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Earned Runs

 

The Major League Official Baseball Rules, followed by the Atlantic League, states the following in Rule 10.18:

 

Rule 10.18 Earned Runs

 

An earned run is a run for which the pitcher is held accountable. In determining earned runs, the inning should be reconstructed without the errors (which include catcher's interference) and passed balls, and the benefit of the doubt should always be given to the pitcher in determining which bases would have been reached by errorless play. For the purpose of determining earned runs, an intentional base on balls, regardless of the circumstances, shall be construed in exactly the same manner as any other base on balls.

(a)

An earned run shall be charged every time a runner reaches home base by the aid of safe hits, sacrifice bunts, a sacrifice fly, stolen bases, putouts, fielder's choices, bases on balls, hit batters, balks or wild pitches (including a wild pitch on third strike which permits a batter to reach first base) before fielding chances have been offered to put out the offensive team. For the purpose of this rule, a defensive interference penalty shall be construed as a fielding chance.

  (1) A wild pitch is solely the pitcher's fault, and contributes to an earned run just as a base on balls or a balk.

(b)

No run shall be earned when scored by a runner who reaches first base

(1)

on a hit or otherwise after his time at bat is prolonged by a muffed foul fly;

(2)

because of interference or obstruction or

(3)

because of any fielding error.

(c)

No run shall be earned when scored by a runner whose life is prolonged by an error, if such runner would have been put out by errorless play.

(d)

No run shall be earned when the runner's advance is aided by an error, a passed ball, or defensive interference or obstruction, if the scorer judges that the run would not have scored without the aid of such misplay.

(e)

An error by a pitcher is treated exactly the same as an error by any other fielder in computing earned runs.

(f)

Whenever a fielding error occurs, the pitcher shall be given the benefit of the doubt in determining to which bases any runners would have advanced had the fielding of the defensive team been errorless.

(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. EXCEPTION: see example 7.

 

EXAMPLES

 

(1)

P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. B grounds out, sending A to second. C flies out. D singles, scoring A. Charge run to P1.

 

(2)

P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. B forces A at second. C grounds out, sending B to second. D singles, scoring B. Charge run to P1.

 

(3)

P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. B singles, sending A to third. C grounds to short, and A is out at home, B going to second. D flies out. E singles, scoring B. Charge run to P1

 

(4)

P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. B walks. C flies out. A is picked off second. D doubles, scoring B from first. Charge run to P2.

 

(5)

P1 walks A and is relieved by P2. P2 walks B and is relieved by P3. C forces A at third. D forces B at third. E hits home run, scoring three runs. Charge one run to P1; one run to P2, one run to P3.

 

(6)

P1 walks A, and is relieved by P2, P2 walks B. C singles, filling the bases. D forces A at home. E singles, scoring B and C. Charge one run to P1 and one run to P2

 

(7)

P1 walks A, and is relieved by P2. P2 allows B to single, but A is out trying for third. B takes second on the throw. C singles, scoring B. Charge run to P2.

 

(h)

A relief pitcher shall not be held accountable when the first batter to whom he pitches reaches first base on four called balls if such batter has a decided advantage in the ball and strike count when pitchers are changed.

 

(1)

If, when pitchers are changed, the count is

   

2 balls, no strike

2 balls, 1 strike

3 balls, no strike

3 balls, 1 strike

3 balls, 2 strikes

   

and the batter gets a base on balls, charge that batter and the base on balls to the preceding pitcher, not to the relief pitcher.

 

(2)

Any other action by such batter, such as reaching base on a hit, an error, a fielder's choice, a force out, or being touched by a pitched ball, shall cause such a batter to be charged to the relief pitcher. NOTE: The provisions of 10.18 (h) (2) shall not be construed as affecting or conflicting with the provisions of 10.18 (g).

 

(3)

If, when pitchers are changed, the count is 

   

2 balls, 2 strikes

1 ball, 2 strikes

1 ball, 1 strike

1 ball, no strike

no ball, 2 strikes

no ball, 1 strike

   

charge that batter and his actions to the relief pitcher.

(i)

When pitchers are changed during an inning, the relief pitcher shall not have the benefit of previous chances for outs not accepted in determining earned runs. NOTE: It is the intent of this rule to charge relief pitchers with earned runs for which they are solely responsible. In some instances, runs charged as earned against the relief pitcher can be charged as unearned against the team

     
 

EXAMPLES

 

(1)

With two out, P1 walks A. B reaches base on an error. P2 relieves P1. C hits home run, scoring three runs. Charge two unearned runs to P1, one earned run to P2.

 

(2)

With two out, P1 walks A and B and is relieved by P2. C reaches base on an error. D hits home run, scoring four runs. Charge two unearned runs to P1, two unearned runs to P2.

 

(3)

With none out, P1 walks A. B reaches base on an error. P2 relieves P1. C hits home run, scoring three runs. D and E strike out. F reaches base on an error. G hits home run, scoring two runs. Charge two runs, one earned, to P1. Charge three runs, one earned, to P2.

 

These rules are quoted directly from the Major League Official Baseball Rules, which “govern the playing of baseball games by professional teams of the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, and the leagues which are members of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues."

 

 

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