Have you ever heard your favorite announcer say that a pitcher “gave up 4 earned runs in 7 innings?”
If you’re like most baseball fans, you probably have a pretty good understanding of what an earned run is, but maybe not a complete understanding. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at earned runs and how they’re calculated.
what is an earned run in baseball
An earned run is a run that scored while the pitcher was on the mound, and it’s charged to his record. It’s important to note that an earned run is not necessarily the same thing as a “run allowed.” A pitcher can allow runs without them being earned – for example, if he inherited runners from the previous pitcher who eventually scores.
So, when a pitcher is said to have given up “4 earned runs in 7 innings,” that means that out of the total number of runs he allowed while he was pitching (7), 4 of them were charged to his record as earned runs.
How are earned runs calculated
The basic formula for calculating earned runs is fairly simple:
Earned Runs = (Hits + Walks + Hit By Pitch) – Home Runs
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using this formula. First, hits include doubles, triples, and home runs. Second, walks include intentional walks. Third, hit by pitch includes sacrifice bunts that result in a hit by pitch. Let’s take a look at an example to see how this formula works in practice. Suppose a pitcher gives up the following:
1 home run
Using the formula above, we would calculate the pitcher’s earned runs as follows:
Earned Runs = (3 + 1 + 0) – 1
Earned Runs = 3
As you can see, the pitcher gave up 3 earned runs in this example.
Why are earned runs important
Earned runs are important because they give us a way to compare pitchers who have pitched different numbers of innings. For example, if two pitchers have pitched the same number of innings and one has given up more earned runs than the other, we can say that the first pitcher is better.
Similarly, if two pitchers have pitched different numbers of innings and one has given up fewer earned runs than the other, we can say that the second pitcher is better. In general, the lower a pitcher’s earned run average (ERA), the better he is.
Pitchers who have been particularly successful at limiting earned runs
These include Pedro Martinez, Mariano Rivera, and Greg Maddux. These pitchers have all had ERAs below 3.00 over the course of their careers, which is considered to be excellent.
In conclusion, earned runs are an important stat that give us a way to compare pitchers who have pitched different numbers of innings. The lower a pitcher’s ERA, the better he is. Some of the best pitchers in history have been particularly successful at limiting earned runs.
Examples of when an earned run can make a difference in the outcome of a game
In general, the lower a pitcher’s ERA, the better he is. However, there are some cases where a higher ERA can be helpful. For example, if a pitcher has a high strikeout rate, he may be able to get away with giving up more earned runs than a pitcher with a lower strikeout rate. This is because the higher strikeout rate means that the pitcher is more likely to get batters out before they have a chance to score. Another example where earned runs can make a difference is if a pitcher pitches in a lot of close games. In these cases, even one extra earned run can be the difference between a win and a loss.
Finally, earned runs can also be important in determining a pitcher’s bonus. In some cases, pitchers are given bonuses for having a low ERA. This means that they have an incentive to try to limit the number of earned runs they give up.