The Miami Marlins and Houston Astros are in the hunt for the title of all time worst MLB team. That’s right, the ’62 Mets might finally be able to shake the title of being the worst there ever was at the conclusion of this season. It’s pretty incredible that almost a full two months, and just shy of 50 games into the season that two teams are still contending for this record.
Maybe that switch to the American League this past year wasn’t the best move the Houston Astros could have made. In their inaugural season they are doing even worse than they could have imagined. Playing in the National League Central last year the team was only two games below .500 (21-23) exactly one year ago on their way to finishing a less than stellar 55-107 on the season. That mark is probably asking too much for a team currently on pace to finish with a measly 48 wins on the year.
The Miami Marlins on the other hand, cleaned house this off season after being disappointed with the immediate return on their spending spree before the 2012 season. Last year they were supposed to be contenders after opening their new stadium, Marlins Park, and bringing in manager Ozie Guillen and big name talent such as Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Carlos Zambrono. The team spent a ton, but only finished 69-93.
Following another overhaul following last year’s poor finish, the team has less name recognition and salary cap, but that also has resulted in even less wins. Currently the team is 13-34, or one game worse than the Astros. This puts them on pace to finish with only 45 wins, and that’s if we round up.
The infamously bad ’62 Mets finished the season just 40-120. Although neither team is on pace to finish the year with a record this bad, it is not out of the question when you consider that the ’62 Mets were 12-35 at the same point in the season, only one game behind the Marlins. This dreadful team was in the middle of what would become a 17 game losing streak, and were ahead of the Astros and Marlins at the 40 game mark. They were 12-28, while the Astros were 10-30 and the Marlins 11-29. If either of these teams hits a losing streak anywhere near what the Mets went on, they will once again fall behind the Mets pace and be in position to be the worst team baseball has ever seen.
Run scoring has been one of the major issues for both teams, especially the Marlins. Miami has only mustered up 125 runs so far this season, 29 worse than any other team in baseball. The Astros are not fairing much better as they are 8th from last in runs scored with just 185. The bats just aren’t working for either club, the Marlins boast a paltry .222 team batting average while the Astros fair slightly better in this regard at .246.
Pitching is not exactly a strong suit either for these clubs. The Astros are easily the worst pitching team in baseball with a horrific 5.37 team ERA, almost .6 runs worst than anyone else. The Marlins pitching staff meanwhile hasn’t been nearly as terrible as their batting, but nowhere near good enough to carry the team with an ERA of 4.05 they rank towards the middle of the pack at #13 in the MLB.
Defense has also been a concern for these clubs, as they both rank in the bottom half in terms of errors. When your bats and pitching aren’t working, defense is paramount to keep your team within striking distance in games. These team defenses have failed to come through more than once this season, further hurting their team’s chances of digging their way out of the ’62 Mets shadow.
ESPN points out that the overall record mark isn’t the only undesirable record these clubs could wind up setting by the time this season is over. The Astros also have a shot at setting the mark for games with 10+ team strikeouts, they are currently on pace for 79, just two shy of half the games in the season! The Marlins could end up scoring less than anyone else has in a non-strike shortened season, they are on pace to finish with only 431. ESPN also pointed out that by the All-Star break last year, the Red Sox and Rangers had already scored more than 431 runs.
Perhaps recent history can provide a light at the end of the tunnel for the fan bases of these two lowly franchises. Looking into the not so distant past, the 2008 Lions put together the perfect losing season when they became the first NFL team to ever finish a season 0-16. After the Lions hit rock bottom, the team quickly bounced back and three years later made the playoffs. In today’s sporting world, a few good roster moves and draft picks can turn even the worst franchise into a contender in a short period of time. It’s parody like that which makes every year worth watching, no matter who your team is.
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The Guardian Express