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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Winning Pitcher: Bumgarner….er, Affeldt

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The decision that the scorers originally made appears to be based on a comment that appears next to Rule 10.17(b) - part of the rule that covers how the winning pitcher is determined - which is also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:

It is the intent of Rule 10.17(b) that a relief pitcher pitch at least one complete inning or pitch when a crucial out is made, within the context of the game (including the score), in order to be credited as the winning pitcher. If the first relief pitcher pitches effectively, the official scorer should not presumptively credit that pitcher with the win, because the rule requires that the win be credited to the pitcher who was the most effective, and a subsequent relief pitcher may have been most effective.

This comment is referenced in the comment to rule 10.17(c):

Rule 10.17(b) Comment provides guidance on choosing the winning pitcher from among several succeeding relief pitchers.

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 official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher that pitcher whose team assumes a lead while such pitcher is in the game, or during the inning on offense in which such pitcher is removed from the game, and does not relinquish such lead, unless(1) such pitcher is a starting pitcher and Rule 10.17(b) applies; or (2) Rule 10.17(c) applies.

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:

If the pitcher whose team assumes a lead while such pitcher is in the game, or during the inning on offense in which such pitcher is removed from the game, and does not relinquish such lead, is a starting pitcher who has not completed
(1) five innings of a game that lasts six or more innings on defense, or
(2) four innings of a game that lasts five innings on defense,
then the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the relief pitcher, if there is only one relief pitcher, or the relief pitcher who, in the official scorer’s judgment was the most effective, if there is more than one relief pitcher.

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):

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.

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.

Mike Emeigh Posted: October 30, 2014 at 10:43 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: November 01, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4833639)
Now, whether the rule makes sense is another discussion entirely. But they followed the rule.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 01, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4833642)
The rule is explicit, but it's way too rigid. Bumgarner clearly deserved being credited with the win.
   3. BDC Posted: November 01, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4833649)
I dunno, we've all come round to seeing pitcher Wins as an arbitrary concept anyway. Except as a puzzle (neatly solved by Mike here), who cares?
   4. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 01, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4833655)
This would have been a much more hotly debated topic 30 years ago. Nowadays, the awareness has crept into even casuals' minds that pitcher wins are a mostly irrelevant toy statistic, a relic of a century past.
   5. The District Attorney Posted: November 01, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4833660)
I can't reconcile (b):
the rule requires that the win be credited to the pitcher who was the most effective
with (c):
The official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher that pitcher whose team assumes a lead while such pitcher is in the game, or during the inning on offense in which such pitcher is removed from the game... unless... [he] is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead.
(c) says there's a presumption in favor of the pitcher who was in the game at a particular point, and unless he is peculiarly unworthy of that presumption (i.e. he didn't pitch well and someone else is a better alternative), the win should go to him. (b) says don't worry about who pitched when; just give it to the guy who pitched the best. I think it's contradictory.

In this situation, when two relievers pitched exceptionally well, I think the equitable thing is to give them both "something", which is accomplished by giving Affeldt the win and Bumgarner the save. But I wouldn't say that the rules compel that result, because they're poorly written.

I would guess Mike is right that they intended (c), and (b) is more "flavor text." If so, they should rewrite (b) so that it's worded less emphatically. That's just my guess, though; I don't think the rules "say" that.
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 01, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4833664)
This would have been a much more hotly debated topic 30 years ago. Nowadays, the awareness has crept into even casuals' minds that pitcher wins are a mostly irrelevant toy statistic, a relic of a century past.

You're right, but in this case it still would have been nice to see Bumgarner entered in the same category with other 3 game WS winners, which based on his performance is where he belongs. Flags fly forever, and so do Pitcher Wins, whether or not in many cases it's a less than significant metric.
   7. Monty Posted: November 01, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4833675)
I think Bumgarner's performance will probably be remembered fairly well, even without the stat.
   8. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 01, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4833677)
What I'm saying is I don't think many people today really care about whether Bumgarner gets to be in the club with Christy Mathewson and Lew Burdette--what those guys accomplished is now impossible, and that fact neatly demonstrates why the statistic Pitcher Wins, designed well over a century ago, has long since lost its relevance.
   9. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: November 01, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4833704)
I think Bumgarner's performance will probably be remembered fairly well, even without the stat.

