The night is dark. The air is crisp. The fog rolls in. You bite your fingernails and try to hide under a blanket. No matter how much you want to turn away, you can't.
No, I'm not talking about watching a horror movie on Halloween night, when the veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest. Instead, I'm talking about the most horrifying baseball games ever played -- the ones where some player or team is so overmatched that it becomes a complete mess.
As we celebrate Halloween, let's look at some of the worst performances, biggest losses and messiest displays ever seen on the diamond.
Worst starting pitching performance: Jason Jennings, Astros - July 29, 2007
Line: 2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 11 ER
Jennings has a record I'm sure no pitcher wants: The most runs allowed in a game by a starter without lasting at least one inning. And he only needed 39 pitches to do it, too.
Mike Cameron and Adrián González both hit two-run home runs off the Astros starter. Padres starting pitcher Tim Stauffer added to the embarrassment when he laced a bases-loaded single to score two. Even one of the outs Jennings managed to record scored a run, when González hit a sacrifice fly in the inning.
"It obviously was the worst inning of my baseball career," Jennings said. "It was pretty much an embarrassment. I was embarrassed for my teammates and for the fans."
Worst relief pitching performance: Bubba Harris, A's - July 4, 1948
Line: 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 12 ER
Well, this is one Fourth of July I'm sure Harris would like to free from his mind. At the time, Harris was a 22-year-old rookie with the Philadelphia A's who had appeared in 19 games and posted a sterling 1.09 ERA. Then he had to face the Red Sox.
Harris was called in from the bullpen in the seventh inning with the score knotted up at five. Things got ugly fast. Harris walked leadoff hitter Ted Williams, which was followed by a bunt single, another walk, a single, a fielder's choice -- you get the idea. Before the inning was done, Harris had faced 14 batters, walking five of them and giving up six hits as the Red Sox scored 14 runs in the inning to run away with the victory.