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Sunday, 10 August 2003

Official Scoring: Why my Guy!

Good morning everyone! I got a lot of great mail yesterday, thanks to everyone who wrote. I thought I'd share this one this morning.

Hey Guys,

Long time member here with a quick question. Why were Gordon's runs all earned last [Monday] night? Per the game log:

-D Relaford doubled to right.
-A Berroa sacrificed to pitcher, D Relaford to third, D Relaford scored, A Berroa safe at second on error by third baseman J Crede.
-K Harvey sacrificed to pitcher, A Berroa to third.
-B Mayne struck out swinging.
-D Brown singled to left, A Berroa scored.
-D Brown to second on wild pitch by T Gordon.
-A Guiel walked.
-J Randa singled to left, D Brown scored, A Guiel to second.
-C Beltran struck out swinging.

Shouldn't all the runs be unearned since first run scored on error and the subsequent 2 hitters made outs and thus the inning should be over??

As you can tell I am in dogfight in ERA but I find this scoring to be peculiar.

Once again - Great product and analysis!

- Subscriber Andres R.

Hi Andres!

We just happen to be lucky enough that I share an office with my buddy Bob Ellis, long time voice of the Lowell Spinners, U Mass Lowell Hockey, and official scorer for the Lowell Spinners. He is also, in fact, on the list of alternate official scorers for the Red Sox and does scoring seminars with Chaz Scoggins who is the head of the Boston Baseball Writers Association and the official scorer for the Red Sox … I’m just sayin’…I just happen to have some juice in this department <g>…

You may also remember Bob as the scorer who in his first MLB game, credited a hit on a sliding catch try by Trot Nixon in the 7th inning at Fenway a couple of years ago, ending Hideo Nomo’s bid for a second-consecutive no-hitter. It is to my knowledge the only time an official scorer hosted a press conference, causing Chaz to quip at lunch the next day “I’ve scored 1,000 major league games and never had a press conference. Leave it to Bob to get one on his first big league game.”

I was interested in the answer myself after looking over the log so I asked Bob about it. Here’s the deal with this inning …

Neither of us happened to see the play in question but the wording of the Angel Berroa sacrifice indicates that the scorer determined that on the play, the runner that Gordon tried to cut down (presumably at third base, judging by Crede’s error) would have been safe even if the throw was completed. Therefore Berroa was credited with a sacrifice.

If the scorer had determined the runner would have been out, there would be no sacrifice, it would have been ruled “reached on an error” and that’s how the batter would have been scored.

The error charged to Crede was an “advancement error” not an “out error”, meaning that you do not count the error as an out in reconstructing the inning for determining earned runs.

So what we have is: None of the runners who scored reached on errors, and all of the runs scored before a reconstructed third out because Crede’s error was not counted as an out as it only resulted in additional advancement. It did not cost the White Sox an out. So all of the runs are earned….

Sorry I could bring you any good news, or any ammunition to bring to your dog fight <g>…

Thanks for taking the time to write. I learned something today as a result and got to have a nice little discussion on scoring with Bob … And thanks for being one of us here at

Lou Blasi


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