Of course--and the statistical ruling helps. Aside from the performance being memorable in and of itself, a 5-inning save is way more unusual (and thus more memorable) than a mere relief win.
   10. Rob_Wood Posted: November 01, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4833714)
Hey, did someone just mention Lew Burdette?
   11. BDC Posted: November 01, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4833827)
DA, I think that Mike is reading (b) and (c) as inherently irreconcilable. (b) applies when a starter leaves before five with a lead; Hudson didn't. (c) applies to pitchers who inherit a lead, but Affeldt didn't. The Giants went ahead while Affeldt was pitching, and his appearance was neither brief nor ineffective. By the rules it's pretty much impossible to see it as other than W Affeldt S Bumgarner.
   12. The District Attorney Posted: November 01, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4833868)
Okay, so essentially, the primary goal of the rules is to preserve the "winning pitcher is the guy who was in when they took the lead" framework.¹ So in this situation, Affeldt wins. But if Hudson had left with the lead, then there'd be no way to give the win to the pitcher who was in when the lead was established, and therefore Bumgarner, the guy who actually pitched the best, would win. Yup, upon further review, I agree that does look right.

¹ Just to illustrate how dumb this concept is, I like to call him the "game-winning RBI teammate."
   13. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 02, 2014 at 01:36 AM (#4833967)
Robin Ventura's grand slam single is remembered 1,000 times more than the 3 official postseason HRs he hit.
   14. bobm Posted: November 02, 2014 at 07:05 AM (#4833979)
Okay, so essentially, the primary goal of the rules is to preserve the "winning pitcher is the guy who was in when they took the lead" framework

I would say that the rule in practice does more to enforce the practice of starting pitchers going at least 5 innings.
   15. bobm Posted: November 02, 2014 at 07:10 AM (#4833980)
From 1998 to 2014, as Starter, (requiring IPouts>=15), sorted by greatest Performances matching selected criteria in a Season

                              
Rk   Year            #Matching
1    2011      4160 Ind. Games
                              
2    2014      4148 Ind. Games
                              
3    2010      4110 Ind. Games
                              
4    2005      4083 Ind. Games
                              
5    2013      4081 Ind. Games
                              
6    2012      4024 Ind. Games
                              
7    2001      3994 Ind. Games
                              
8    2002      3987 Ind. Games
                              
9    1998      3986 Ind. Games
                              
10   2009      3985 Ind. Games
                              
11   2008      3977 Ind. Games
                              
12   2006      3974 Ind. Games
                              
13   2003      3968 Ind. Games
                              
14   2004      3957 Ind. Games
                              
15   2007      3953 Ind. Games
                              
16   2000      3909 Ind. Games
                              
17   1999      3885 Ind. Games


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/2/2014.
   16. bobm Posted: November 02, 2014 at 07:13 AM (#4833981)
From 1998 to 2014, Complete Game, sorted by smallest Performances matching selected criteria in a Season

                              
Rk   Year            #Matching
1    2007       112 Ind. Games
                              
2    2014       118 Ind. Games
                              
3    2013       124 Ind. Games
                              
4    2012       128 Ind. Games
                              
5    2008       136 Ind. Games
                              
6    2006       144 Ind. Games
                              
7    2004       150 Ind. Games
                              
8    2009       152 Ind. Games
                              
9    2010       166 Ind. Games
                              
10   2011       173 Ind. Games
                              
11   2005       189 Ind. Games
                              
12   2001       199 Ind. Games
                              
13   2003       209 Ind. Games
                              
14   2002       214 Ind. Games
                              
15   2000       234 Ind. Games
                              
16   1999       237 Ind. Games
                              
17   1998       302 Ind. Games


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/2/2014.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2014 at 07:37 AM (#4833982)
I think Bumgarner's performance will probably be remembered fairly well, even without the stat.

