A reader pointed out something earlier this morning that had slipped our attention. During last night’s game, Wade Davis was charged with 3 runs even though the eventual 3rd run reached base after Davis had been removed from the game.

Here is the play-by-play:

  1. Aaron Hill singles off of Wade Davis
  2. Wade Davis is replaced by Randy Choate
  3. Adam Lind grounds into a fielder’s choice with Hill retired at second base
  4. Randy Choate is replaced by Dan Wheeler and Adam Lind is replaced by DeWayne Wise
  5. Yada, yada, yada
  6. Wise scored Jays 3rd run

So Davis’ runner was retired after he left the game and the runner Choate put on base was charged to Davis. We have spent a lot of years around baseball and yet this seemed quite odd.

Several commenters exaplained the anomoly, but Ryan provided the rule book evidence:

Rule 10.18
(g) When pitchers are changed during an inning, the relief pitcher shall not be charged with any run (earned or unearned) scored by a runner who was on base at the time he entered the game, nor for runs scored by any runner who reaches base on a fielder’s choice which puts out a runner left on base by the preceding pitcher.
NOTE: It is the intent of this rule to charge each pitcher with the number of runners he put on base, rather than with the individual runners. When a pitcher puts runners on base, and is relieved, he shall be charged with all runs subsequently scored up to and including the number of runners he left on base when he left the game, unless such runners are put out without action by the batter, i.e., caught stealing, picked off base, or called out for interference when a batter runner does not reach first base on the play.

Amazing that either: a) we have just never noticed this before or; b) it is that rare that the rule just doesn’t come into play that often. But that being said, it does make sense. It would seem unfair to charge Choate with the run when the only batter he faced hit a groundball out.

Certainly not that important in the grand scheme of things (unless you are a fantasy baseball diehard), but interesting nonetheless.

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4 Comments

  1. Rytor says:

    Thanks for the mention, Prof.

    I wonder if there are ever exceptions that can be made at the official scorer's discretion? Like, this fake example involving Rays and Jays:

    Cecil starts inning.
    Cecil allows single to Upton.
    Frasor replaces Cecil.
    Crawford grounds into fielder's choice, Upton out at 2nd.
    Crawford steals second.
    Crawford steals third.
    Longoria hits sacrifice fly to left, Crawford scores.
    Pena flies out to right.

    In this case, should Cecil be charged with the run? If it weren't for the steals, the two fly outs would have led to no runs. What do you think?

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    • Rytor says:

      Oh - and to clarify - if you're thinking "Upton could have just as easily stolen those bases", replace him with Pat Burrell or Navarro or something. Pretend the chance of the first runner stealing is minimal.

      Then again, it makes me wonder if that runner was swapped for a pinch runner if that would change anything..

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      It does seem to open it up to a lot of "What if" scenarios. But the rule book seems pretty straight forward and doesn't give the scorer any wiggle room like it does in other areas (eg awarding a Win)

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  2. MJ says:

    Learn somethin every day.

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