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Starting Pitcher Takes the Field, Replaced Before Facing a Batter

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  • Starting Pitcher Takes the Field, Replaced Before Facing a Batter

    On August 7, 1979 (box score here), the Orioles played at home against the Brewers, and Mike Caldwell was supposed to be the starting pitcher for Milwaukee. The top of the first was uneventful, but when warming up to pitch before the start of the bottom of the first, Caldwell apparently injured his back and was replaced by Jim Slaton. My question is (and I don't know the answer, so anyone who knows it can shout it out) for statistical purposes, does this count as a game played/pitched for Caldwell? If so, is he officially the starting pitcher, or does Slaton get the credit for the start?

    ~~~~~~

    Now, if he doesn't get credit for playing/pitching in the game, I have a related question. Because it was an AL game with the DH rule in effect, Caldwell was never in the lineup and so couldn't have batted even if the Brewers rallied in the top of the first. But suppose this same situation occurred in an NL game, where Caldwell would have been in the lineup. If he didn't bat in the top of the first and was similarly replaced before facing a batter in the bottom of the first, would it count as a game played/pitched for him, and if so, would he get the credit for the start?

    EDIT 1: I actually just found an instance of the above -- the same situation as in the Caldwell game, but in the NL. Giants at Mets, August 28, 1983, Giants' Bill Laskey injured in warmup before bottom of the first and was replaced by Andy McGaffigan. Laskey did not bat in the first, but of course was ninth in the lineup.

    Here are some more similar instances:
    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1...042PIT1977.htm
    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1...170MON1977.htm
    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1...132MON1979.htm
    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1...260CHN1986.htm
    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1...200MIL1998.htm
    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2...060BAL2002.htm
    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2...220SLN2011.htm
    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2...190WAS2011.htm

    ~~~~~~

    EDIT 2: I've also discovered instances in which a relief pitcher took the field but was replaced (due to injury, being ejected, or for some reason unrecorded in the Retrosheet PBP) before facing a batter (or the game ended due to rain before he faced anyone). Does this count as a game played/pitched for him? Does it matter whether there's a DH or not? These games appear in the pitching logs on BB-Ref, but the pitcher never actually was present on the field for a play.

    An example of the above with an interesting description: Giants at Reds, April 27, 2002. "REDS 8TH: FULTZ REPLACED FELIZ (PITCHING);; game called after 30 minute rain delay Fultz announced into game, but did not throw a pitch, so gets a game played, but not a game pitched; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Giants 4, Reds 8." Is this correct? Would Fultz get a game played but not one pitched? If he didn't do anything on the field, I don't see why he'd even get a game played.
    Last edited by Nerdlinger; 12-15-2012, 05:57 PM.
    *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

  • #2
    Originally posted by DJC View Post
    My question is (and I don't know the answer, so anyone who knows it can shout it out) for statistical purposes, does this count as a game played/pitched for Caldwell? If so, is he officially the starting pitcher, or does Slaton get the credit for the start?
    BB-Ref stats show that Caldwell did not get credit for the start (Slaton did) and it does not seem that it even counted as a Game played at all for Caldwell.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DJC View Post
      Now, if he doesn't get credit for playing/pitching in the game, I have a related question. Because it was an AL game with the DH rule in effect, Caldwell was never in the lineup and so couldn't have batted even if the Brewers rallied in the top of the first. But suppose this same situation occurred in an NL game, where Caldwell would have been in the lineup. If he didn't bat in the top of the first and was similarly replaced before facing a batter in the bottom of the first, would it count as a game played/pitched for him, and if so, would he get the credit for the start?
      No. I think the lineup is all of who's playing/starting. I believe the lineup can be/is more than just the batting order/batting lineup. So even if the AL pitcher is not in the batting lineup, there still should be a place for him in the starting lineup or someplace written down in the lineup card.

      So I don't think AL or NL makes a difference. If the player never physically takes part in any action in the game (field/pitch thrown/batter taking a pitch/be on base), then I don't think they get credited with being in the game
      Last edited by dgarza; 12-17-2012, 11:13 AM.

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      • #4
        I don't know about being credited for a start, but if a relief pitcher is summoned to pitch, he gets credit for a game played even if he's out of the game before the next batter steps into the box. That's exactly what happened with Larry Yount. In his MLB debut, he got hurt warming up, and he is credited with one game played. That was his only game too.
        http://www.baseball-reference.com/bo...97109150.shtml

        Then you have John Lindsey. His MLB debut consisted of him doing nothing except for stepping into the on-deck circle.
        http://www.baseball-reference.com/bo...01009080.shtml
        Last edited by ipitch; 12-17-2012, 12:42 PM.

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        • #5
          How about this one: http://www.baseball-reference.com/bo...94904260.shtml

          It has Phil Marchildon listed as the starting pitcher for the A's but he didn't face any batters. This is the only game that came up in my Baseball-Reference Play Index search, where the guy is credited as the starting pitcher despite not facing any batters.

