These are the 'worst' pitcher wins of 2019

8 hurlers who really have something to be thankful for

November 26th, 2019

It is Thanksgiving week, that time of year when we all take stock of what we’re thankful for. And while baseball is a game of skill, there are moments when good fortune takes over. Pitchers, for example, will frequently earn the win on days when they weren't at their best, but it shows up as a win in the record books nonetheless.

Whether it’s thanks to amazing run support, a well-placed line drive, or a lucky bounce, sometimes you end up in the win column regardless of how well you pitched.

With that in mind, here are eight times this past season a pitcher had plenty to be thankful for:

, White Sox: May 22 at Astros
Stats: 7 IP, 10 H, 1 BB, 3 R
Final score: CWS 9, HOU 4

Nova teetered throughout his outing, and he ultimately allowed a reasonable three runs in seven innings. Why then, you might ask, is he on this list? For all the baserunners who didn’t score. Nova allowed 14 baserunners despite only allowing the three runs, tied for the most by a pitcher in a win this season. The other three pitchers to do it all allowed at least seven runs. But Nova had a lot of help from his defense, which handled four double plays -- tied for the most in a win by a starter this season. That's not all, though. They did one better with a triple play in the third inning. Tony Kemp led off with a double and Robinson Chirinos took first base when he was hit by a pitch. Then Jake Marisnick came to the plate and hit the third pitch straight to third baseman Yoan Moncada, who started a 5-4-3 triple play.

Another reason this game is notable? The White Sox batters knocked around Houston's Gerrit Cole, who allowed six runs in five innings. He wouldn’t lose another game until the World Series.

, COL: July 14 vs. Reds
Stats: 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 8 R
Final score: COL 10, CIN 9

Pitching at Coors Field isn’t easy, and there have been plenty of games in that venue over the years that featured some fluky pitcher wins. In this instance, Senzatela went 5 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs (all earned) on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Perhaps surprisingly, he allowed those runs without allowing a homer. But Senzatela had plenty of reason to be grateful for his teammates that afternoon, as the Rockies scored 10 runs -- six of which were earned -- off Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle, including six in the bottom of the fifth. That put Senzatela in line for the win when he left the game.

, SEA: June 21 vs. Orioles
Stats: 5 1/3 IP, 11 H, 8 R (7 ER)
Final score: SEA 10, BAL 9

Leake allowed four straight hits in the top of the first, leading to three runs, and it looked like it just might not be his night. Ultimately, he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and eight runs, seven earned. But after the Orioles jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, Seattle tied it up with one run in the first and two in the second. They took the lead on a Kyle Seager two-run homer in the third and never relinquished it. The Mariners led 10-3 through five innings, before Leake and reliever Cory Gearrin allowed a five-run top of the sixth. But even with that and another run in the seventh, the Mariners never gave up the lead, meaning Leake was still in line for the decision as they won, 10-9. His eight runs allowed were tied for the most by a starter in a game where he got the win this season.

, CHC: Sept. 13 vs. Pirates
Stats: 5 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 7 R (4 ER)
Final score: CHC 17, PIT 8

Lester’s first inning included one run scoring on a two-error play on the second plate appearance of the game, along with a run-scoring triple and double. The Cubs trailed, 4-0, heading to the bottom of the inning. But the Cubs hit three homers to take a 5-4 lead in the first, and it was clear this wouldn’t be a typical game. The Cubs scored in bunches, with another five-run inning in the third with a solo homer and a grand slam, then a seven-run fifth that didn’t involve any home runs. All this was going on as Lester went five innings, allowing seven runs, four of which were earned, on 11 hits. He allowed 14 baserunners, tied for the most in a win this year. But, thanks to the Cubs’ offense, he departed the game to start the sixth with a 17-7 lead. The Pirates were not able to mount a comeback, and Lester got the win.

, COL: June 15 vs. Padres
Stats: 5 2/3 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 7 R
Final score: COL 14, SD 8

More Coors Field fun! Márquez allowed a leadoff double to Greg Garcia, who ended up scoring on the play after an error by left fielder David Dahl. Later that same inning, a wild pitch from Márquez led to another run scoring. The Rockies trailed 3-0 after the top of the first, but they got a run back in the bottom of the inning and three more in the second to take the lead, with one of those runs coming on an RBI double from Márquez. He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits and dealing with 14 baserunners, but the Rockies maintained the lead throughout the game once they took it in the second inning. The offense broke out for 14 runs, featuring an Ian Desmond grand slam.

, BOS: Sept. 24 at Rangers
Stats: 5 IP, 11 H, 3 BB, 7 R
Final score: BOS 12, TEX 10

Rodriguez was one of baseball's pleasant surprises this year, finishing third in the AL with 19 wins. And to win that many games, you usually need a little good fortune on your side.

The Red Sox got off to a fast start against Edinson Vólquez in Texas, scoring four runs off of him in two-thirds of an inning before he was replaced by Ariel Jurado. But in the bottom of the inning, Rodriguez allowed four runs of his own, walking in a run before allowing a two-run single and a one-run hit. But despite the early trouble, Rodriguez remained in the game, ultimately going five innings. He allowed seven runs on 11 hits and dealt with 14 baserunners. He faced just three batters in only one inning -- the third, when he induced a groundout followed by two strikeouts. In the meantime, though, the Rangers used seven pitchers for the game, with the first three each allowing three or more runs.

That meant that when Rodriguez was lifted in favor of Marcus Walden to begin the sixth, the Red Sox led, 12-7. The Red Sox held on to give Rodriguez his final win of the season. It was his only victory of the year in which he allowed more than four runs.

, LAD: Sept. 2 vs. Rockies
Stats: 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R
Final score: LAD 16, COL 9

This game also featured the Rockies, but it actually took place in Los Angeles, if you can believe it.

Buehler allowed a leadoff homer to Trevor Story on the second pitch of the game -- the first of seven extra-base hits for the Rockies that afternoon. Charlie Blackmon and Daniel Murphy added doubles in the first inning, too, to put that total at three before the Dodgers had even batted. Buehler settled down for a 1-2-3 second inning, but the extra-base hits returned as the game progressed. On the whole, Buehler allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings. But Buehler got by with a lot of help from his friends. While he allowed six runs over five innings, the Dodgers scored nine runs through three innings off starter Peter Lambert and the Rockies’ bullpen. Meanwhile, Buehler’s seven extra-base hits allowed were the most by a starter in a game where he got win this season.

, STL: June 2 vs. Cubs
Stats: 8 IP, 2 H, 7 BB, 0 R
Final score: STL 2, CHC 1

Unlike some of the others on this list, Wainwright didn’t allow a lot of runs in this game. In fact, he didn’t allow any. But he still found his way here due to another extreme outlier that definitely led to some thankfulness for getting the win: he issued seven walks. Wainwright went eight innings in this start against the Cubs, allowing two hits and no runs. He struck out eight, and walked just one fewer than that. He walked a batter in six of the eight innings he pitched, including two in the top of the first. Wainwright finished up the top of the eighth inning at 126 pitches in a tight, 1-0 game. And when Matt Carpenter knocked an RBI single off Mike Montgomery, putting the team ahead by two in the bottom of the frame, that put Wainwright in line for the win.

His seven walks were the most by a starter in a game where he got the win in 2019. The last starter to throw eight or more scoreless innings with at least seven walks in a win before Wainwright? Edwin Jackson, in his no-hitter in 2010.