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— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Thursday, October 30, 2014
One of the major story lines from Game 7 of the World Series was the decision by the official scorers to initially award the win to Madison Bumgarner, only to reverse themselves upon review after the game was over, and give the win to Jeremy Affeldt instead.
The decision that the scorers originally made appears to be based on a comment that appears next to Rule 10.17(b) - part of the rule that covers how the winning pitcher is determined - which is also repeated in rule 10.17(c). That comment has been quoted frequently by supporters of the original decision, and reads like this:
This comment is referenced in the comment to rule 10.17(c):
What most people fail to realize, however, is that neither rule 10.17(b) nor rule 10.17(c) applied, and therefore the comment doesn’t even come into play.
Let’s walk through what the logic that the scorers should have applied (and probably, if belatedly, did apply).
Rule 10.17(a) reads as follows:
The Giants assumed the lead in the second inning, but immediately relinquished that lead in the bottom half of the inning, when starter Tim Hudson departed to be replaced by Affeldt. The Giants regained the lead in the top of the fourth, and held it through the end of the game. Affeldt was in the game at the time the Giants assumed the lead that they did not relinquish, and is therefore the presumptive winning pitcher. By the clear wording of rule 10.17(a), furthermore, Affeldt receives credit for the win unless one of the two exceptions applies.
Rule 10.17(b) reads as follows:
Clearly, 10.17(b) does not apply. Hudson, who was the starter, didn’t depart while the team held a lead that it did not relinquish, and Affeldt, who was the pitcher in the game when the Giants took the lead that they did not relinquish, was not the starting pitcher.
Now let’s look at rule 10.17(c):
Bumgarner was more effective than Affeldt, true, but rule 10.17(c) applies only when both circumstances hold - the pitcher in line for the win must have been ineffective in a brief appearance and a succeeding reliever was effective. The reference to the rule 10.17(b) comment comes into play only when rule 10.17(c) is applied and the team used more than one pitcher after the ineffective reliever. There is no reasonable argument to be made that Affeldt pitched either briefly or ineffectively - so clearly, 10.17(c) also does not apply.
So now when we walk back to 10.17(a), what do we have? 10.17(a) states that Affeldt should be credited with the win unless either 10.17(b) applies or 10.17(c) applies. 10.17(b) does not apply. 10.17(c) does not apply. Ergo, Affeldt receives credit for the win.
Simple enough, and the application of the rule should have been clear enough when taken out of the heat of the moment.
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