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Games started definition question

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  • Geoff Buchan
    Hi all - I was wondering if someone could point to an official definition of games started for pitchers. I looked at the official MLB rules here:
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 24, 2011
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      Hi all - I was wondering if someone could point to an official definition of games started for pitchers.

      I looked at the official MLB rules here:

      But alas, those don't mention games started as a statistic.

      While this might seem simple and obvious, there's actually an  example from this season that's not so clear:

      Roy Oswalt was in the starting lineup on August 19th, but four batters into the game, a thunderstorm caused a long delay. The Phillies decided to replace Oswalt with Kyle Kendrick, so Oswalt never pitched to a batter, nor did he bat in the top of the 1st. But he was listed in the boxscore for both batting and pitching, and presumably he had "played" the game, and thus would not have been allowed to pinch hit, run, or otherwise reenter the game. The play-by-play for the game also says that Kendrick relieved Oswalt in the bottom of the first, before the first batter.

      The game logs and stats on MLB.com don't credit Oswalt with an appearance for that game at all, but they do count it as both a game and  a game started for Kendrick. Is this "correct", or is there even a "correct" definition of a start?

      I'm currently receiving a boxscore feed which does not list games started explicitly, so I'm inferring it from the pitching order. For this game, since Oswalt was listed in the boxscore, I credited him with the start and a game, and Kendrick's appearance was considered in relief.

      Any guidance on this would be appreciated.

      Regards,

      Geoff Buchan

    • Tangotiger
      I m sure someone can help you, notably Mike Emeigh. You can check the logs as Mike has explained this before. I think it was Mussina once? Anyone, I m only
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 25, 2011
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        I'm sure someone can help you, notably Mike Emeigh. You can check the
        logs as Mike has explained this before. I think it was Mussina once?

        Anyone, I'm only replying to say that you used the word "correct". The
        right word is "official". What is "correct" is whatever you can
        reasonably argue in favor of.

        I know in my case, if I'm preparing IP per GS, in no way would I include a
        game where a pitcher faces 0 batters as a GS.

        Tom
      • Clem Comly
        The starting pitcher for a team is the first pitcher to qualify for a game pitched. Games pitched are the same rule as games defensively and are defined in
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 25, 2011
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          The starting pitcher for a team is the first pitcher to qualify for a game pitched.  Games pitched are the same rule as games defensively and are defined in rule 10.20.  Note this rule has changed over time.  The Iron Horse's game as a middle infielder and Chris Short's game as LH catcher would disappear if current rule had been in place then.

          Clem Comly

           

          10.20 STATISTICS

          The League President shall appoint an official statistician. The statistician shall

          maintain an accumulative record of all the batting, fielding, running and pitching records

          specified in Rule 10.02 for every player who appears in a league championship game or

          post-season game.

          The statistician shall prepare a tabulated report at the end of the season, including all

          individual and team records for every championship game, and shall submit this report to

          the League President. This report shall identify each player by his first name and surname

          and shall indicate as to each batter whether he bats righthanded, lefthanded or both ways,

          and as to each fielder and pitcher, whether he throws righthanded or lefthanded.

          When a player listed in the starting lineup is substituted for before he plays on

          defense, he shall not receive credit in the defensive statistics (fielding) unless he actually

          plays that position during the game. All such players, however, shall be credited with one

          game played (in batting statistics) so long as they are announced into the game or listed on

          the official lineup card.

          Rule 10.20 Comment: The official scorer shall credit a player with having played on defense if

          such player is on the field for at least one pitch or play. If a game is called (for example, because of rain)

          after a substitute player enters the field but before a pitch is thrown or a play is made, the official scorer

          shall credit such player with a game played in the batting statistics but shall not credit such player in any

          defensive statistics. If a game is called (for example, because of rain) after a relief pitcher enters the field

          but before a pitch is thrown or a play is made, the official scorer shall credit such pitcher with a game

          played in the batting statistics but shall not credit such pitcher in any defensive statistics or with a game

          pitched.

          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2011 5:46 PM
          Subject: [baseball-databank] Games started definition question

           

          Hi all - I was wondering if someone could point to an official definition of games started for pitchers.


          I looked at the official MLB rules here:

          But alas, those don't mention games started as a statistic.

          While this might seem simple and obvious, there's actually an  example from this season that's not so clear:

          Roy Oswalt was in the starting lineup on August 19th, but four batters into the game, a thunderstorm caused a long delay. The Phillies decided to replace Oswalt with Kyle Kendrick, so Oswalt never pitched to a batter, nor did he bat in the top of the 1st. But he was listed in the boxscore for both batting and pitching, and presumably he had "played" the game, and thus would not have been allowed to pinch hit, run, or otherwise reenter the game. The play-by-play for the game also says that Kendrick relieved Oswalt in the bottom of the first, before the first batter.

          The game logs and stats on MLB.com don't credit Oswalt with an appearance for that game at all, but they do count it as both a game and  a game started for Kendrick. Is this "correct", or is there even a "correct" definition of a start?

          I'm currently receiving a boxscore feed which does not list games started explicitly, so I'm inferring it from the pitching order. For this game, since Oswalt was listed in the boxscore, I credited him with the start and a game, and Kendrick's appearance was considered in relief.

          Any guidance on this would be appreciated.

          Regards,

          Geoff Buchan

        • Geoff Buchan
          Thanks for the responses. This answers my question, and indeed that is how MLB.com treats it statistically. Oswalt doesn t get a game pitched, but he does get
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 25, 2011
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            Thanks for the responses. 

            This answers my question, and indeed that is how MLB.com treats it statistically. Oswalt doesn't get a game pitched, but he does get a game played in the batting statistics.

            I'm a tad embarrassed that the answer was indeed in the first link I sent with my original question - I didn't read the rules closely enough the first time to catch it!

            I do agree that if I'm computing innings per start, or even game, I wouldn't want to include a game where the pitcher never actually threw a pitch.
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