clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Cleveland Indians lost 17-0, but they'll get over it. You should too.

Losing by 17 runs isn't the end of the world.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night's game at Progressive Field was awful for the Indians, as they ended up using not one, but two position players as pitchers and eventually lost 17-0, which is the worst defeat any MLB team has suffered this season. It was also the worst shutout loss in Jacobs/Progressive Field history (which dates to 1994), and the Tribe's second-worst margin of defeat in stadium history, behind only a 21-2 loss to the Angels in 2002.

Every 17-run (or more) loss in franchise history:

  • September 15, 1901: Lost 21-0 to Tigers
  • July 14, 1904: Lost 21-3 to the Yankees (Indians/Naps went 86-65)
  • September 5, 1924: Lost 20-1 to Tigers
  • July 25, 1929: Lost 21-3 to Athletics (81-71)
  • July 14, 1931: Lost 19-2 to Yankees (78-76)
  • August 12, 1931: Lost 18-1 to Yankees (78-76)
  • June 5, 1934: Lost 20-2 to Tigers (85-69)
  • July 10, 1936: Lost 18-0 to Yankees (80-74)
  • May 12, 1986: Lost 19-2 to Rangers (84-78)
  • August 21, 1986: Lost 24-5 to Red Sox (84-78)
  • July 5, 1987: Lost 17-0 to White Sox
  • July 24, 1999: Lost 21-1 to Yankees (97-65)
  • April 30, 2002: Lost 21-2 to Angels
  • June 4, 2002: Lost 23-2 to Twins
  • June 17, 2015: Lost 17-0 to Cubs

So, last night was one of just 15 such games the team has ever had, and the first in 13 years. Ugly.

That said, 9 of those 15 losses came in seasons the Tribe finished with a winning record; 3 of the 15 came in seasons the Tribe finished with a winning percentage high enough that it'd probably be enough for this year's team to make the postseason.

Losing by so many runs is not a common occurrence, but it's also not really something that signifies a team is bad.

What do the 1995 Rockies, 1996 Orioles, 1999 Braves, 1999 Indians, 1999 Rangers, 2002 Diamondbacks, 2003 Braves, 2004 Yankees, 2005 Padres, 2006 Twins, 2006 Yankees, 2009 Yankees, 2012 Rangers, and 2014 Giants all have in common?

That's right, they all lost a game by 17+ runs, but somehow managed to overcome it and make the postseason. Two of the last six World Series winners are on that list.

There have been 47 such losses dating back to 1995, and 15 of them happened to teams that made the postseason, which means that during that time, the percentage of teams that had a 17+ run loss was higher among those that made the postseason than among those that didn't.

Last night sucked, and the Indians have some real problems. Losing 17-0 nothing doesn't mean they're a terrible team though, or that they should fire Francona, blow up the roster, or do anything else drastic. They could have entered last night with the best record in baseball and still have lost 17-0.

It's not that big a deal, people.