Of course it will, but that's only because it's fresh in our memories today and stored on a million different websites. When the great World Series pitching performances of all time were being recalled during the course of this year's World Series, how many mentions were there of Bob Turley, compared to Christy Mathewson or Bob Gibson? It's that third win that sets that handful of pitchers apart in the permanency of the record books. Bumgarner's performance may have been the equal of any of them, but without giving him deserved credit for that third win, what tangible category does it fall under?

And yes, pitching wins are a dubious precision measure of quality, for reasons we all have memorized in our catechisms. But the rule is stupid and Bumgarner deserved the win.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2014 at 07:40 AM (#4833983)
Robin Ventura's grand slam single is remembered 1,000 times more than the 3 official postseason HRs he hit.

Sure, and scores of players with good to very good careers are remembered almost exclusively for one nightmarish moment. (R.I.P. Fred Merkle, Freddy Lindstrom, Ralph Branca, etc., etc.) That doesn't really have much to do with the larger issue.
   19. BDC Posted: November 02, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4834010)
Andy, I think Bob Turley is not highly relevant. He had a wacky World Series in 1958, with two great outings, but his save in Game Six was a single batter, and they only got to play a Game Seven because he'd had the #### beat out of him in Game Two.

I promise to make my son and eventual grandsons promise to beat up any bar patron who casts aspersions on Madison Bumgarner for only winning two games in the 2014 World Series :)
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4834036)
Andy, I think Bob Turley is not highly relevant. He had a wacky World Series in 1958, with two great outings, but his save in Game Six was a single batter, and they only got to play a Game Seven because he'd had the #### beat out of him in Game Two.

The point is that whereas Don Larsen, Bill Mazeroski, Jack Morris, and Bob Gibson have postseason pegs that are easily categorized (perfect game, Series ending home run, extra inning prime time 1-0 shutout in game 7, 3 wins in a Series), both Turley's and Bumgarner's accomplishments lack a peg as easily labeled as those. They're each unique, but they're complicated.

I promise to make my son and eventual grandsons promise to beat up any bar patron who casts aspersions on Madison Bumgarner for only winning two games in the 2014 World Series :)

This is a separate point, but the truth is that 50 years from now your eventual grandsons won't remember Madison Bumgarner any more than they'll remember Joe Flacco's great 4 game performance in the 2012 NFL postseason, or any one of a zillion Magic Moments which get replaced by another zillion Magic Moments almost as soon as the ink is dry. By and large, people only really remember what they witnessed first hand. Just look at any of those ESPN Top 25 shows and notice how few of them go back much more than 40 years.

One caveat: If Bumgarner winds up in the Hall of Fame, then his World Series feats will assume a much larger in life role, since then they'll fit snugly into his overall narrative. But a 25 year old pitcher with a career ERA+ of 116 and no major awards has still got a ways to go before that happens.
   21. BDC Posted: November 02, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4834037)
By and large, people only really remember what they witnessed first hand

You may be right, though of course it's too bad you may be right. Baseball has often seemed to me an exception to that rule of memory. I grew up thinking a lot about the 1906 Series, the Merkle game, the Black Sox, Alexander striking out Lazzeri, the Called Shot, Bevens and Lavagetto … well, I may have had a warped childhood, which also explains my BBTF addiction and my Texas Rangers ticket budget. But ballparks were always full of ghosts to me, and I think to a lot of fans of my generation (and even my father's or grandfather's: they couldn't remember Merkle or Tinker/Evers/Chance, either). Ken Burns has done his best to help younger generations grow up the way I did. But it may well be that the trend is toward the NFL/NBA mindset of erasing everything but the current spectacle and split-second montage appearances by Vince Lombardi and Michael Jordan.
   22. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: November 02, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4834040)
I think things have changed. There was a thread recently where Harvey shared some wonderful first hand memories of seeing Bob Feller pitch and I was enthralled. As I thought about it I was a bit saddened because while there is a part of me that would love to see some HD, full color video of Feller pitching there is something glorious about a recollection and memory of something happening. In a sense an oral history gives you the emotion of the event while the video gives you the factual event.

