From bad ... there's good

While Randy Johnson is having a very good season on a bad team this year, he's not the first player to do so.

Originally Published: August 20, 2004
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
You wouldn't know it from his 12-10 record, but 40-year-old Randy Johnson is still one of the best pitchers around. The Diamondbacks easily have the worst record in baseball, but Johnson's got a 2.87 ERA and, even more amazingly, his 202 strikeouts are No. 1 in the majors.

Watching Johnson thrive for such a terrible team brings to mind a question ... Which players have enjoyed the best seasons for awful teams? To narrow the search, I looked just at post-World War II teams that 1) finished last and 2) won fewer than 45 percent of their games. Below are my picks for the five best pitching and hitting performances for teams like that.

Steve Carlton
Steve Carlton won a career high 27 games in 1972.