Thursday night, Kansas City crushed Cleveland, 11-1. The Royals banged out 13 hits in their victory, including two doubles and three homers. They did not, however, do any damage with the bases loaded. In this particular game it doesn't matter at all. Getting the bases loaded and then producing with them loaded can be a coincidence. It's certainly circumstantial. So why even bring it up?
Because in 2020, the Royals are 2 for 29 with 14 strikeouts with the bases loaded. Both hits were singles and of the six runs they've scored with the sacks full one came on a hit batsman. Normally through 45 games this would be something we'd expect to even out over the course of the year. Even though this is a subpar offense, the best climate for a hitter is generally when the bases are loaded, particularly with fewer than two outs. With this being a 60-game season, however, history is within reach. Dubious history, to be clear, but still history.
Here are the worst batting averages in history with the bases loaded for a season, if we include 2020 to date.
Now the first worst on-base percentages with the bases loaded, including this season.
- .125 - 2020 Royals
- .135 - 1917 Cardinals
- .144 - 1946 Reds
- .171 - 1919 Indians
- .178 - 1978 A's
And the worst slugging percentages with the bases loaded, including 2020.
- .069 - 2020 Royals
- .114 - 1917 Cardinals
- .118 - 1919 Browns
- .138 - 1919 Indians
- .143 - 1916 Indians
Perhaps the worst part is there are an awful lot of Deadball Era teams on the lists above.
Obviously, it's an incredibly small sample size, but the entire 2020 season is a small sample. We discussed in the preseason how this year could well see some crazy rate stats, but it was mostly on the positive end. We didn't realize we'd see the worst ever team with the bases loaded, even including teams from over a century ago.