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That was some win for Luis Avilan last night

Apr 15, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

I mentioned this in the recaps, but it’s worth mentioning again. Braves reliever Luis Avilan allowed five runs on four hits and a walk in one inning of work last night, squandering the Braves’ 5-1 lead. And, because he was still the pitcher of record when the Braves put up four runs in the top of the ninth, he was awarded with the win. As Jon Weisman points out, Avilan became the first winning pitcher to allow at least five runs in an inning or less in 80 years.

Once again, here’s his line, alongside those of his teammates:



But hey, that’s how wins work. The only time you’ll ever see someone other than the pitcher of record when the final lead was achieved awarded the win is when the starter doesn’t go five innings, thus allowing the official scorer to award it to the most effective overall reliever. But even then they still usually give it to the guy in Avilan’s shoes. The point was moot last night anyway as Ervin Santana pitched six strong innings.

Just another thing to remember the next time some ignoramus goes on about how important and telling pitcher wins are.

  1. Jeremy T - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Doesn’t the scorekeeper have the option to award the win to someone else if the pitcher of record had a bad game, like Avilan did?

    • Detroit Michael - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      Yes, when there is a subsequent pitcher who pitched effectively. The scorer should have awarded the win (and no save) to Carpenter.

    • Jeremy T - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      I found the specific rule, rule 10.17(c)

      The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.
      Rule 10.17(c) Comment: The official scorer generally should, but is not required to, consider the appearance of a relief pitcher to be ineffective and brief if such relief pitcher pitches less than one inning and allows two or more earned runs to score (even if such runs are charged to a previous pitcher). Rule 10.17(b) Comment provides guidance on choosing the winning pitcher from among several succeeding relief pitchers.

      So apparently the fact that he finished an inning made it not quite as cut and dried that he should’ve given the win to Carpenter. I’d say the 3 extra runs cancels out the fact that he got 3 outs instead of 2, though.

      • El Bravo - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        Very interesting and I didn’t know the official rule. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, apparently 1IP is good enough to get a win. Wins really ARE everything :/

      • flamethrower101 - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        We had a similar situation last year in a Yankees/Orioles game, where David Robertson blew up for the Yankees and Mariano Rivera came in and was awarded the win instead of the save. Robertson wasn’t nearly as bad then as Avilan was last night but it’s interesting that other scorekeepers interpret this rule differently. In fact I’d be willing to be that at least half of them are unaware that this such rule even exists.

      • Detroit Michael - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        I doubt that this is a case of an official scorer thinking that wins are everything. It’s more likely to be either (i) ignorance of the rule or (ii) thinking that Carpenter should be rewarded with a save, not a win.

      • moogro - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        So there’s no 5 inning requirement as Craig claimed?

      • Jeremy T - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        The 5 inning requirement is covered in a different part of Rule 10.17. Part (b) if I’m remembering right, although I don’t have the rulebook in front of me right now.

  2. cur'68 - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Matt Lidstrom did much the same thing in the White Sox/Indians tilt the other night. Came in with a CWS lead, coughed it up. Left the game a run down and the Sox’s Alexi Ramirez homered in the bottom of the 9th to bring them back. Lidstrom blew the save, gave up the lead and got the win. Ye dogs and little piglets. It’s almost as stupid as “The Transfer Rule”.

    • hk62 - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      In that case, there was no subsequent reliever either. We have all seen hundreds of box scores though with (BS,#) W (W-L record) after the closers name. But if no one pitches after them, there is no choice. Unless we want to have Team Wins.

      • cur'68 - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        Just don’t award the win to a pitcher then. They don’t win games in any case. If you want to make an argument for the win, then give it to Alexi Ramirez. After all, they lost but for his hero-shot.

  3. Gator Hater - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    I can’t believe this gets its own post. Slow news day. Posts about philly fans and a win for a crappy reliever. Craig, get your Pulitzer speech ready……

    • mckludge - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      Unusual events and odd box scores are why some of us like baseball.

    • nbjays - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Hey, judging by the user name, it looks like either Dirtyharry or Vivabear has an alias….

