No surprises here: though nearly every team’s general manager took a gamble on a seventeen- or eighteen-year-old who’d picked up the game watching the local regiment play, the vast majority of their rosters were made out of dependable men in their twenties and thirties.
De la Guila pitched in 51 games in 1872, though only 20.1 innings of that was in relief. His 2.63 ERA on the season was quite respectable, about 12% above league average for the season—but significantly buoyed by the (lack of) fielding talent among his teammates.
Second verse, as stark as the first: many of de la Guila’s losses were caused by unearned runs, which often accounted for 4-5 scores above the ones he directly caused. True aces of the time were capable of pitching their way out of these jams, but de la Guila had neither the command nor the defense to achieve that.
Wins still in blue, losses in red. Game score is an imperfect metric in many ways, but in this era, when even bad pitchers often finished their own games, it makes more sense as an analytical tool. De la Guila could throw a good game, but most of these are stinkers, even accounting for the failures he didn’t commit.
18 home runs allowed led the league; running up was the Arzos‘ Antonio Alvarado, with 13. There are good stretches of work here (notably, de la Guila won those four last starts where he did not allow a roundtripper), but of the six home runs he allowed in late July and August, five gave the opposing team the lead, and three were grand slams.
|5/3 @ CAR||5/23 @ GUC|
|R / ER||8 / 6||7 / 5|
|PI / PS||92 / 62||83 / 59|
Espártaco de la Guila, 1873 (starter): 178.0 IP, 5-17, 13 K / 22 BB, 45 HR, 6.47 ERA (we don’t even want to know).
Espártaco de la Guila, 1873 (reliever): 21.2 IP, 0-0 (1 SV), 0 K / 0 BB, 3 HR, 2.08 ERA (154 ERA+).
Naranjito’s defense was in the exact same place as 1872, relative to the rest of the league—so the fact that the separation here is often smaller than in the previous season is fairly revealing about de la Guila’s pitching.
Wins still in blue, losses in red. It is completely understandable that de la Guila was not the same man as last year: he was 38, dealing with the effects of his various war wounds, and not especially motivated on a team that was clearly not going to the torneo. Even controlling for that, this is a dreadful season.
Obviously, de la Guila had allowed more home runs than anyone else—otherwise this article would not be about him—but he actually lapped the competition: the runner-up this year, Alcibíades Segovia of Hormigueros, allowed only 19.