Baseball Instruction/Deciding on a losing pitcher


QUESTION: Our starting HS pitcher threw 3 innings of a 7 inning game and only allowed 1 unearned run. Team lost 2-1 and was trailing 0-1 when he left the game. Statistically, he leaves the game with an ERA of 0.0 but because the team was losing when he left the game, is he still the losing pitcher of record? Doesn't seem quite fair if it is ruled this way.....lose the game with a 0.0 ERA.

ANSWER: Craig,

Unfortunately for him, someone has to get the loss in every game.  The official scorer gets some lattitude for awarding a win if one pitcher has pitched more effectively then another, but there is no judgement allowed in awarding the loss.  If the pitcher leaves the game when their team is losing, they get the loss if their team never ties the score or takes the lead.  Was the score of the game ever 1-1?  If so, the pitcher that gave up the second run would take the loss.

Hope this helps!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately for this talented pitcher, he left the game with the score 0-1, with the 1 run being an unearned run. Does this mean he gets the loss in spite of giving up no earned runs? Doesn't seem quite fair.



Unless his team came back to tie the game or take the lead, he takes the loss.  Doesn't matter that the run he gave up was unearned.  Heck, in major league history there have been pitchers who have pitched a no-hitter but still lost the game!


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Brian Flaspohler


Questions about baseball rules, general information about the game, statistical analysis, questions about players, questions about Baseball records. I am a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and a lifelong baseball fanatic. Don't ask me questions about training - this is not my area of expertise.


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