The game-winning RBI didn’t last a decade, but an identical stat for pitchers, the win, has lasted over 100 years. Why?
Kansas City Royals 6, Milwaukee Brewers 4 (Game Review)
PITCHER WINS VS GAME WINNING RBI
The Royals beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday 2-0. As a team, the Royals allowed three hits and walked two.
Kris Bubic was terrific. He allowed just one hit and walked two in six innings. He looked much more confident than we saw him in any previous starts going back to last year.
Jake Brentz closed out the eighth inning by retiring the only batter he faced. He threw five pitches. Three of those pitches were strikes. Brentz was credited with the win.
Does that make any sense? Of course, it doesn’t. But as we know, baseball doesn’t always make sense. Bubic dominated for six innings and wasn’t determined to be the pitcher who won the game for his team. No, baseball scoring rules determined that Brentz did such an outstanding job that he should be awarded the win.
This approach to awarding wins to pitchers is worthless. What surprises me is that baseball implemented something similar for batters before realizing the flaw and ultimately discarding it.
From 1980-1988, Major League Baseball had a stat called the game-winning RBI. This was the RBI that gave the winning team a lead which it wouldn’t relinquish. MLB stopped recognizing the game-winning RBI when baseball decided that it was meaningless.
The game-winning RBI was an attempt to recognize players who could hit in big spots and knock in runs that led to their team’s success. The problem was that people decided that a base hit in the first inning that stood throughout the game as the hit that gave the winning team the lead was not a skill but rather just a coincidence.
MLB rules award pitcher wins similarly. The pitcher of record, when his team takes a lead it doesn’t relinquish, is credited with the win. Oh, well, that’s unless it’s the starting pitcher and he doesn’t finish five innings. That’s right. A relief pitcher can throw one pitch and get a win. A starting pitcher has to get at least 15 players out to get a win.
Now, I believe that wins for a starting pitcher are a big deal. Many baseball fans do not agree. My view is that a starting pitcher has to pitch over half of a regulation game and be better than his opponent. Ultimately, a starting pitcher can allow as many runs as he likes as long as he does better than the opponent. Wins are awarded each game. It doesn’t matter how a pitcher does over the course of the season.
But how baseball awards a win for a relief pitcher is pretty ridiculous. Who would say that Jake Brentz was the biggest reason the Royals won that game on Tuesday? Nobody. So why not be able to award the win to Kris Bubic? It’s not like the Royals were losing when he left the game and the offense overcame the deficit.
Maybe a team win should be able to be awarded if nobody stood out on the mound. Ultimately, it’s not a big deal. It’s probably not worth as much time as I have spent writing about it. It’s just amazing to me how baseball can “quickly” decide that the game-winning RBI is worthless but cannot change an identical statistic for pitchers simply because it has been around for over a hundred years.
Kansas is participating in a multi-team event in November in Orlando. Alabama, Miami, Dayton, Drake, Iona, Belmont, and North Texas will participate.
NOTES: The SEC is providing member schools with an additional $23 million due to losses from the covid. Missouri was projecting a loss this year of $30 million… Missouri also received approval from the Board of Curators to build an indoor practice facility for $33.4 million. The facility is expected to be ready by December of 2022.
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