The Ole Ball Game

what counts as an earned run.

by Mitch
(Birmingham, AL)

What Counts As An Earned Run?

What Counts As An Earned Run?

Mitch asked: First batter gets a clean single.

The next batter also gets a hit but the outfielder bobbles the ball allowing the first batter to advance to third base.

Next batter hits a fly ball allowing the first runner to score.

Will this count as an earned run?

Rick answered: Mitch, thank you for your question.

What counts as an earned run?

Rule 9.16(a) The official scorer shall charge an earned run against a pitcher every time a runner reaches home base by the aide of safe hits, sacrifice bunts, a sacrifice fly, stolen bases, put outs, fielder's choices, base on balls, hit batters, balks, or wild pitches (including a wild pitch on third strike that permits a batter to reach first base) before fielding chances have been offered to put out the offensive team.

For the purpose of this rule, a defensive interference penalty shall be construed as a fielding chance. A wild pitch is solely the pitchers fault and shall contribute to an earned run, just as a base on balls or a balk.

As you describe the play, the run should not be an earned run, as a bobble provided the runner an extra base, which culminated in a sac fly for him to score. (There would be a decision needed to be made by the scorer as to whether the bobble resulted in the extra base, or whether the runner would have gotten there without it.)

That is something that has to be decided in real time, as the action occurs on the field.

Yours in baseball,


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