Flashback Friday: David Wells Posts the Worst Start in Blue Jays History

If you think back, it’s fairly easy to pinpoint the best starting pitching performances in Blue Jays history. A number of them occupied by Dave Stieb and Roy Halladay, and a few from Jimmy Key, Jim Clancy and even Brandon Morrow.

But can you remember the absolute worst start in Blue Jays history? David Wells definitely does.

For this week’s Flashback Friday, we take a look back David Wells dubious honour of having the worst start in Toronto Blue Jays history.It was August 20th 1992 as the Blue Jays faced the Milwaukee Brewers at Country Stadium.


Of course, these were the days when the Brewers were still a division rival of the Blue Jays, and with it being late August and both teams were in the middle of a pennant race, this series had some postseason implications.

However, this game was anything but a race as the Brewers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and never looked back. As Bill Wegman coasted through seven innings and surrendered only five hits, David Wells was a different story.

His line for the day was one for the ages; 13 runs on 11 hits through 4.1 innings, 1 strikeout and 4 walks. Ultimately, Wells ended the day with a GameScore of -14.

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str GSc
David Wells, L (7-7) 4.1 11 13 13 4 1 1 5.37 29 97 55 -14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com:

While David Wells didn’t get “lit up” per sae, his outing was more like death by a thousand paper cuts. Of the 11 hits, two were singles, seven were doubles, and there was a triple and home run a piece.

So rather than beating himself by surrendering an obscene amount of walks, the Brewers just got the better of Wells that day … by a lot. He wasn’t even close to the Blue Jays club record for walks surrendered in a single game, which is nine.

Although Cito Gaston may have hung David Wells out to dry, this was not the start that spurred the famous incident when Wells refused to hand the ball to Gaston and threw it into left field. That came one year prior on August 9th, 1991.

He may have got knocked around by the Brewers that day, but at least David Wells managed to retire 13 batters and didn’t need to be rescued until the fifth inning.

Image courtesy of B Bennett/Getty Images Sport


Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.