929 BOS (AL) .377
1939 PHI (NL) .298
1939 STB (AL) .279
1946 PHA (AL) .318
1964 NYM (NL) .327
1997 PHI (NL) .420

Well, 10 got better. Then again, 10 also lost over two-thirds of their games. The 1997 Phillies really stick out.

If you’re curious, 7 teams went 27-63 to start the year. The best of them, the 1937 A’s, ended the year with a .358 winning percentage. Another 7 teams have started out 25-65 and the best record their most impressive end mark was .342. So, out of 25 teams total who began the year with 25-27 wins at this point, only two ended on the good side of .360.

Another way of looking at it, in the last 60 years, the Nationals are only the seventh team to start off with 26 or fewer wins through 90 decisions. The others:
1) 1952 Pirates 25-65. They ended the year 42-112
2) 1962 Mets 24-66. They ended the year 40-120.
3) 1964 Mets 26-44. They ended the year 53-109.
4) 1979 A’s 25-65. They ended the year 54-108.
5) 1997 Phillies 26-64. They ended the year 68-94.
6) 2003 Tigers 24-66. They ended the year 43-119.

These guys played .278 up to this point in the season but were way up at .339 from Game 91-onward. Take out the Phillies, and the other five only played .309 afterwards.

The 1997 Phils actually went 42-30 down the stretch. What got into them?

No, it’s nothing groundbreaking, but WOW – the Nationals sure look bad!

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  1. john boeger said...

    where is chris carpenter in your pitching stats? he is 8 and 3, 2.26 era(second in the national league)and has pitched 91.7 innings, even though he was out with an injury.  what gives?????? 

    for your info, espn must use your stats, because chris is missing in their stats also.

    please reply.

    john boeger

  2. Chris J. said...

    Wooden – that can’t be. I saw Elvis shopping for veggies at the supermarket last with with General Franco.

  3. john boeger said...


    chris Carpender is not listed on the list of all the pitchers.  nor is he listed with the other pitchers on the ESPN list of pitchers.

  4. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    I saw Elvis shopping for veggies at the supermarket last with with General Franco.

    Last with? Is that the same as last week?

  5. john boeger said...

    under “stats”, go to “national league” and then click on “basic pitching”.  Carp is not on the basic pitching list so that the reader does not realize just how good he really is compared to the all star game pitchers.

  6. Dave Studeman said...

    Oh, I see.  Thanks.  If you look on that page under “Qualified” (in the selection box at the top), you’ll see that it’s set to “Yes.”  Chris Carpenter doesn’t qualify for the ERA title because he’s pitched 91.2 innings and the Cards have played 93 games.  The benchmark for qualification is 1 inning per game played (162 IP over a full season).

    To view Carpenter’s place on the list, you can reset the Qualified to “No” or “Both,” or you can wait until his IP equals or exceeds games played by St. Louis.

    Hope that helps.

  7. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    Hey, Chris – Elvis is still dead. Just thought I’d point that out, since you seem to enjoy stating the obvious.

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