The Pitcher Win Scoreboard

Joe Posnanski
Apr 3, 2017 · 2 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Something happened to the pitcher win over the last few years. Many people noticed it and many people did not: The pitcher win became obsolete.

I don’t mean it became obsolete in the sense that the pitcher win is a silly statistic that melts down baseball’s infinite complexities and endless possibilities into a single “Yeah, that guy won the game,” number. That’s always been pretty ridiculous.

No, the win became obsolete in an even more obvious way: Today, more often than not, the WRONG PITCHER gets credit for the win.

I suspect that anyone who likes the win — and for years and years, we all liked the win because it was all we knew — imagined it going to a starting pitcher, someone who pitched a bunch of good, solid innings. The loss, too, would go to a starting pitcher, the guy who didn’t quite have it that day.

Well, last year, more relievers got the win by going two-innings or less (724) than starters who went seven-innings or more (689). And even that does not really describe the absurdity of the pitcher win in 2017.

So … let’s keep score.

On Opening Day, there were three games — and obviously three wins. The first win of the 2017 season was earned by Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer by pitching seven good innings, allowing two runs. That, I imagine, is what fans of the pitcher win statistic like to see.

The second win went to Arizona’s Fernando Rodney, who pitched one inning and blew the save by giving up the one-run lead he was given.

The third win went to St. Louis’ Seung Hwan Oh, who pitched 1 2/3 innings of disastrous ball.

So let’s introduce the pitcher scoreboard. This is NOT intended to be a mathematical thing. Judgments made by the committee are final. So far we only have two categories: “Starters who pitch well” and “Relievers who struggle.” As the season goes on, we’ll add categories like “Starters who kind of stunk” and “Relievers who faced, like, one batter” and whatever else comes to mind.

For now, here’s the running Pitcher Win Scoreboard:

Relievers who struggle: 2 wins

Here’s to another glorious baseball season.

Joe Blogs

The official blog of Joe Posnanski

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store