Sunday, July 3, 2022

The Reds just completed one of the worst Aprils in MLB history

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Saturday night in Colorado’s Coors Field, the Reds lost, 4-3. Given that the Rockies are normally very tough at home and it was a one-run game, normally this wouldn’t be the type of result that would garner a team some dubious coverage. This was the last day of April, however, and the endpoints of each month are a natural time to do some glance around the league. 

At 3-18, the Reds have the worst record in baseball. It’s not even really close, as everyone else has at least six wins. 

No, we need to look outside 2022 to find teams that were as bad in April as these Reds and that list isn’t very long, either. 

In an April calendar that is at least 2/3 full of games, the worst team is an easy and obvious one. Remember that Sports Illustrated cover from 1988 with Billy Ripken holding a bat against his forehead in the dugout? It said, simply, “0-18.” That 1988 Orioles team would actually start 0-21 before finally winning a game and finished April at a horrifying 1-22. 

The 2003 Tigers were the worst team since the 1962 expansion Mets went 40-120. That Tigers team was 43-119 when the season mercifully ended for them. They went 3-21 in April. 

By record alone, those are the only two teams in baseball history we can say were definitely worse than the 2022 Reds. Here are some numbers from historically-bad April teams (March is looped in when the season started that month). Via Stathead search

  • There are 16 teams that previously lost exactly 18 games, like the 2022 Reds, in April. They all won at least five games and 14 of them won at least six. 
  • Eight teams lost exactly 19. All of them won at least five games and just one of them was 5-19. That’s a .208 winning percentage. The 2022 Reds are sitting at .143. 
  • Seven teams lost exactly 20 games in April. Six of those won at least seven games. The 1969 Astros went 4-20. That’s still a .167 winning percentage, which tops these Reds. 
  • Three teams lost 21. The 2019 Marlins went 8-21. The 2018 Royals went 7-21. Then there are the aforementioned 2004 Tigers, who were worse than the 2022 Reds. 
  • Three teams are tied for the most losses ever in April (and March, when applicable). The 2014 Diamondbacks went 9-22. The 2018 Reds were 7-22. I think we can all see rather easily those two teams were winning at a higher rate than 3-18. That leaves those 1988 Orioles. 

So, again, with a sample of at least three weeks of baseball before we got to May, we can nail down two teams that had a worse introductory month to a season than than the 2022 Cincinnati Reds. That’s it. 

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