As an example my friends' great grandkids will see David Ortiz' walk-offs in 2004 so they will have less interest in hearing about the experience. Because of that I think they will lose out on the emotion of what it was like to be there. Alexander striking out Lazzeri is precious in part because it is not something we have seen over and over again so it is not diluted.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, just that it is a change.
   23. Thok Posted: November 02, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4834042)
both Turley's and Bumgarner's accomplishments lack a peg as easily labeled as those.


A game 7, five inning save isn't easily pegged? Five inning saves are roughly as rare as perfect games: nobody else has ever done that in the postseason, nor in the last 10 years.
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4834045)
both Turley's and Bumgarner's accomplishments lack a peg as easily labeled as those.

A game 7, five inning save isn't easily pegged?


Turley's game 7 win in relief was 6 2/3 innings, with 1 run on 2 hits. It came after an uberclutch save the day before,** and a Series saving shutout 2 days before that. All three of those games were do-or-die for the Yankees. But few people under 65 have any idea who Bob Turley even was.

**He came in with 2 outs and the tying and winning runs on base to get the final out, after the Yankees' ace reliever Ryne Duren had done his best to blow the game.
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4834047)
By and large, people only really remember what they witnessed first hand

You may be right, though of course it's too bad you may be right. Baseball has often seemed to me an exception to that rule of memory. I grew up thinking a lot about the 1906 Series, the Merkle game, the Black Sox, Alexander striking out Lazzeri, the Called Shot, Bevens and Lavagetto … well, I may have had a warped childhood, which also explains my BBTF addiction and my Texas Rangers ticket budget. But ballparks were always full of ghosts to me, and I think to a lot of fans of my generation (and even my father's or grandfather's: they couldn't remember Merkle or Tinker/Evers/Chance, either). Ken Burns has done his best to help younger generations grow up the way I did. But it may well be that the trend is toward the NFL/NBA mindset of erasing everything but the current spectacle and split-second montage appearances by Vince Lombardi and Michael Jordan.


I do think it's a generational thing. Prior to its sale to the Times-Mirror in 1977, The Sporting News was the great link to baseball's past, with an almost endless series of articles and interviews that related to the game of many decades past. And if anything, these stories were even more prominently displayed in the offseason, as a reminder of the link between past and present. Today we've got the baseball channel, and a near-endless loop of videos from recent decades, but outside the realm of SABR there's nothing today that's remotely like what The Sporting News provided back then. Today, once the World Series is over it's off to football and basketball and hockey and a million other competitors for the casual fan's attention.

And Ken Burns is doing his best, but his documentaries aren't seen 52 weeks a year the way that The Sporting News was read.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4834053)
I think things have changed. There was a thread recently where Harvey shared some wonderful first hand memories of seeing Bob Feller pitch and I was enthralled. As I thought about it I was a bit saddened because while there is a part of me that would love to see some HD, full color video of Feller pitching there is something glorious about a recollection and memory of something happening. In a sense an oral history gives you the emotion of the event while the video gives you the factual event.

As an example my friends' great grandkids will see David Ortiz' walk-offs in 2004 so they will have less interest in hearing about the experience. Because of that I think they will lose out on the emotion of what it was like to be there. Alexander striking out Lazzeri is precious in part because it is not something we have seen over and over again so it is not diluted.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, just that it is a change.


Good points. For me it's a case of living memory being reinforced by guides and books and magazines and videos, but the games I actually watched in person or on TV are almost always going to be the ones that remain most "real". And with the few exceptions where I didn't see the game "live", the best experience always comes with reading about it first, and only then to see the video. Reading about it first provides the necessary background to fully appreciate what I then see on the screen. Knowing the context beforehand always expands one's enjoyment.
   27. Covfefe Posted: November 02, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4834056)
But few people under 65 have any idea who Bob Turley even was.


