Talkin’ baseball: Interesting Scoring Rules

An earned run is a run that is ruled by the official scorerto have resulted exclusively from actions by the batting team and not because of errorsby the defense. When the fielding team makes an error or passed ball, the scorer is supposed to “reconstruct” the inning assuming that the defensive miscue did not occur. Only runs that would have scored barring the miscue are considered earned; all others are considered to be unearned.

Example 1:    Play: Batter A singles. While batter B is at bat, A advances to second on a passed ball. Batter B then hits a homerun. Batter C reaches second base on a 2 base error. Batter D singles C home. Batter E grounds out, with D advancing to second. Batter F doubles D home. Batter G grounds out, with F advancing to third. Batter H singles home F. Batter I strikes out to end the inning. 5 runs scored.

Reconstructed inning: A singles. B hits a homerun, scoring A. Batter C is out. Batter D singles, advances to second on E’s groundout, and scores on F’s double. G grounds out to end the inning. 3 runs scored.

Because A, B, and D all score in the reconstructed inning, their runs are considered to be earned. C and F do not score in the reconstructed inning, so their runs are considered to be unearned.

The example shows two general rules of scoring earned and unearned runs:

  1. A batter who reaches base on an error can never score an earned run.
  2. A run that scores after there should be three outs is never earned.

The accounting of earned runs is more complicated when relief pitchersare used. Each pitcher is liable for the runners he allowed on base via hit, walk, or hit by pitcheven after he is pulled for a reliever. Batters who replace a previous runner on a fielder’s choiceare charged to the previous pitcher. Also, when considering when the inning would be over except for errors, relief pitchers are not relieved of responsibility by errors that were committed before they were brought into the game. This means that some runs may be considered earned for an individual relief pitcher but not for the team as a whole, so team earned runs are often less than the sum of the earned runs allowed by the individual pitchers.

Example 2:     Play: Pitcher 1 is pitching. Batter A reaches first on an error. Batter B doubles, scoring A. C reaches on a bunt single, with B advancing to third. Pitcher 2 relieves 2. D grounds into a fielder’s choice, with B scoring and C out at second. E triples, scoring D. F grounds out, with E scoring. G strikes out. Four runs score.

In this case, the run by A is unearned because he reached base on an error. The run by B is earned and charged to 1. The run by D is also earned. Because D replaced ‘C on a fielder’s choice and C was originally allowed on base by 1, his run is charged to 1. The run by E is considered unearned for the team because the groundout by F should have ended the inning, but it’s considered earned for Pitcher 2 because he doesn’t get the benefit of the error committed while 1 was pitching.

Earned runs were originally intended as an offensive measure, showing how much of a team’s scoring was the result of their batting success rather than the other team’s fielding mistakes. Today is it used as a measure of pitching, showing how many of the runs given up by a pitcher were the result of his own mistakes rather than defensive failures.

Major League Rule 10.18, which covers earned and unearned runs

The official rulebook of Major League Baseballstates:

(a) The official scorer shall credit the batter with a run batted in for every run that scores (1) unaided by an error and as part of a play begun by the batter’s safe hit (including the batter’s home run), sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly, infield out or fielder’s choice, unless Rule 10.04(b) applies; (2) by reason of the batter becoming a runner with the bases full (because of a base on balls, an award of first base for being touched by a pitched ball or for interference or obstruction); or (3) when, before two are out, an error is made on a play on which a runner from third base ordinarily would score. (b) The official scorer shall not credit a run batted in (1) when the batter grounds into a force double play or a reverse-force double play; or (2) when a fielder is charged with an error because the fielder muffs a throw at first base that would have completed a force double play. (c) The official scorer’s judgment must determine whether a run batted in shall be credited for a run that scores when a fielder holds the ball or throws to a wrong base. Ordinarily, if the runner keeps going, the official scorer should credit a run batted in; if the runner stops and takes off again when the runner notices the misplay, the official scorer should credit the run as scored on a fielder’s choice.
An infield fly out is called by an umpire on an batted infield pop up in the following situation in HS baseball:
1.  Man on 1st and 2nd and less than 2 outs
2.  Basesloaded and less than 2 outs
3.  On an intentional drop with a man on and less than 2 outs
The hitter is automatically out in the above situations and the runners may always adavnce at their own risk after the necessary retag of the previous base………..
This dates back to the golden age of baseball when the center on the ball was a type of condensed cork, a little different from what it used to today.  This cork was then wrapped and covered in leather with red stitching.  It was not that hard at times to take apart a ball and THE PILL would be all that was left.  Hence the name.
When a player puts down a sacrifice bunt and it is mishandled by the fielder – it still goes down as a SAC bunt in the book with an error charged to the fielder.  The intent of the hitter giving himself up to move a runner is taken into consideration first.

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