Win–loss record (pitching)

In baseball and softball, a pitcher's win–loss record (also referred to simply as their record) indicates the number of wins (denoted "W") and losses (denoted "L") they have been credited with. For example, a 20–10 win–loss record would represent 20 wins and 10 losses.

In each game, one pitcher on the winning team is awarded a win (the "winning pitcher") and one pitcher on the losing team is given a loss (the "losing pitcher") in their respective statistics. These pitchers are collectively known as the pitchers of record. The designation of win or loss for a pitcher is known as a decision, and only one pitcher for each team receives a decision. A starting pitcher who does not receive credit for a win or loss is said to have no decision. In certain situations, another pitcher on the winning team who pitched in relief of the winning pitcher can be credited with a save, and holds can be awarded to relief pitchers on both sides, but these are never awarded to the same pitcher who is awarded the win.

The decisions are awarded by the official scorer of the game in accordance with the league's rules. The official scorer does not assign a winning or losing pitcher in some games which are forfeited, such as those that are tied at the time of forfeiture. If the game is tied (a rare event), no pitcher is awarded any decision. A pitcher's winning percentage is calculated by dividing the number of wins by the number of decisions (wins plus losses), and it is commonly expressed with three decimal places.

Winning pitcher

In Major League Baseball, the winning pitcher is defined as the pitcher who last pitched prior to the half-inning when the winning team took the lead for the last time.

There are two exceptions to this rule. The first is that a starting pitcher must complete five innings to earn a win (four innings for a game that lasts five innings on defense). If he fails to do so, he is ineligible to be the winning pitcher even if he last pitched prior to the half-inning when his team took the lead for the last time, and the official scorer awards the win to the relief pitcher who, in the official scorer's judgment, was the most effective.

The second exception applies if the relief pitcher who last pitched prior to the half-inning when the winning team took the lead for the last time was "ineffective in a brief appearance" in the official scorer's judgment, in which case the win is awarded to the succeeding relief pitcher who, in the official scorer's judgment, was the most effective.[1]

In the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, every pitcher is considered as a relief pitcher for the purpose of this rule. For example, a starting pitcher, Matt Cain, was awarded the win in the 2012 All-Star Game despite throwing only two innings.[2]

Losing pitcher

The losing pitcher is the pitcher who allows the go-ahead run to reach base for a lead that the winning team never relinquishes. If a pitcher allows a run which gives the opposing team the lead, his team comes back to lead or tie the game, and then the opposing team regains the lead against a subsequent pitcher, the earlier pitcher does not get the loss.

If a pitcher leaves the game with his team in the lead or with the score tied, but with the go-ahead run on base, and this runner subsequently scores the go-ahead run, the pitcher who allowed this runner to reach base is responsible for the loss. This is true regardless of the manner in which this batter originally reached base, and how he subsequently scored. If the relief pitching successfully completes the half-inning without surrendering the go-ahead run, the departed pitcher cannot receive a loss.

For example, on April 13, 2007, Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs was facing the Cincinnati Reds in the top of the 5th inning. He was taken out of the game with the Cubs leading 5–4 and the bases loaded. The pitcher who replaced him, Will Ohman, proceeded to allow two of the runners on base to score, giving the Reds a 6–5 lead. Although Zambrano was not pitching at the time the runs were scored, he was charged with the loss, as the base runners who scored were his responsibility.[3]


The pitchers who receive the win and the loss are known, collectively, as the pitchers of record. A pitcher who starts a game but leaves without earning either a win or a loss (that is, before either team gains or surrenders the ultimate lead) is said to have received a no decision, regardless of his individual performance. A pitcher's total wins and losses are commonly noted together; for instance, a pitching record of 12–10 indicates 12 wins and 10 losses.

In the early years of Major League Baseball before 1900 it was common for an exceptional pitcher to win 30 or more games in one season with Old Hoss Radbourn of the defunct Providence Grays holding the record with 59 wins in 1884. Since 1900, however, pitchers have made fewer and fewer starts and the standard has changed. Gradually, as hitting improved, better pitching was needed. This meant, among other things, throwing the ball much harder, and it became unrealistic to ask a pitcher to throw nearly as hard as he could for over 100 pitches a game without giving him several days to recover.

In the first third of the 20th century (especially after the live-ball era), winning 30 games became the rare mark of excellent achievement; this standard diminished to 25 games during the 1940s through 1980s (the only pitcher to win 30 or more games during that time was Denny McLain in 1968, in what was an anomalous pitching-dominated season).

Since 1990, this has changed even further, as winning 20 or more games in a single season is now achieved by only a handful of pitchers each season. For example, in 2004 only three of the more than five hundred major league pitchers did so. In 2006 and again in 2009, no pitcher in either league won 20 games.[4] The last pitcher to win 25 games was Bob Welch in 1990.

The New York Times wrote in 2011 that as advanced statistics have expanded, a pitcher's win-loss record has decreased in importance. For example, Félix Hernández won the Cy Young Award in 2010 in spite of a 13–12 record.[5] Many times a win is substantially out of the pitcher's control; even a dominant pitcher cannot record a win if his team does not score any runs for him. For instance, in 2004, Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Ben Sheets had a losing record of 12–14, despite displaying a league-best 8:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and was among the top 5 pitchers in ERA (2.70) and WHIP (0.98).[6] In addition to their dependence on run support, wins for a starting pitcher are also dependent on bullpen support. A starting pitcher can pitch brilliantly, leaving the game with the lead, and then watch helplessly from the dugout as the bullpen blows the save and gives up the lead. That would entitle the starting pitcher to a no-decision instead of a win despite the strong performances, regardless of whether or not the team ends up winning. Starting pitchers on teams with a weak bullpen tend to have fewer wins because of this. Likewise, a pitcher can give a poor performance and give up many runs and leave the game earlier than desired, but still win because his team scored even more runs. Some prefer the quality start statistic as an indication of how many times a starting pitcher gave his team a realistic chance to win.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Official Rules". Major League Baseball. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  2. ^ "July 10, 2012 All-Star Game Play-By-Play and Box Score". Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  3. ^ "Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs – Play By Play – April 13, 2007". Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "MLB denied 20-game winner in '09". Major League Baseball. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Kepner, Tyler (May 25, 2011). "Hapless but Not Hopeless, Blue Jays' Reyes Carries On". The New York Times. p. B11. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011.
  6. ^ "Ben Sheets Statistics and History –". Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Baseball Prospectus – Prospectus Hit and Run: A Quality Stat, Better than Wins". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved October 11, 2015.

