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Earlier versions of OOTP: Logged Issues All issues that have been logged and given a TT # are stored here until fixed

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Old 12-31-2008, 01:53 PM   #1
Eckstein 4 Prez
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BZ 1987, 1988: Scoring Bug #5

Detroit at Boston (same game as Scoring Bug #4, in fact).

Bottom of the seventh. Boston's first two hitters reach base on errors, scoring the lead runner and leaving a runner at first with no one out. The third hitter of the inning singles, moving the lead runner to second. The fourth batter pops up. So far, the game has scored everything correctly: there is one out, runners at first and second, and the one run that has scored is unearned.

Also, at this point there should be no more earned runs for the inning charged to the team; both the first two hitters should have been out, and the pop out should have been the third out. Now here's where things get messed up and extremely complicated:

The next hitter singles, scoring the runner from second. On the throw everyone advances, so we end up with runners at second and third, one out, and now two runs in.

Then there is a wild pitch, scoring one runner and advancing the other to third. Then there is a double, scoring the other runner. Now there is a runner on second, one out, and four runs in. At this point there is a pitching change. The correct scoring here is four runs scored against the starting pitcher - all unearned - and the runner at second is the starter's reponsibility, though he too represents a potential unearned run.

Before I move on to the relief pitcher and really complicate things, let's deal with how OOTP mistook things for the starter. Ultimately, that runner he left on second would score, so there would be five runs charged to the starter. All of those runs should be unearned, since there were two men reaching on an error plus a pop out before any runs had scored in the inning.

OOTP gave the starter three earned runs and two unearned. I wasn't watching carefully enough to notice which ones were earned and unearned as they happened, but my guess is that the game made the first two runs uneaerned, since those guys reached on errors. The last three runs to score reached on a single, single and double, so I expect the game simply "forgot" how many outs there were supposed to be in the inning, and allocated earned runs solely based upon how the players got on base.

Here's the weird part though: I'm sure I've seen the game correctly account runs as unearned when an error extends the inning beyond a hypothetical third out. My guess is that the problem is one of two things: either the game "forgets" about such an error if it's the first out rather than the third, or the game can account for one error in an inning if there's two outs, but can't account for two errors in an inning if there's one out (or three if there's no one out). At any rate, this is a bug no matter how you slice it.

And it gets worse, and even more complicated: the relief pitcher comes in and gives up a walk, moving the runners to first and second, then a triple, scoring both runners (one of whom is counted as an earned run for the starter, as discussed above). A sacrifice fly scores the runner from third, and then there's a single and a ground out, mercifully ending the inning.

So the relief pitcher has given up two runs - the runner who got on base via walk and the one who got on base via triple. First let's take a look at how this is supposed to be scored per MLB rules. There is no question that the team is done having earned runs allocated against it; that third out should have occurred early in the inning.

However, there is the matter of Rule 10.16(i) to consider, which is one of the more complicated rules in baseball scoring:

10.16(i) When pitchers are changed during an inning, the relief pitcher shall not have the benefit of previous chances for outs not accepted in determining earned runs.

Rule 10.16(i) Comment: It is the intent of Rule 10.16(i) to charge a relief pitcher with earned runs for which such relief pitcher is solely responsible. In some instances, runs charged as earned against the relief pitcher can be charged as unearned against the team. For example:
(1) With two out and Peter pitching, Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Baker reaches first base on an error. Roger relieves Peter. Charlie hits a home run, scoring three runs. The official scorer shall charge two unearned runs to Peter, one earned run to Roger and three unearned runs to the team (because the inning should have ended with the third out when Baker batted and an error was committed).


I hope this makes sense, because what Rule 10.16(i) is telling us to do in this situation is to make both these runs against the relief pitcher earned, since no one reached base via error or passed ball while he was pitching. This is permissible even though the team should be charged with zero earned runs for the entire inning. (Yes, this means that the team's earned runs and the individual pitchers' earned runs will not be identical.)

Now, let's look at what OOTP did here. The game gave the relief pitcher one earned run. This confused the hell out of me for a while - I could see zero earned runs (the inning is supposed to be over), or two (either the correct application of the rule, or "forgetting" that the inning is supposed to be over, as it did with the starter). But one?

Here's my hypothesis: the game only knows how to "remember" one error per inning for earned run purposes. Thus, if there's been an error in the inning that should have resulted in an out, and there are two outs, the game won't give any subsequent runs as earned runs. But the game does not do the same thing if there have been two such errors and one out, or three such errors and no outs. This would account for the three earned runs against the starter, as well as the one against the reliever (since that last runner scored on a sacrifice fly that was the second out of the inning).

So we have two problems: the game is not set up to handle those relief pitcher earned run situations described in Rule 10.16(i), wherein an earned run can be charged to the pitcher but not the team, and the game does not know how to "remember" more than one error per inning for earned run purposes.

The first problem is incredibly complex. I'd like to see it get looked at, but there are limits to what I expect OOTP to be able to do. Frankly, I didn't know this rule until I started looking more deeply at this stuff, and I've always just assumed you could find a team's earned runs by adding up the earned runs of all their pitchers. This is something I'd like to see fixed down the road, but it's hardly a game-breaker.

However, the second problem is both simple and inexcusable, if my hypothesis is correct. The game needs to be able to account for multiple errors in an inning when apportioning earned runs.

I'd love to see some feedback on this to either confirm or debunk my hypothesis.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:06 PM   #2
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Can you use game replay to review that inning to see when the starting pitchers runs were called earned?
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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BZ 1987 on incoming relievers having their runs incorrectly scored as unearned due to errors made for a previous pitcher's baserunners.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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BZ 1988 on earned runs being scored after multiple errors would have added up to enough outs to end the inning.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for your time and effort, Eckstein! I'm sure that these will be looked at for OOTP 10.
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