Well, they do if they had dreams of pitching as a young boy and bought Bob Turley's Pitching Secrets...
   28. Thok Posted: November 02, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4834057)
**He came in with 2 outs and the tying and winning runs on base to get the final out, after the Yankees' ace reliever Ryne Duren had done his best to blow the game.


That seems a little harsh to Duren, given that he had held the Braves scoreless in innings 6-9 and had gotten the first two outs of the tenth inning (albeit giving up a run in the process).
   29. BDC Posted: November 02, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4834058)
Looking through some of the gamelogs, I notice that B-Ref shows every pitcher's first postseason appearance of a year as happening on 99 days rest. And they wonder why the TV ratings are so low :)
   30. McCoy Posted: November 02, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4834063)
Because of that I think they will lose out on the emotion of what it was like to be there.

But the thing of it is that thanks to the ubiquity of cameras now that not only can you watch the replay of a telecast over and over but you can also watch amateur videos shot inside the park, in bars, out on the street, and in homes. For instance for the David Ortiz HR there is a youtube clip out there that was shot inside the stadium and you get a great sense of the euphoria.
   31. Don Malcolm Posted: November 02, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4834226)
The fact that Bumgarner and Turley had "complicated" scenarios should work in their favor in terms of being remembered, but the argument here (pegged to the psychology of this place) is that the dum-dums out there can't remember anything more complicated than putting on their socks. (Shoes can still be more complicated, at least some of the time, so we'll go for the socks.)

A five-inning save happens to be a unique occurrence in the post-season, so possibly its singularity might stick in the minds of the benighted. Then again...

But Turley really isn't in Bumgarner's class, as others point out, because he has a bad outing/loss in the mix. He's certainly unique, but so is Larry Sherry (two wins and two saves).

Also, as thok points out, Stengel was trying to get Duren to throw FIVE innings in relief. Now, it's true that Duren had thrown five innings in a game earlier in 1958--but he STARTED that game! (And on one day's rest to boot!) It's pretty clear that Casey was not only crazy like a fox, he was also just plain crazy, at least at this point.

Of course, he had fewer pitchers to work with. But I presume you were watching or listening to the game, Andy. Was Kucks warming up at all?
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4834260)
The fact that Bumgarner and Turley had "complicated" scenarios should work in their favor in terms of being remembered, but the argument here (pegged to the psychology of this place) is that the dum-dums out there can't remember anything more complicated than putting on their socks.

When it comes to baseball memories, most non-hardcore fans can't remember anything that happened before they were about 10 or 12, beyond a few iconic moments and records. All that means is that Bumgarner's performance isn't likely to linger in the public's imagination all that much longer than Turley's for anyone born after about 2004. That's more of an observation than any sort of judgment, since we all have our preferences as to what to store in our memory banks.

A five-inning save happens to be a unique occurrence in the post-season, so possibly its singularity might stick in the minds of the benighted. Then again...

But Turley really isn't in Bumgarner's class, as others point out, because he has a bad outing/loss in the mix. He's certainly unique, but so is Larry Sherry (two wins and two saves).


But only one of Bumgarner's games was with his team's backs to the wall, as opposed to all three of Turley's. No question that Bumgarner's overall postseason was better, but that's a separate question. Both of their performances were unique in their own way.

Sherry was purely a relief pitcher who pitched but 12 innings in the '59 World Series. He also won the Series MVP, but his accomplishment wasn't nearly on the same level as either of those other two pitchers.

Also, as thok points out, Stengel was trying to get Duren to throw FIVE innings in relief. Now, it's true that Duren had thrown five innings in a game earlier in 1958--but he STARTED that game! (And on one day's rest to boot!) It's pretty clear that Casey was not only crazy like a fox, he was also just plain crazy, at least at this point.

Of course, he had fewer pitchers to work with. But I presume you were watching or listening to the game, Andy. Was Kucks warming up at all?


