Sen. Ted Cruz Tops Mike Morgan’s Record

by Bill Chuck on February 7, 2013

It can’t be easy starting your career with an 0-11 record but Texas Senator Ted Cruz has done it with pride.

According to the Washington Times:

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has been on the losing side of every vote the Senate has taken in his young career — the only senator who can claim that distinction, boosting his anti-establishment credentials and earning him rave reviews from grass-roots conservatives.

The 42-year-old tea party favorite entered the Senate chamber last week at the bottom with his first two votes and walked away with nine more losses under his belt.

So far, he is 0-for-2013 — he has been on the losing end of 11 votes — and that’s just fine with the Texas Republican.

Upon reading this, I wondered if baseball ever had as big a loser as Cruz and it turns out that it hasn’t, at least according to records available going back to 1916.

The closest any pitcher has come to starting his MLB career on such a long losing streak is Mike Morgan, who from June 11, 1978 to July 24, 1979 made the first nine starts of his career for the Oakland A’s and went 0-9. Morgan was 18-years old when started in the bigs, a first-round draft choice, pitching straight out of high school.

Morgan compiled a 6.46 ERA during this streak and in 46 innings he allowed 67 hits and walked 34, while striking out just four (4). He did throw one complete game (in his first start losing to the Orioles, 3-0) and obviously received poor defensive support as of the 41 runs he allowed, only 33 were earned.

Here are Mike Morgan’s 1978 starts

Gcar Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
1 Jun 11 OAK BAL L,0-3 CG L(0-1) 9.0 10 3 2 5 0 1 2.00
2 Jun 17 OAK @ BAL L,4-5 GS-1 L(0-2) 1.0 4 3 3 0 0 0 4.50
3 Jun 22 OAK @ TEX L,2-8 GS-3 L(0-3) 2.1 5 6 5 3 0 0 7.30
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/7/2013.

Here are his 1979 starts ending with his first win

Gcar Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
4 Jun 27 OAK @ KCR L,3-10 GS-4 L(0-1) 3.2 4 4 3 5 0 0 7.36
5 Jul 2 OAK @ CAL L,3-8 GS-4 L(0-2) 3.2 8 7 7 6 2 0 12.27
6 Jul 7 OAK NYY L,3-8 GS-7 L(0-3) 6.2 10 7 7 1 0 1 10.93
7 Jul 13 OAK BOS L,0-2 GS-9 L(0-4) 8.0 10 2 2 3 1 0 7.77
8 Jul 19 OAK @ NYY L,2-10 GS-5 L(0-5) 4.2 8 4 2 5 0 0 7.09
9 Jul 24 OAK @ BOS L,3-7 GS-7 L(0-6) 7.0 8 5 2 6 1 1 6.15
10 Jul 29 OAK SEA W,2-1 CG W(1-6) 9.0 3 1 1 4 1 0 5.06
OAK 77.1 102 57 51 50 17 7 5.94
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/7/2013.

Despite this start, Morgan ended up with a big league career that hopefully will be much longer than Cruz’ Senate career.

“The Nomad” pitched for 22 seasons for 12 teams (the second most of any pitcher), but never reached the .500 mark, finishing with a 141-186 record and a relatively decent 4.23 ERA.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
22 Yrs 141 186 .431 4.23 597 411 46 10 8 2772.1 2943 1431 1303 270 938 1403 1.400
CHC (5 yrs) 30 35 .462 3.83 90 90 8 2 0 575.2 569 274 245 51 212 316 1.357
ARI (3 yrs) 7 6 .538 4.82 120 5 0 0 5 173.2 209 97 93 19 66 93 1.583
LAD (3 yrs) 33 36 .478 3.06 107 85 11 5 1 600.0 543 236 204 37 154 318 1.162
SEA (3 yrs) 24 35 .407 4.70 73 66 17 3 1 429.1 499 247 224 51 144 203 1.498
STL (2 yrs) 9 14 .391 4.55 35 35 1 0 0 209.2 232 111 106 24 65 101 1.417
OAK (2 yrs) 2 13 .133 6.12 16 16 3 0 0 89.2 121 69 61 8 58 17 1.996
CIN (2 yrs) 11 15 .423 4.42 36 35 1 0 0 189.1 193 100 93 15 56 122 1.315
MIN (1 yr) 4 2 .667 3.49 18 17 0 0 0 98.0 108 41 38 13 24 50 1.347
TEX (1 yr) 13 10 .565 6.24 34 25 1 0 0 140.0 184 108 97 25 48 61 1.657
NYY (1 yr) 7 11 .389 4.37 30 23 2 0 0 150.1 167 77 73 15 67 71 1.557
BAL (1 yr) 1 6 .143 5.43 22 10 2 0 1 71.1 70 45 43 6 23 29 1.304
TOR (1 yr) 0 3 .000 5.16 16 4 0 0 0 45.1 48 26 26 6 21 22 1.522
NL (13 yrs) 90 106 .459 3.81 388 250 21 7 6 1748.1 1746 818 741 146 553 950 1.315
AL (10 yrs) 51 80 .389 4.94 209 161 25 3 2 1024.0 1197 613 562 124 385 453 1.545
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/7/2013.

Nine to Know

Lowest winning percentage of starters with at least 400 starts

Rk Player W-L% GS From To
1 Mike Morgan .431 411 1978 2002
2 Bob Friend .461 497 1951 1966
3 Steve Trachsel .474 417 1993 2008
4 Mike Moore .478 440 1982 1995
5 Tom Candiotti .479 410 1983 1999
6 Bob Knepper .485 413 1976 1990
7 Bobo Newsom .487 483 1929 1953
8 Jeff Suppan .490 417 1995 2012
9 Tom Zachary .493 408 1918 1936
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/7/2013.
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