Friday, August 28, 2009
Rod Scurry, 1988 Seattle Mariners
I'd never heard of Rod Scurry before yesterday, something I now regret. How could I have never heard of King Balk? Stuck on one of the inevitably crummy pre-Griffey Seattle teams, Scurry, a 32 year-old journeyman reliever, formerly of the Yankees and Pirates, was coming off a lost 1987 season (he was in the minors, not injured). Returning to the majors, Scurry may very well have thought "wouldn't it be fun to be the first pitcher to accumulate 10 or more balks in under 35 innings?" He certainly seems to have pursued that goal, chalking up 11 balks in just 31.1 innings pitched. Surprisingly, this had little discernible effect on his ERA (4.02 - just 0.13 above his career average). Scurry was out of the majors for good after the '88 season, though. While some might blame his 1.596 WHIP, his 1992 cocain-induced heart attack death suggests other possible career complications.
10+ balks, 35- innings pitched