View Full Version : Media gaffe on game seven

10-30-2014, 08:05 AM
I was mystified this morning when an experienced AP writer said in the newspaper that Bumgarner was the winning pitcher in game seven, making him the only expansion-era pitcher other than Randy Johnson in 2001 to win 3 games in a World Series. I thought Affeldt should get the win, since he was pitcher of record when the Giants took their 3-2 lead.

Then I see that mlb.com correctly credits Affeldt with the win and Bumgarner with the save. I can't remember when a newspaper account had such a mistake on such a basic point.

10-30-2014, 08:16 AM
Pretty sure the offical scorer gave Madison the win. The offical has the decision to decided whether to give the win to someone else other than the pitcher on record.

10-30-2014, 08:35 AM
But the official MLB website, mlb.com gives Affeldt the win and Bumgarner the save. I believe the rules give the official scorer discretion only if the reliever pitched briefly and ineffectively, which was not the case here.

Makes me wonder if the scorer's initial ruling was changed? That happens a lot.

10-30-2014, 08:38 AM
Official scoring originally gave Madbum the win. About an hour after the game the official scoring was changed to give him the loooong save.

10-30-2014, 09:10 AM
thanks for the additional info! I suspect the scorer was confused by the rule that the starting pitcher doesn't get the win if he's the pitcher of record, but doesn't go five innings. Then the scorer gets to pick any reliever.

But the game was tied when Hudson left, so this provision doesn't apply. Affeldt's pitching was just as crucial and effective as Bumgarner's ( remember he stranded the runners he inherited from Hudson) So he doesn't deserve to be deprived of a World Series win.

10-30-2014, 09:18 AM
Interesting stuff. I left to pick up some dinner and didn't see the actual moment Bumgarner entered the game, so I took it for granted when they announced he won, that he had.

If Affeldt was the pitcher of record when the winning run was scored, then it seems like MLB got it right by clarifying Affeldt as the winner.

But yeah, that is a fairly large blunder on the part of the AP writer.

10-30-2014, 09:20 AM
Yea, I remember during the game they were talking about him getting the win, and then in the 9th they said he was going for a 5 inning save. I remember thinking.. Well, is it a win or a save? But they didn't address it again.

10-30-2014, 09:47 AM
If it was in a newspaper, I don't think you can call it a blunder. You have to consider that for the story to make print, it has to be in for a specific time. The reporter probably just reported the information that was available at the time. It's not his fault the OFFICIAL scorer incorrectly scored it. Either way, it was a decent series. Time for the hot stove to heat up.

10-30-2014, 10:43 AM
I don't mean to be critical of good-faith errors, as we all make them. But I remain surprised that the sports writers present didn't immediately question it. I'm not a sportswriter, but I questioned it as soon as I saw the article.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am aware of only two times an official scorer has discretion regarding a winning pitcher in a regulation game of nine innings:

1) If the starter is the pitcher of record when his team gets a permanent lead, but doesn't go five innings. Then the scorer picks a reliever. ( This happens occasionally during the regular season. The win typically goes to the effective reliever who pitched the most innings.)

2) If the reliever who's pitcher of record pitched only briefly and ineffectively. Then the scorer can give it to the next reliever only.

Neither case occurred here. Affeldt stranded inherited runners, and followed with two more scoreless innings to bridge the gap to Bumgarner. Hudson wasn't pitcher of record since he left with the score tied.

I think that decades ago, the rules were more vague, and the scorers had more discretion.But I've followed baseball for 57 years, and today's rules haven't, to my knowledge, been changed in that time.

10-30-2014, 11:11 AM
An article on ESPN.com says that Bumgarner's five-inning save was the longest in World Series history. Affeldt also is now second only to Rivera in consecutive scoreless relief appearances. Comments posted by fans on ESPN.com suggest that the scorer wasn't the only one confused by the scoring rules.

10-30-2014, 12:37 PM
That's one of the intriguing things about baseball. Just when you think you've got it all down, you learn something new, or discover some quirky rule.

There was really no clear-cut "starter" for the Giants who qualified for a win, and since the third pitcher ended up pitching most of the game, if all were right in the baseball world, Bumgarner probably (rightfully?) should be awarded the win. But that's not the way it played out, and Affeldt did a fantastic job the time he was in too. I don't think the Giants pitchers care either way. Bottom line is they got the job done, as a team, the way it's meant to be.

That said, I do feel kind of bad for the Royals and their fans. :(

10-31-2014, 01:02 PM
The logic of the rule is this: If a starter is the pitcher of record when his team assumes the lead permanently but doesn't last five innings, then there's no winning pitcher by the "pitcher of record" criterion. So the official scorer picks a reliever at his discretion.

But if the starter's not the pitcher of record when his team assumes the lead permanently, then one of his reliever teammates is. Thus, the official scorer could not exercise discretion without taking a win away from someone who'd got it the regular rule book way. The additional provision about a brief and ineffective appearance is clarified in the official rules as lasting less than an inning and allowing at least two earned runs. This didn't apply to Affledt.

The current official MLB rules are expressly clear on these points, so there is no way Bumgarner could have gotten a win except through the scorer's mistake. Apparently the army of media people sitting near the scorer took an hour to get it straight, and some stories had already hit the wires.

I checked my history sources, and the rule books I have through 1947 don't specify criteria for winning and losing pitchers. The current rule appeared when the rules were re-worded in my 1952 rule book. Back then, relief pitchers were rare, and circumstances were quite different. I think the idea of pitcher wins is becoming less meaningful these days as the game changes.