Remembering 18 of the Worst Philly Athlete Performances Ever

With pro sports on hold indefinitely, lots of sports websites - like NBC Sports Philadelphia! - and sports fans have been re-watching highlights from their favorite teams and players. It's always fun to remember the highs that sports give us.

But it can also be fun to remember some of the low lights, the off nights and ugly shots, because being a sports fan is nothing if not a give and take.

So I've pulled together a few truly brutal outings from Philly athletes over the years, including some of this city's greatest athletes, and some obscure names. 

I probably missed a few, because this is sports in Philadelphia, so don't be afraid to send me the performances that made you yell at the TV or storm out of the arena: My email is

Let's get going.

Phillies batters

Jim Thome, July 2 2004
0 for 8, 5 strikeouts, GDP

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Thome really had a rough go here, during an otherwise great season (42 HR, 105 RBI, .977 OPS, All-Star appearance), proving that even the greats can drop complete stinkers. I mean, eight plate appearances and just nothing. Yikes!

Dale Murphy, Aug. 11 1990
0 for 6, 3 strikeouts, GDP

It's clear from the stat line that Murphy had a bad time in this 12-inning loss. But you'll never guess who came up to bat in the top of the 11th, ball game tied, with the bases loaded... and popped out to right to end the inning. (It was Murphy.)

Odubel Herrera, May 13 2017
0 for 5, 3 strikeouts, GDP

The Phillies squandered a four-run lead in this 6-4 loss. Herrera squandered five plate appearances, striking out three times and grounding into a double play. He saw 25 pitches, and 17 went for strikes. Not an ideal day at the ballpark.

Phillies pitchers

J.D. Durbin, Sept. 1 2007
0.0 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 19 pitches

Durbin managing to allow seven earned runs on just 19 pitches - for those counting at home, that's an earned run every 2.7 pitches - is truly a feat. He finished with more walks than outs recorded.

Randy Wolf, Aug. 25 2003
1.2 IP, 6 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 57 pitches

This is a truly tragic tale. Wolf exited the first inning with three runs on the board, an ugly three outs but not insurmountable. Fix it in the second, right? Well, that's when he allowed the other six earned runs. Not only did he get chased unfathomably early, he still had to throw 57 pitches.

Mark Leiter, May 16 1997
0.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 20 pitches

Leiter's second pitch of the game was smoked to right field for a home run by Craig Biggio. Then came, in order: a double, a walk, a single, a single, a sacrifice fly (his only out), a hit by pitch, and a three-run homer. Then he was pulled.


Joel Embiid, Nov. 25 2019
0 for 11 FG, 0 for 4 3P, 0 for 3 FT, 13 REB, 4 TOV, minus-9

It seemed impossible, the greatest current Sixer and one of the league's best players, missing every shot he took, but it happened. The now-on-pause 2019-20 Sixers season has been (was?) one of the weirdest collections of games I've ever seen, and this one took the cake.

Robert Covington, Dec. 29 2016
0 for 11 FG, 0 for 7 3P, 1 for 2 FT, 7 REB, 2 TOV, minus-18

This game actually happened as the Sixers were starting to pull themselves out of The Process's dark days, but that day was dark for Covington. When a Covington-style shooter can't get it going from deep, things sort of snowball. But he'll always have that one free throw.

Allen Iverson, March 23 1998
2 for 14, 0 for 3 3P, 0 for 0 FT, 8 AST, 1 TOV, minus-14

There were worse games between this one and the Covington game, but the idea that Iverson would make just two shots in 44 minutes is so mind-boggling, I had to include it. He wasn't terrible elsewhere: his assist-to-turnover ratio was great! He just couldn't score. The Sixers scored 79.

Flyers skaters

Joni Pitkanen, Nov. 2 2006
0 points, minus-5, 2 penalty minutes, loss

Just 17 seconds into a first-period Flyers power play, Pitkanen was called for holding and nullified the opportunity. It was downhill from there. Pitkanen was on the ice for all five Tampa Bay goals in the 5-2 loss, 

Ivan Provorov, Oct. 18 2016
0 points, minus-5, loss

Despite allowing seven goals and losing by three, just two Flyers players finished the game worse than minus-1: Mark Streit at minus-3, and poor Provy at minus-5. He didn't register a shot across more than 21 minutes, and probably couldn't wait to get off the ice.

Dan McGillis, March 4 1999
0 points, minus-4, loss

The Flyers actually trailed, 1-0, heading into the third period. Then McGillis and the Flyers allowed four goals in the final 20 minutes, including three in the last three minutes. McGillis was on the ice for four of the Senators' five goals. Not ideal!

Flyers goalies

Ken Wregget, Jan. 25, 1992
3 goals allowed, 0 saves, 9:11 time on ice

Wregget, like the two other guys included here, lasted just one commercial timeout. Like Hextall below, he made zero saves. And he did it first, which makes his particularly remarkable.

Ron Hextall, March 30, 1995
3 goals allowed, 0 saves, 8:26 time on ice

Hextall posted the same inauspicious 3-for-3 line as Wregget, but got pulled 45 seconds earlier, which makes his performance both better and worse at the same time. In any case, sheesh.

Brian Elliott, April 4, 2019
4 goals allowed, 1 save, 6:58 time on ice

This one is probably fresh in Flyers fans' minds. Allowing four goals in less than seven minutes is insane. At that pace, Elliott would've allowed 34 goals across a 60-minute game. The all-time record is 16.


Quarterback: Ron Jaworski, Oct. 12 1986
6 for 22, 50 yards, 1 INT

Jaworksi put this line up with Mike Quick running routes and Keith Byars in the back field. I... I just don't know, man. A second-year guy named Randall Cunningham relieved Jaworski and completed three of six pass attempts. The next year, Cunningham started 12 games. Jaws had expired.

Wide receiver: Miles Austin, Nov. 15, 2015
4 targets, 0 receptions, 0 yards

Austin's time with the Eagles was brief and unremarkable, but this game was a dang train wreck. He stepped out of bounds on an obvious touchdown catch. He straight-up didn't see a pass while wide open. He was as useless as you can be while playing wide receiver.

Running back: DeMarco Murray, Sept. 20 2015
13 rushes, 2 yards / 5 receptions, 53 yards

I know Murray had 53 yards receiving, but his ground game was truly a masterclass in futility. He picked up six yards on his first three carries, which means he lost 16 yards across his next 10 rush attempts. He looked like he'd just learned about football that day.

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