Posted in Baseball, Baseball Scorekeeping, Uncategorized

Scorekeeping 101: So just who won Game 7?

Jeremy Affeldt's 2014 Topps baseball card
Jeremy Affeldt’s 2014 Topps baseball card

Last night, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals by the score of 3-2 in Game 7 to win their third World Series championship in the past five years.

Madison Bumgarner finished off the game with five scoreless innings on two day’s rest, cementing his status as the World Series MVP.

If you were watching, you might remember Joe Buck mentioned that the official scorer had sent word that Bumgarner would receive credit for the win. And for almost an hour, Bumgarner did have a 3-0 record in the 2014 World Series.

But as Benjamin Hoffman noted in the New York Times, that’s not what history will actually record.

Jeremy Affeldt, the pitcher of record at the time the Giants took their 3-2 lead, ultimately got the “W” by his name. Bumgarner instead received credit for the extremely rare five-inning save.

While the initial scoring decision seemed to comply with the provisions of Rule 10.17(b), the scoring panel decided that it was not consistent with the comment that follows in the rule book:

If two or more relief pitchers were similarly effective, the official scorer should give the presumption to the earlier pitcher as the winning pitcher.

Hoffman explains:

In general, if a starting pitcher does not complete five innings, and the score is tied, a victory is assigned to the pitcher of record when the lead changed hands. The exception is when the scorer determines the reliever of record was ineffective.

While Bumgarner was more effective than Affeldt, it would be tough to argue that Affeldt was ineffective.

So if you kept score of last night’s game, you might need get out your eraser.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

World Series Game 1: Bumgarner bests “Big Game James”

Madison Bumgarner's 2010 Topps baseball card
Madison Bumgarner’s 2010 Topps baseball card

The first game of the World Series didn’t exactly follow the script. The battle of aces never materialized.

James Shields was completely ineffective, yielding five runs on seven hits in three plus innings. Waiting 10 days between games probably didn’t help Shields, but he has rarely looked like an ace come playoff time.

When the Giants scored three runs in the top of the first inning, that sucked a lot of energy out of the crowd. Even though the Royals have been masters of late-inning magic this month, it seemed like a longshot that they’d be able to best Madison Bumgarner after giving him a lead.

The Royals had their chances. Nori Aoki and Eric Hosmer managed some hard-hit outs in the bottom of the first. And in the third, Kansas City put runners on second and third with no one out. Unlike “Big Game James,” Bumgarner was able to shut down his opponent.

The Royals didn’t score until the seventh inning when Salvador Perez hit a two-out solo home run. By that point, Shields and Danny Duffy had combined to allow the Giants to score seven runs.

Maybe it was a moral victory – it was the first run Bumgarner had allowed in a World Series game, snapping a streak of 21 scoreless innings. Only Hall of Famer Christie Mathewson had a longer World Series scoreless streak at the start of his career. It was also the first run Bumgarner allowed in a major league record 32 2/3 playoff road innings.

Maybe the close, competitive series that most of us were expecting will materialize later tonight. On Tuesday, the Royals looked overmatched.