External links


4W or 4-W may refer to:

Units of measurement4°W, or 4th meridian west, a longitude coordinate

4 watts

4 weeks

4 wins, abbreviated in a Win–loss record (pitching)TransportationSLC-4W, designation for one of two launch pads at Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4

AD-4W, a model of Douglas A-1 Skyraider

4-wheel vehicle, especially vehicles with four wheel drive

BP-4W, a model of Mazda B engine

4w, a four-wheeled locomotive in Whyte notationOther04W, a designation for Typhoon Nina (1975)

4W, the production code for the 1977 Doctor Who serial The Sun Makers


7W or 7-W may refer to:

Units of measurement7°W, or 7th meridian west, a longitude coordinate

7 watts

7 weeks

7 wins, abbreviated in a Win–loss record (pitching)Transportation7W, IATA code for Wind Rose Aviation

Ford 7W a passenger car built in the UK in the 1930s

Spartan 7W Executive, a model of Spartan Executive aircraft


9W or 9-W may refer to:

Units of measurement9°W, or 9th meridian west, a longitude coordinate

9 watts

9 weeks

9 wins, abbreviated in a Win–loss record (pitching)Transportation9W, IATA code for Jet Airways

List of highways numbered 9W

U.S. Route 9W, a highway in the states of New York & New Jersey

New York State Route 9W

Mississippi Highway 9W

GE BB40-9W locomotive

C44-9W, a model of GE Dash 9-44CW locomotive

C40-9W, a model of GE Dash 9-40CW locomotive

Z-9W, a model of Harbin Z-9

Ralph Winegarner

Ralph Lee Winegarner (October 29, 1909 – April 14, 1988) was a professional baseball player. He played all or part of six seasons in Major League Baseball.

Winegarner began his professional career in 1930 with the El Dorado Lions of the class-D Cotton States League as a third baseman. At the tail-end of the season, he was acquired by the Cleveland Indians, and he appeared in five games, getting 10 hits in 22 at bats for a .455 batting average.

After spending the 1931 season back in the minor leagues, he was converted to a pitcher in 1932. After starting the year with the Toledo Mud Hens, he was brought back up to the Indians in August. He appeared in seven games, two as a pinch hitter, four as a relief pitcher, and one as a starting pitcher. His first major league start resulted in his first major league win, a 6-4 complete game victory over the Chicago White Sox. Overall, he pitched 17.1 innings with a 1.04 ERA.

After spending 1933 with Toledo, Winegarner returned to the Indians in 1934, which was his first full season in the majors. Used mostly in relief, he appeared in 22 games as a pitcher, one as a right fielder, and nine as a pinch hitter. He posted a 5-4 record and batted .196, hitting his first major league home run on September 10 off Philadelphia Athletics pitcher George Caster.

In 1935, Winegarner was used more extensively as a hitter, as he pinch-hit 33 times, going 11-for-28 with five walks, including a pinch-hit home run on June 20 against the Washington Senators and Earl Whitehill. He also played left field, first base and third base, while also appearing in 25 games as a pitcher, posting a 2-2 record with a 5.75 ERA. He batted .310 in 84 at bats with a career-high 3 home runs and 17 RBI.

Winegarner began the 1936 season with the Indians, but was sent to the minor league New Orleans Pelicans in June after batting just .125 in his first 18 games while posting a 4.91 ERA in nine games as a pitcher. Winegarner remained in the minor leagues for the next five seasons, continuing to split his time between pitching and other positions, mostly first base. In 1942, he served as a player-manager for the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League.

After missing the 1943–45 seasons to World War II military service, he returned in 1946 to the Elmira Pioneers, a farm club of the St. Louis Browns, where he served as player-manager. In 1949, he was hired as a coach by the Browns, and in July he was added to the active roster. He appeared in nine games for the Browns in July and August, his first major league action in over thirteen years. He was used exclusively as a pitcher, posting no record and an ERA of 7.56. He was released at the end of the season, and remained with the team as a coach through the 1951 season. He returned to the Indians organization in 1952, serving as manager of the class-A Wichita Indians.

Ron Blazier

Ronald Patrick Blazier (born July 30, 1971), is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1996–1997). He threw and batted right-handed.Blazier was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent, mid-way through the 1989 season. Over the course of Blazier’s brief big league career, he compiled a 4–2 win–loss record, pitching in 63 games, with an earned run average (ERA) of 5.38.

Saúl Rivera

Rabell Saúl Rivera (born December 7, 1977) is a right-handed former relief pitcher in professional baseball, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks.


Win–loss may refer to:

Win–loss analytics, analysis of the reasons why a visitor to a website was or wasn't persuaded to engage in a desired action

Win–loss record, also winning percentage

Win–loss record (pitching), the number of wins and losses a pitcher has accumulated either in his career or a single season

Base running

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