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montyque
07-11-04, 02:45 AM
I was watching the Red Sox Rangers game Saturday, in which the Rangers scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning due in part to 2 Bellhorn errors. Anyway, 4 runs scored on a Hank Blalock grand slam at one point, and at the end of the inning, Derek Lowe was not credited with any earned runs. I saw that on gameday (mlb.com), but it was confirmed by espn's bottom line later on.

How can a home run be unearned? Is it that the inning should have been over at that point, if not for the errors? In that case, could Lowe have gone on to give up ten more homers, would they all have been unearned? That doesn't seem right. Please explain!

Squid
07-11-04, 03:34 AM
I don't know this for sure, but since no one else has answered you yet ... I believe it's true:

If errors cause an inning to be extended and then more runs score -- like, let's say, there's an error with two outs that allows a batter to reach first base safely instead of being put out to end the inning, and then people start hitting homers -- then NONE of the runs that score for the rest of that inning are earned. The team that's hitting could score a thousand runs, and they would all be recorded as unearned.

I think even if some batters had PREVIOUSLY reached base through the fault of the pitcher (through hits, walks, hit-by-pitch, etc.), but they don't score until AFTER the inning is extended by errors, those runs are also recorded as unearned.

I guess the logic is, "OK, Mr. Pitcher, you did enough to get out of this inning without any further scoring, and you should be resting in the dugout by now, but your defense let you down, so from here on in we won't hold you responsible."

That's my understanding of it, anyway. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

KLJ
07-12-04, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by Squid
I don't know this for sure, but since no one else has answered you yet ... I believe it's true:

If errors cause an inning to be extended and then more runs score -- like, let's say, there's an error with two outs that allows a batter to reach first base safely instead of being put out to end the inning, and then people start hitting homers -- then NONE of the runs that score for the rest of that inning are earned. The team that's hitting could score a thousand runs, and they would all be recorded as unearned.

I think even if some batters had PREVIOUSLY reached base through the fault of the pitcher (through hits, walks, hit-by-pitch, etc.), but they don't score until AFTER the inning is extended by errors, those runs are also recorded as unearned.

I guess the logic is, "OK, Mr. Pitcher, you did enough to get out of this inning without any further scoring, and you should be resting in the dugout by now, but your defense let you down, so from here on in we won't hold you responsible."

That's my understanding of it, anyway. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
you are correct..

all you need to do is re-construct the inning with no errors.. if 3 outs would of occured before any runs scored then the pitcher can give up 64 homeruns in a row and not one of the runs would be earned..

RhodeyYankee2638
07-12-04, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by KLJ

you are correct..

all you need to do is re-construct the inning with no errors.. if 3 outs would of occured before any runs scored then the pitcher can give up 64 homeruns in a row and not one of the runs would be earned..

I have another question, sometimes if theres a foul pop-up and say, the 1st baseman drops it, he isn't credited with an error all the time. Say theres 2 outs and the inning is extended, and guys unload on the pitcher, is it fair to him to get charged with the ER's? Shouldn't the ER rules be clarified a little bit more

Squid
07-13-04, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by RhodeyYankee2638


I have another question, sometimes if theres a foul pop-up and say, the 1st baseman drops it, he isn't credited with an error all the time. Say theres 2 outs and the inning is extended, and guys unload on the pitcher, is it fair to him to get charged with the ER's? Shouldn't the ER rules be clarified a little bit more

As stated above, I'm no expert, but ...

I don't actually see a problem here.

As far as I know, when a fielder misses a foul pop-up, when the official scorer thinks he SHOULD have caught it, it counts as an error, and it may effect the categorization of subsequent runs, making them unearned when they might otherwise have been earned. Whereas, if the official scorer thinks it was a particularly difficult play to make, it's scored as "no play" and no error, so it doesn't affect the earned/unearned question.

But this is pretty much parallel to the situation with a fair pop-up. If the fielder SHOULD catch it, and he doesn't, it's an error, and that ruling could change later runs from earned to unearned. If it's too tough a play, it's scored as a hit, and it won't change any earned runs to unearned.

As for whether all this is fair ... um, I would say "roughly."

In either case -- with a foul pop-up or a fair pop-up -- sometimes a ball that's hit really weakly (good job by the pitcher) is HARDER to catch than a ball that's really smacked (bad job by the pitcher). Sometimes a bloop foul pop-up dunks in for a no-play -- just like sometimes a bloop fair ball dunks in for a double.

All this illustrates is why a single statistic, particularly an old-school stat like ERA, never tells the whole story.