          Here's his game log for 1949. http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...&t=p&year=1949 (note the "GS-")
          Last edited by GiambiJuice; 12-17-2012, 02:01 PM.
          My top 10 players:

          1. Babe Ruth
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          3. Ty Cobb
          4. Ted Williams
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          7. Hank Aaron
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          9. Lou Gehrig
          10. Mickey Mantle

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
            How about this one: http://www.baseball-reference.com/bo...94904260.shtml

            It has Phil Marchildon listed as the starting pitcher for the A's but he didn't face any batters. This is the only game that came up in my Baseball-Reference Play Index search, where the guy is credited as the starting pitcher despite not facing any batters.

            Here's his game log for 1949. http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...&t=p&year=1949 (note the "GS-")
            He made 6 starts that year, and 3 of them were 0.0, 0.0, and 0.1 IP.

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            • #7
              ..................

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              • #8
                The trouble with BB-Ref is that it's inconsistent. The number of games pitched and started in the player's pitching log do not always match up with the numbers on his player page. They are sometimes one or two off.

                So, all player has to do is be officially announced to play (be it to field, pitch, bat, or run) and he gets credit for a game played even if he isn't actually present on the field for a play? Interesting. The note in the Retrosheet box score for the Fultz game would suggest that this alone doesn't give a pitcher credit for a game pitched, even if they do get a game played. As I understand it, then, both Caldwell and Laskey should each be credited with a game played, but not a game pitched, and if it's not a game pitched for either of them, neither can be considered the official starting pitcher and so neither gets credit for the start.
                *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

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                • #9
                  Under the current rules, players receive credit for a game in the batting statistics if they are in the lineup at any time (even if they don't bat.) They don't get credit for a game on defense unless they actually appear on defense. Prior to 1976, players would receive credit for games at positions even if they were only listed in the ineup without actually physically playing that position. For examples, Lou Gehrig (1 game @ shortstop) and Chris Short (1 game @ catcher) would be credited with a game in the batting statistics but not on defense under current rules.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DJC View Post
                    The trouble with BB-Ref is that it's inconsistent. The number of games pitched and started in the player's pitching log do not always match up with the numbers on his player page. They are sometimes one or two off.
                    Yes. Also, I suppose, with odd situations such as these, it also depends on how detail oriented the human is who originally recorded the situations and numbers. Did they really think it was worth making a determination like who gets credit for a game when they didn't really play. Did they care much about that in the 1940s? I know we can always go back and revise the stats, but the accuracy begin with a human being.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
                      How about this one: http://www.baseball-reference.com/bo...94904260.shtml

                      It has Phil Marchildon listed as the starting pitcher for the A's but he didn't face any batters. This is the only game that came up in my Baseball-Reference Play Index search, where the guy is credited as the starting pitcher despite not facing any batters.

                      Here's his game log for 1949. http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...&t=p&year=1949 (note the "GS-")
                      I found 271 possible instances of a pitcher playing a game but with 0 IP and 0 BF (here). Some of the ones that turned up in the search do not qualify, since they pitched but the batter simply didn't complete his plate appearance. Your list only includes one (and probably shouldn't include any, because no pitch means no start, but it's likely a recording error) because you limited the pitcher's role to starter. Since Caldwell, Laskey, etc. do appear in my list, that would seem to confirm that they didn't get the start and that it's not simply an error on BB-Ref's part.

                      Thanks for the help, everyone.
                      *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                        Yes. Also, I suppose, with odd situations such as these, it also depends on how detail oriented the human is who originally recorded the situations and numbers. Did they really think it was worth making a determination like who gets credit for a game when they didn't really play. Did they care much about that in the 1940s? I know we can always go back and revise the stats, but the accuracy begin with a human being.
                        Yeah, I'm not blaming the original scorers or the hard-working folks at BB-Ref and Retrosheet for anything. With all the data they've had to sort through, there are bound to be inconsistencies. It's just the perfectionist in me which chafes at the numbers not lining up.
                        Last edited by Nerdlinger; 12-17-2012, 05:03 PM.
                        *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Macker View Post
                          Under the current rules, players receive credit for a game in the batting statistics if they are in the lineup at any time (even if they don't bat.) They don't get credit for a game on defense unless they actually appear on defense. Prior to 1976, players would receive credit for games at positions even if they were only listed in the ineup without actually physically playing that position. For examples, Lou Gehrig (1 game @ shortstop) and Chris Short (1 game @ catcher) would be credited with a game in the batting statistics but not on defense under current rules.
                          So then, Caldwell shouldn't even be given credit for a game played at all, but Laskey would get a "game batted"?
                          *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DJC View Post
                            Yeah, I'm not blaming the original scorers or the hard-working folks at BB-Ref and Retrosheet for anything. With all the data they've had to sort through, there are bound to be inconsistencies. It's just the perfectionist in me which chafes at the numbers not lining up.
                            Trying to re-create and choreograph the actions of over 17,000 people over 100 years' time? I tip my hat to these folks.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                              Trying to re-create and choreograph the actions of over 17,000 people over 100 years' time? I tip my hat to these folks.
                              What they've done is incredible. And, AFAIK, they're all volunteers, so all the more impressive. I didn't mean to detract from their accomplishments.
                              *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

                              Comment

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