Not that I can remember one way or the other, but I doubt it. Turley came into the game in the last of the 3rd with one out and stranded two inherited runners. He gave up a solo home run in the 6th inning, but other than that he didn't allow a runner past first until there were two outs in the ninth with the Yankees four runs ahead. He got the Series MVP with no dissenting voices.


   33. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 02, 2014 at 11:43 PM (#4834302)
I can't reconcile (b):
the rule requires that the win be credited to the pitcher who was the most effective
with (c):
The official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher that pitcher whose team assumes a lead while such pitcher is in the game, or during the inning on offense in which such pitcher is removed from the game... unless... [he] is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead.


That's because you're only looking at a portion of 10.17(b), and not the entire rule.

10.17(b) refers to the situation where the scorer has to determine the winning pitcher because the starting pitcher left the game in the lead that his team did not relinquish, but didn't pitch five innings. In that case, the rule requires that the scorer credit the win to the most effective reliever.

10.17(c) refers to the situation where the scorer has to determine the winning pitcher because a reliever in line for a win pitched both briefly and ineffectively - this would happen, for example, when a pitcher goes 1/3 of an inning and gives up the tying run, only to have his team come back and take the lead. In that case, the rule requires that the scorer credit the win to the most effective succeeding reliever.

They are not irreconcilable, or contradictory; they refer to different situations where the scorer has some discretion to choose the winning pitcher. But in this situation, neither rule applies - assuming a reasonable definition of "brief and ineffective" in 10.17(c) (at least one person has argued that because Bumgarner's outing was both longer and more effective that Affeldt's, 10.17(c) should have applied).

-- MWE
   34. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 03, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4834317)
Well, let's wait and see the next ten years of Bumgarner's career. Bob Turley's trouble was that he was only pretty good before 1958, and nothing much after it. Yeah, it's 56 years later, and that has the most to do with Turleymania's fade. But it's likely that Randy Johnson's performance will have more legs in 2057 than Turley's does today. (And not just because Randy Johnson had more legs.)

Bumgarner's somnambulent hayseed image won't hurt, either, if it sticks. Bob Gibson's three-win 1967 is better remembered and more often cited than Mickey Lolich's three-win 1968 because Gibson had a better career and a persona.
   35. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 03, 2014 at 07:33 AM (#4834339)
Well, let's wait and see the next ten years of Bumgarner's career. Bob Turley's trouble was that he was only pretty good before 1958, and nothing much after it.

Turley had four distinct careers after he settled into a starting role with the Orioles in 1954.

First he was seen as the next Bob Feller because of his speed. This early incarnation caused the Yankees to trade half their roster for him and Don Larsen in the 1954-55 offseason. SPORT ran a Turley cover story with the title "DID THE YANKEES WIN THE PENNANT IN THE WINTER?"

Then after a promising start in his first month or two of his Yankee career, he devolved into an easily rattled wild man, best exemplified by his breakdown in the 1955 World Series when Jackie Robinson tormented him on the basepaths, and when Earl Torgeson stole home on him during one of his double pump windups.

Then after he and Larsen went to the no-windup motion, he settled down and became one of baseball's better pitchers for two years, culminating in a CYA and World Series MVP in 1958. At that point he was still only 27.

Then he blew his arm out and that was that.

Yeah, it's 56 years later, and that has the most to do with Turleymania's fade. But it's likely that Randy Johnson's performance will have more legs in 2057 than Turley's does today. (And not just because Randy Johnson had more legs.)

Ask the average 70 year old today if they remember the presidential election of 1956, then come back in 50 years and ask the 70 year olds of 2064 what they remember of Bush vs. Kerry. Memories fade over time, and memories of Randy Johnson's game seven 50 years down the road will likely be concentrated in Phoenix.

