Yesterday was Jeremy Guthrie’s 38th birthday. It was also his first major-league start since September 2015. It went amazingly, historically poorly.
Guthrie gave up 10 runs while trying—and ultimately failing—to get out of the first inning. After allowing four walks and six hits (none of which were home runs) while only recording two outs, he was finally put out of his misery and pulled.
This gave him the impressive feat of a negative game score—a pitcher begins with a score of 50, according to Bill James’s system, so being able to fall to -4 in less than an inning is somewhat remarkable. It also gave him the dubious honor of becoming the first pitcher in history to pitch this poorly twice. Guthrie got similarly lit up in a May 2015 start for the Royals, and he’s now the only guy ever to allow 10 or more runs in an outing of an inning or less twice. (This stat line has appeared just 19 times—mostly since 2000, with managers willing to call for their bullpens early rather than letting starters struggle limply to the finish line no matter what—and Guthrie has been two of them.)
The Nationals lost to the Phillies by a score of 17-3. Guthrie was designated for assignment today. Happy birthday, indeed.