# What is this baseball stat?April 27, 2024 5:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking at a baseball box score on ESPN's site. At the bottom of the pitching section there's a line for "Game Scores" with a number for one (but only one) of the pitchers for each team. I can't even guess what the number is suppose to represent.

Example: today's Dodger-Blue Jay game. Glasnow has a "Game Score" of 70, and Kikuchi has 41. It seems to be an ESPN-made-up thing because I don't see it on any other sites, but I can't find an explanation. "Game Score" is not a very google-able term. What does it mean in this context?
posted by ctmf to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)

posted by alygator at 5:33 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]

Wikipedia and MLB pages on it.
posted by yuwtze at 5:34 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]

Game score is a great stat.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:25 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For completeness (in case those links rot), the pitcher's game score is as follows. (This is the original version, invented by Bill James; I can't tell if the one ESPN shows is that one or Tom Tango's improved but very similar version.)

50 + (outs) + 2 * (completed innings after the 4th) + strikeouts - 2*hits - 4*earned runs - 2*unearned runs - walks

I can't find a source for this, but very roughly the game score ends up being the percent probability that the pitcher's team wins given that performance, and it ranges from about 0 to 100. The all-time maximum for a nine-inning game is 105 (Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game). Negative scores are of course possible but usually the pitcher would get pulled before that happens.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:56 PM on April 27 [7 favorites]

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