On Saturday in Anaheim, Detroit's Rick Porcello took the mound for his third start of 2013, and said start can best be described as a "public flogging." Bear chagrined witness to Porcello's line for the day:
In all, Porcello faced 11 batters in the course of giving up nine earned (the plurality of the damage came on Mike Trout's first career grand slam). For his efforts, Porcello's 2013 ERA leaped from 5.11 to that menacing 11.08 that you see above. Granted, the infield defense behind Porcello did him no favors on a couple of reachable ground-ball singles through the infield, but that explains away only so much.
As it turns out, Porcello's disaster start, in which, as noted, he managed to yield nine earned in less than an inning of work, is a bit of a historical rarity. Thanks to the sorcery of the Baseball-Reference Play Index, we learn that just 10 other times since 1916 (the back end of available data) has a starting pitcher hemorrhaged nine or more earned runs while recording fewer than three outs. Most recently, Johnny Cueto turned the unfortunate trick back in 2009, when he, like Porcello, gave up nine earned in two-thirds of an inning (the Phillies won 22-1!).
As for the worst-ever outing under these parameters, Porcello is spared. That distinction falls to former Royals right-hander Luke Hudson, who in 2006 managed to give up 11 runs, 10 earned, in a mere one-third of an inning (the Indians won 13-0!).
So there's the (very, very) cold comfort for Porcello on this day.