  4. grumpyoleman - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Yeah look at all these people who don’t understand this happens once in a while and claim wins or even RBI’s are all telling 😦. Kind of a stupid snarky comment.

  5. nymets4ever - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Uuh…there are still PLENTY of less extreme scenarios where wins are more meaningful/telling than the Avilan situation here. But keep wailing away at only the most distorted examples, all it proves is how much of a snarky stathead moron you are.

    • daveitsgood - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      scenarios such as…? You’re leaving us hanging in anticipation of your hypothetical scenarios to disprove Craig here. Way to build the suspense.

      • Gator Hater - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        So does Wheeler not deserve the win? I could give you millions of these. Again, Craigs example is extreme. There are tons of 5-2 scores where the pitcher who was given the win probably deserved it.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      I’d estimate that 40 to 50 percent of the time, the win goes to the pitcher who deserved it. And even that assumes that you’d have to assign a win to just one pitcher. Here’s another, also from yesterday

      In a one-run game, I bet that the “wrong” pitcher gets the win 75-80 percent of the time. In extra innings games, it’s probably 90 percent. Someone who cared about pitcher wins could do the research. Me, I just ignore the stat.

    • billybawl - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      So… wins are meaningful when they’re deserved, but when we get an example like Avilan, it’s an outlier that we should overlook? Got it.

  6. renaado - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Uggla should be the one accredited with the win LoL!

  7. rcali - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    He’s like Tim Tebow, just wins.

  8. Gator Hater - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Why is it always old school stats vs. sabermetrics? I’ll never understand why you have to be on one side or the other. Am I correct that the league leader in RBI’s are usually pretty good hitters. Are the league leaders in Wins usually pretty good pitchers? I understand that neither stat is perfect but they are still one aspect of a stat line. Both old and new school stats are all just pieces of the puzzle on how we view baseball players.

    • DJ MC - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      The key phrase in your post, though, is “pretty good”. The best hitter in the league probably has quite a few RBIs, but the man who leads in RBIs may not be the best hitter. Same with wins, and batting average, and most other counting/”traditional” stats.

      The reason people argue against that so much is that for so long most people only looked at those things in judging players. If a batter didn’t have as many RBIs, or a pitcher as many wins, then there had to be something wrong with them and not with the situation they were in. And instead of looking at new ideas as better ways of judging players, they took them as threats to tradition.

      If you want to talk about a batter’s RBIs and a pitcher’s wins, go right ahead. Just please understand not just that there are other ideas out there but why people on both sides get defensive.

  9. sfm073 - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    It’s not that I don’t agree with you that wins are overrated, but using this as an example to prove your point is dumb. People who value wins are looking at starting pitchers who have 15+, not some relief pitcher who lucked into a win or two here or there.

    • DJ MC - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      That is a fair point. However, in the bigger picture this applies to the pitchers who give up six runs in five-and-two-thirds innings, leave with the lead because their team scored seven runs, and end up with the label of “winner” or “pitch-to-the-score” instead of the acknowledgement that they really didn’t pitch all that well.

  10. gmagic9044 - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Luis Avilan = TWTW

    Hawk would be so proud…

  11. Francisco (FC) - Apr 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Man, that’s not Vulturing a Win, That’s an Andean Condor right there!

  12. Bob Loblaw - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    My fantasy league this year changed to QS instead of Wins and SV+Holds instead of just Holds. And I have Carpenter. So if they take away his save and give him the win, I lose a SV+Hold and get ungotz.

    Don’t change it. I rather like the way it all worked out 8)

    • Francisco (FC) - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      I was lucky, Papelbon wasn’t directly responsible for that meltdown.

  13. lazlosother - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    People here just don’t get it. Avilon is ahead of the curve. Jack Morris pitched to what the score was, Avilon pitches to what the score will be. He deserves the win for this bit of groundbreaking genius.

  14. galaragabigcat - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    The rule states if the reliever is ineffective or gave up more than 2 runs in one inning or less he doesn’t get the win. The scorekeeper made an error. The win should have gone to Robertson as Avilan was ineffective and gave up more than 2 runs. It should be changed!

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