The fantasy baseball umps are screwing me over here.
April 4, 2007 4:51 PM   Subscribe

[MLBfilter] Why does Diamondbacks starting pitcher Doug Davis get credited with a loss?

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=270404127

If we look at the box score, Davis left the game down 3-2; however, the Diamondbacks scored two runs in the 9th which would have been enough for the win. It seems to me that D.J. Durbin who gave up 7 runs in the 8th inning and had a ERA of 94.5 for the game is deserving of the loss since he was the one who lost them the game.
posted by j-urb to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
excuse me, here's the box score.
posted by j-urb at 4:51 PM on April 4, 2007


ESPN box score says the same.
posted by j-urb at 4:53 PM on April 4, 2007


The losing pitcher is the one who gives up the lead for the last time. (Roughly). Since AZ never regained the lead or tied it the other runs are meaningless

The fact that the lead was lengthened and shortened again doesn't matter
posted by bitdamaged at 5:03 PM on April 4, 2007


BTW when you're down by 8 runs in the 9th I doubt they were facing a closer, those last two runs are pretty much meaningless
posted by bitdamaged at 5:05 PM on April 4, 2007


The pitcher left the game down one run. He was the starting pitcher, he gets the loss. I think if the Dbacks did win in the ninth at most Davis would have gotten a no decision.
posted by spicynuts at 5:05 PM on April 4, 2007


The above answers are right. Here are the MLB rules on the subject.
posted by jeffmshaw at 5:07 PM on April 4, 2007


it's been a while since I followed baseball stats closely, but I THINK if the starter leaves the game with his team behind, and then they lose, he takes the loss. The exception is if his team takes the lead, and then another pitcher blows it. Arizona never led, so the loss goes to the starter.

However, I believe the official scorer can make exceptions in cases of extreme unfairness. Since Davis didn't give up any earned runs at all, this might be one of those cases. Check back tomorrow and see if there's been a change. (doubtful, but you never know)
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:07 PM on April 4, 2007


The applicable line from the MLB rulebook,
Once the opposing team assumes the lead all pitchers who have pitched up to that point are excluded from being credited with the victory except that if the pitcher against whose pitching the opposing team gained the lead continues to pitch until his team regains the lead, which it holds to the finish of the game, that pitcher shall be the winning pitcher;
More specifically, from Wikipedia,
In Major League Baseball, a loss (denoted L) is charged to the pitcher of the losing team who allows the run that gives the opposing team the lead which the game is won with (the go-ahead run).
Your DBacks never had the lead, thus Davis gave up the go-ahead. This bit might comfort fans of the losing pitcher, if not those that have him on their fantasy team,
When analyzing pitchers, perhaps the most misleading stat is record. A pitcher’s record does not tell us how well or poorly he has performed. It is a team stat. Teams win and lose, not individuals. Sure, the better a pitcher does the more likely he’ll win. But so many other factors are to be considered in the outcome of a game. Does the team have a powerful lineup? Or is it sickly? Pitchers can also get no decisions due to a late-inning comeback after they’ve left the game for outings which they deserved either a win or loss. Record is a team stat.
posted by coolhappysteve at 5:16 PM on April 4, 2007


What's even crazier is that a pitcher's ERA can drop even when he's not in the game, if players that are left on base in the inning he is relieved in go ahead and score off the reliever.
posted by phaedon at 5:33 PM on April 4, 2007


i mean, the pitcher's ERA can increase, not drop.
posted by phaedon at 5:35 PM on April 4, 2007


Now that the question has been answered, I would like to contend that there is absolutely nothing crazy about baserunners belonging to the pitcher who let them on base.

People keep track of these data
to see who is and is not effective with inherited runners.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:38 PM on April 4, 2007


good point.
posted by phaedon at 5:40 PM on April 4, 2007



What's even crazier is that a pitcher's ERA can drop even when he's not in the game, if players that are left on base in the inning he is relieved in go ahead and score off the reliever.


Echoing Kwantsar, this is not crazy at all. You let a person on base - if they score they earned the run and you are the pitcher that put them in a position to earn that run. You are responsible for them, therefore your ERA goes up.
posted by spicynuts at 7:30 PM on April 4, 2007


You might also find this interesting, phaedon.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:34 PM on April 4, 2007


You might also find this interesting, phaedon.

I read that as "2 outs, bases loaded, there is an 81.5% chance that a run will be scored."

What I don't see is how tying a pitcher's ERA to the runners left on base helps you determine the reliever's efficacy in terms of getting out of the inning without a run.

or maybe, kwantsar, what im saying is i dont know INR, BQB, or BQS are. i also noticed INR dips in to the negative for lower ranked pitchers.
posted by phaedon at 7:43 PM on April 4, 2007


now that i think of the reasoning, it sounds right. thanks.
posted by j-urb at 7:51 PM on April 4, 2007


not an 81.5% chance, but (on average) .815 runs.

The glossary for the other chart is here.

The point I am trying to make, which you can grasp (whether or not you agree), is that an average reliever facing an average offense will give up an average .555 runs in an inning if he starts with the bases empty. If he starts with the bases loaded and no outs, he (his team) will give up 2.417 runs. The excess 1.9 runs have to be given to someone, and the baseball gods have decided that runs will be given to the pitcher who left the men on base to begin with. Over time, this ought to even out, but some would argue, for example, that Cliff Politte's superb relief pitching was a boon to the 2005 White Sox, and that their starters were perhaps worse than their stats indicated.

Maybe you get all that, or you don't give a damn, but I think it's very interesting.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:04 PM on April 4, 2007


finally the sort of question that's right up my alley, and i'm way too late to answer it
posted by andifsohow at 8:20 PM on April 4, 2007


What I don't see is how tying a pitcher's ERA to the runners left on base helps you determine the reliever's efficacy in terms of getting out of the inning without a run.

It doesn't. That's part of the reason why people who like to analyze baseball have developed a bunch of stats (see also Kwantsar's link above) much more sophisticated and meaningful than ERA.

If you're one of those people still committed to the notion that BA/HR/RBI/BB/K and ERA/W-L/K, plus Grittiness/Character/Clubhouse Guy-ness, are the best way to measure baseball players' performance and value to their clubs, I suggest you read FIRE JOE MORGAN throughout this season and see what you think at the end.
posted by staggernation at 9:18 PM on April 4, 2007


thanks, i will. as for "do i give a damn", i find the older i get, the more interesting this is.

Over time, this ought to even out, but some would argue, for example, that Cliff Politte's superb relief pitching was a boon to the 2005 White Sox, and that their starters were perhaps worse than their stats indicated.

Based on your previous comments, this seems to be normal, although I don't get why this should even out over a period of time.

... Actually, I do get it. You're comparing "runners positions" for when a starter starts and goes through the inning, versus a reliever. I never thought of the positions as being that dramatically different. Intense comment.
posted by phaedon at 10:44 PM on April 4, 2007


Wow. As someone who's interested in American sports yet whose knowledge of baseball extends to 'they hit the ball and then they run round the diamond', this is fascinating. I never knew there were so many stats in baseball.
posted by corvine at 5:20 AM on April 5, 2007


I second staggernation's suggestion of Fire Joe Morgan. They demolish cliches in a readable, entertaining, and highly informative manner.

For articles and stats that will help increase your understanding of the game, try Hardball Times. Some of the articles are too stat-involved for me, but there's a lof in there.

And I agree with coolhappysteve-- the lesson learned here is that wins and losses are a terrible metric to evaluate a pitcher's performance.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:06 AM on April 5, 2007


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