   36. Howie Menckel Posted: November 03, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4834354)

"Bumgarner's somnambulent hayseed image won't hurt, either, if it sticks."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/sports/baseball/world-series-2014-madison-bumgarner-sf-giants-ace-is-product-of-north-carolina-and-proud-father.html?_r=0

"Just before midnight Wednesday, I walked up a darkened driveway to a brick home along a rural lane. A linebacker-size man with a shaved pate swung open the door, peered at me and loosed a soft, celebratory howl.

“Wooooooooooo.”

The man, Kevin Bumgarner, trundled back into his living room, waving at me to follow. He eased into his recliner, where he’d spent the last three hours in the highest of high anxiety, watching as the San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals and claimed the World Series title.

He had more than a normal rooting interest. His son, Madison, the best postseason pitcher on the planet, plays for the Giants. And on this night, Madison had pitched five innings and earned the save.

“I didn’t know if he had enough left tonight,” Kevin said. “But I did know that boy would try to steal a steak off the devil’s plate.”
   37. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 03, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4834363)
Robin Ventura's grand slam single is remembered 1,000 times more than the 3 official postseason HRs he hit.

And yet, Nelson Cruz was declared to have hit the first walkoff grand slam in postseason history in 2011. Which, by the way, caused me to lose an argument with my non-sports-fan father, 12 years after the fact. Thanks, baseball announcers!
   38. Don Malcolm Posted: November 03, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4834372)
Of course, he had fewer pitchers to work with. But I presume you were watching or listening to the game, Andy. Was Kucks warming up at all?

Not that I can remember one way or the other, but I doubt it. Turley came into the game in the last of the 3rd with one out and stranded two inherited runners. He gave up a solo home run in the 6th inning, but other than that he didn't allow a runner past first until there were two outs in the ninth with the Yankees four runs ahead. He got the Series MVP with no dissenting voices.


Actually, Andy, I was referring (or attempting to refer) to Game Six, where Turley came in to get the final out. Clearly, of course, it's been nearly sixty years and you are most likely to be proving your own point about memory...! I was just curious about why Casey went to Turley in that spot instead of Kucks...clearly the instinctive touch of The Old Perfesser.

#36--That's a great quote, Howie. Thanks for posting it. We should all be guarding our steaks!!
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 03, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4834388)
Of course, he had fewer pitchers to work with. But I presume you were watching or listening to the game, Andy. Was Kucks warming up at all?

Not that I can remember one way or the other, but I doubt it. Turley came into the game in the last of the 3rd with one out and stranded two inherited runners. He gave up a solo home run in the 6th inning, but other than that he didn't allow a runner past first until there were two outs in the ninth with the Yankees four runs ahead. He got the Series MVP with no dissenting voices.

Actually, Andy, I was referring (or attempting to refer) to Game Six, where Turley came in to get the final out. Clearly, of course, it's been nearly sixty years and you are most likely to be proving your own point about memory...! I was just curious about why Casey went to Turley in that spot instead of Kucks...clearly the instinctive touch of The Old Perfesser.


It's possible that the highlight film of that World Series would show Turley emerging from the bullpen and let us see if anyone else was warming up, but given that at that point it was a do-or-die situation and not long relief, I can't imagine that Casey even thought about bringing in any pitcher other than Bullet Bob. The only way Kucks might have gotten into that game would've been if the Braves had tied it and the game had dragged on. And then he might just as likely have brought in Art Ditmar.
   40. Don Malcolm Posted: November 04, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4835272)
It's possible that the highlight film of that World Series would show Turley emerging from the bullpen and let us see if anyone else was warming up, but given that at that point it was a do-or-die situation and not long relief, I can't imagine that Casey even thought about bringing in any pitcher other than Bullet Bob. The only way Kucks might have gotten into that game would've been if the Braves had tied it and the game had dragged on. And then he might just as likely have brought in Art Ditmar.


Yes, it's all speculation at this point. But let's keep in mind that we still had exceptionally fluid concepts of "long/short" relief at that time. Kucks and Ditmar were the "alternate" save guys (as that has been reconstructed for us...) behind Duren. Even then, it was highly unorthodox to go to a starter--particularly one who'd thrown a complete game two days earlier--instead of a rested reliever. (Also note that Casey couldn't have used Ditmar here, because Ditmar had already relieved Ford in the second and thrown 3.2 IP.)

