clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Worst Phillies Lineup . . . In How Long?

Tuesday night's lineup was atrocious. It got me wondering - when was the last time we saw a lineup this bad?

No comment.
No comment.
Duane Burleson

Tuesday night, the Phillies trotted out the following lineup:  Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen, Carlos Ruiz, Darin Ruf, Cody Asche, John Mayberry Jr., and Michael Martinez.  There's one player on that list who would be a regular on any of the teams during the franchise's late 2000s heyday.

How bad is this eight-some?  The chart below shows their game-starting triple-slash lines.  Read it with a box of Kleenex nearby:

Cesar Hernandez 0.226 0.250 0.258 0.508
Freddy Galvis 0.207 0.270 0.367 0.637
Kevin Frandsen 0.220 0.292 0.346 0.638
Carlos Ruiz 0.283 0.330 0.393 0.723
Darin Ruf 0.244 0.299 0.400 0.699
Cody Asche 0.266 0.317 0.447 0.764
John Mayberry Jr. 0.231 0.293 0.402 0.695
Michael Martinez 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.334

Overall, the Phillies put on the field the following (simply-averaged) triple-slash line Tuesday night:  .231/.277/.348.  That's good for a spectacular .625 OPS, even worse than the horrific 2013 Marlins.  And it's well below the NL averages of .252/.315/.390 with a .706 OPS.

This lineup got me wondering - when was the last time the Phillies played such an atrocious collection of hitters?

Putting aside early April (since stats are so fluky in the beginning of the season), I would have to imagine it would be another September lineup in a lost season.  But, it's been a while since the Phillies have been this out of it in September, so we'd probably have to go back to the early 2000s or late 1990s to find a lineup like this one.

Flipping through some of the worst years of those seasons (1997, 2000, 2002), I found some awful lineups to compete.  Here are the two "best" (meaning the worst) that I could find.

On September 11, 2000, the Phillies fielded this lineup:

Batter AVG OPS
Marlon Anderson 0.245 0.638
Kevin Sefcik 0.237 0.596
Bobby Abreu 0.318 0.971
Travis Lee 0.227 0.681
Kevin Jordan 0.219 0.571
Rob Ducey 0.178 0.656
Gary Bennett 0.282 0.878
Alex Arias 0.181 0.544

Baseball Reference doesn't have triple-slash lines in their boxscores, but the simple averages for the lineup were a .236 batting average and .692 OPS.  In context, that's almost worse than Tuesday night's lineup, as the NL averages in 2000 were a .266 batting average and .773 OPS (thank you steroids!).

A similarly atrocious lineup appeared on September 10, 1997:

Batter AVG OPS
Rex Hudler 0.180 0.490
Mickey Morandini 0.298 0.758
Kevin Jordan 0.264 0.641
Scott Rolen 0.289 0.862
Mike Lieberthal 0.259 0.787
Tony Barron 0.263 0.719
Ruben Amaro 0.224 0.623
Desi Relaford 0.000 0.000

This one is dragged down by Desi Relaford's start in the big leagues, but still, it's a lineup of mostly filler.  (It's quite fitting that Ruben Amaro is in the lineup.)  The simple average for the lineup is a .222 batting average and .610 OPS.  In context, this is even more horrible, as the NL averages were .263 batting average and .744 OPS.

So here's my challenge to you.  Can you find a similarly horrible batting lineup to what the Phillies sent out Tuesday night?  Post what you find in the comments and share the horrors!

More from The Good Phight: