If you thought Friday night’s eighth inning was rare, you are correct. The Dodgers allowed nine runs in a single frame in last night’s loss to the Diamondbacks, something that has happened roughly once every four years since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.
Allowing nine runs in a game is rare in its own right, something the Dodgers have done in just 7.4% of their games since 1958. But allowing nine runs in an inning? That has only happened 15 times in 9,424 games.
Here are those 15 games:
On Apr. 23, 1999, the Cardinals exploded for 11 runs in the third inning against the Dodgers, the most runs the club has allowed in a single inning since moving to Los Angeles. The franchise record is 13 runs, allowed by Brooklyn to the Boston Braves in the first inning on June 25, 1910.
But what stood out about this 1999 game against the Cardinals was Fernando Tatis not only hitting two grand slams in the same inning, setting a major league record, but hitting them both off of Chan Ho Park.
Big Red Machine
The only other time an LA Dodgers team allowed double-digit runs in one inning was in the fourth inning against the Reds at their peak, on Sept. 3, 1975. Andy Messersmith and Charlie Hough got hit around. Dave Concepcion (two walks), Pete Rose (double, HBP) and Joe Morgan (double, walk) all reached base twice in the inning for Cincinnati.
Back in the days when not every game was televised, and getting updates at 20 and 50 minutes past the hour on CNN Headline News was a viable method of getting sports updates, the Dodgers held an 11-1 lead entering the eighth inning at home against the Phillies on Aug. 21, 1990. Two runs in the eighth set the stage for nine in the ninth, against Dave Walsh, Tim Crews and Jay Howell. John Kruk hit a three-run home run to tie it up against Crews.
"I'm in shock," manager Tom Lasorda told Bill Plaschke of the LA Times. "First time, first time I've ever seen anything like that in the ninth inning. Eleven to one. Eleven to one. I don't believe it."
Here are the other 12 games in chronological order, with notes about each one.
Aug. 28, 1960: The Reds scored nine in the top of the first against Stan Williams and Ed Roebuck at the Coliseum. Leadoff man Roy McMillan walked and hit a three-run home run in the inning.
Sept. 12, 1961: Sandy Koufax got knocked out in the second inning by the Phillies, who tallied nine runs in the frame against Koufax, Jim Golden and Roger Craig in a 19-10 victory. Ruben Amaro Sr. tripled and walked in the inning, and Clay Dalrymple had two different RBI singles in the second, driving in three.
July 24, 1964: The Giants scored nine in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium. Pitcher Juan Marichal had two singles, Harvey Keunn had two doubles, and Hal Lanier had two run-scoring singles in the inning.
Sept. 23, 1970: This was the Giants again at Dodger Stadium, this time in the seventh, to erase an 8-0 Dodgers lead in a 14-10 San Francisco victory. Dick Deitz and Jim Ray Hart each homered and singled in the nine-run inning.
May 3, 1985: Rick Honeycutt, Tom Brennan and Bobby Castillo allowed nine runs to the Pirates in the bottom of the fourth inning at Three Rivers Stadium. Brennan faced five batters, and all of them scored, and balked twice, giving him a connection to Sergio Romo from Friday night:
Sergio Romo: First Dodgers reliever to give up 5 ER *and* commit a balk since Tom Brennan vs Pirates, May 3, 1985.— Doug Kern (@dakern74) April 22, 2017
Sept. 15, 1985: Fernando Valenzuela took a 6-1 lead into the sixth inning, but he and Carlos Diaz allowed nine runs to the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. 25 years after Gus Bell took part in a nine-run ninth inning against the Dodgers, his son Buddy Bell did the same in this game.
May 4, 2010: A nine-run second inning by the Brewers knocked out Clayton Kershaw, who recorded just four outs for the shortest start of his career. But ultimately this game is remembered more for a single tweet than the outcome itself.
Aug. 9, 2015: A 5-3 lead entering the seventh inning turned into a Sunday night nightmare for the Dodgers against the Pirates at PNC Park. Jim Johnson took the brunt of the damage, allowing eight runs.
Friday: The Dodgers held a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning against the Diamondbacks, but Arizona rallied for nine runs against Ross Stripling, Luis Avilan, Romo and Josh Fields. The Dodgers bullpen allowed eight total runs in 56⅔ innings this season before the fateful eighth inning on Friday.