Also odd to note that Turley came into face Frank Torre (lefty batter) and another pitcher who hadn't appear in the Series at all--lefty Bobby Shantz--was nowhere to be found. Was he even on the post-season roster? The Yanks show nine pitchers used in the '58 Series and a total of 22 players overall...so there are (ostensibly) three players on the roster who didn't get into the action. Was Shantz one of 'em? If so, why? He'd been a swing man all the way thru the year and pitched a day or so before the end of the regular season.

   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 04, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4835327)
According to the 1959 Baseball Guide, Shantz was indeed on the World Series eligibles roster. As for why he wasn't used at all in 1958, the only thing I can surmise is that he wasn't particularly effective in the one start he had against the Braves in 1957. In the case of game 6, however, I'm pretty sure that Casey just wanted to go with his best pitcher, even on only one day's rest, to get that final out.

Of course you're right about Ditmar. I guess I shouldn't always rely on memory after 56 years, even though I might have been more invested in that Series than any other before or since. It would have crushed my 14 year old soul to see America's team lose yet another Series to a bunch of beer guzzling, potbellied, German speaking Indians.**

**At least that's how Willard Mullin depicted them.
   42. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 04, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4835615)
Stengel was notorious for changing up his pitching patterns in the World Series. You can find a different strategy in just about every postseason set of games that the Yankees played under Casey.

-- MWE
   43. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 05, 2014 at 08:29 AM (#4835829)
Stengel was notorious for changing up his pitching patterns in the World Series. You can find a different strategy in just about every postseason set of games that the Yankees played under Casey.

No kidding. Here were his starters in each of his 10 World Series. Home games are in bold, and there weren't any travel days before 1957:

1949 vs Brooklyn - Reynolds, Raschi, Byrne, Lopat, Raschi. Reynolds pitched 4 innings of relief in game 4.

1950 vs Phillies - Raschi, Reynolds, Lopat, Ford. Reynolds saved game 4.

1951 vs Giants - Reynolds, Lopat, Raschi, (rain), Reynolds, Lopat, Raschi.

1952 vs Brooklyn - Reynolds, Raschi, Lopat, Reynolds, Sain, Raschi, Lopat. Reynolds pitched 2 innings in game 6 and 3 innings in game 7, while Raschi served as a bridge in game 7 between Reynolds and Bob Kuzava.

1953 vs Brooklyn - Reynolds, Lopat, Raschi, Ford, Jim McDonald, Ford. Reynolds saved the last two games.

1955 vs Brooklyn - Ford, Byrne, Turley, Larsen, Grim, Ford, Byrne. Turley also relieved in game 5.

1956 vs Brooklyn - Ford, Larsen, Ford, Sturdivant, Larsen, Turley, Kucks. Kucks also relieved in games 1 and 2.

1957 vs Milwaukee - Ford, Shantz, (travel day), Turley, Sturdivant, Ford, (travel day), , Turley, Larsen. Larsen also pitched 8 innings of relief in game 3, and Shantz and Sturdivant were also used in relief.

1958 vs Milwaukee - Ford, Turley, (travel day), Larsen, Ford, Turley, (travel day), Ford, Larsen. Turley also saved game 6 and pitched 6 2/3 innings to get the win in game 7.

1960 vs Pittsburgh - Ditmar, Turley, (travel day), Ford, Terry, Ditmar, (travel day), Ford, Turley. Terry also relieved in game 7 (ouch!).

For the first three years, Stengel had a standard 4 man rotation, with the rainout in 1951 enabling him to cut out the 4th starter. But after 1951, he was like a mad scientist, though it nearly always worked. The only pure blunder he made was not starting Ford in 1960 until game 3, which cost Stengel a third start for his only effective pitcher. Ditmar's two starts in games 1 and 5 lasted a total of 1.2 innings.

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