See, this is what I mean

That inning’s the DIPS argument in a nutshell. Hampton’s been getting along all his career allowing way too many walks and not getting enough strikeouts. And with a good defense behind you and if you don’t allow extra base hits, you can do that for awhile. But if you can’t make the bat miss the ball, you’re going to have innings where you give up four hits and three runs sometimes, and that’s that.

Note that the two errors in the inning didn’t lead to any runs and all runs are scored earned. Does that mean that the defense in that inning was better than it was last night, when so many “unearned” runs were scored?

3 thoughts on “See, this is what I mean”

  1. It is all about the timing of the errors. If Player A, and Player B get out, then Player C reaches on an error, then Player C comes around to score, whatever the scenario is, his run is unearned. Regardless of the pitcher’s inability to pitch around an error, the reasoning for an unearned run is that a) the player would not have reached base at all, thus not allowing him to get around and score or b) the error would have eventually caused 3 outs and he would be erased.

  2. That’s true, Rob, but it’s somewhat silly. Say the “error” Player C reaches on is a ball hit up the middle that the shortstop makes a great play to get to, then throws in the dirt. Now, let’s say the pitcher gives up 3 or 4 consecutive extra base hits. None of the runs that score will be earned. However, you can’t say that each of these runs scored solely because of the missed out; if the pitcher didn’t give up huge bombs, the runs wouldn’t score either. However, with unearned runs, the first scenario happens. That’s what Mac’s problem is.

  3. I agree with Kyle; there are unearned runs and there are unearned runs. Logically, just because a fielder makes an error doesn’t mean the pitcher is not responsible. Having a guy make an error is no excuse for giving up five straight hits or something. In that sense, ERA can be misleading. A good pitcher should be able to pitch around some errors.

    Since Hampton got here, his results have often been much better than his actual pitching. For example, his game against the Dodgers when he gave up no runs in six innings was simply bizaare. He pitched absolutely horribly, but was getting line drives hit right at people (or having Andruw make a circus catch) and getting weird double plays with men on base. Hampton has done that a lot over the last couple of years. I bet the Braves would like to dump him but his upcoming salary I suspect makes him untradeable unless the Braves eat a lot of it.

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