With four more wild pitches on Sunday, the 2013 Indians pitching staff now has the most wild pitches per game (.595) in MLB history.
Your all-time leaderboard:
1. 2013 Indians: 44 wild pitches, 74 games = .595
2. 2000 Reds: 96 wild pitches, 163 games = .589
T-3. 2012 Rockies: 94 wild pitches, 162 games = .580
T-3. 1986 Rangers: 94 wild pitches, 162 games = .580
5. 1970 Astros: 91 wild pitches, 162 games = .582
The highest rate ever for a previous Indians team was .556 (90 wild pitches) in 1973, which ranks seventh-highest of all-time. Last year’s team finished with only 67 wild pitches, good for a .414 mark.
Carlos Santana has been the biggest culprit, permitting an MLB-leading 31 wild pitches in his 385.0 innings behind the plate (per 9-inning game: .725). It’s so high that in fact, entering Sunday, only one other 2013 catcher with 100 innings has a rate of .600+: Chicago Cubs part-time catcher Dioner Navarro (163.1 innings, 17 wild pitches, .937).
Both Cleveland starters and relievers have 22 wild pitches, meaning that the relievers (per 9-inning game: .884) have thrown balls away at a much higher rate. Typically, relievers do have more wild pitches.
On the whole, wild pitches per game have increased rapidly since the early ’60s. Notably, before action on Sunday, 2013’s .359 wild pitches per game ranks second all-time only behind the strike-shortened 1994 season’s mark of .363. Wild pitches are generally highest in April/March, so it’s possible that has affected the rate in the early going.