# Baseball question

“A” gets on base on an error with two outs. “B” hits a home run. Why is “B” not credited with an earned run? He would have hit the home run next inning.

He wouldn’t necessarily get a home run had he not hit right then. Circumstances change.

With two outs, both runs wouldn’t have scored without the initial error.

The batter (and baserunner) would get credit for a run ®, but no RBIs.

The batter that hit the home run gets two RBIs. Both runs are unearned as far as the pitcher is concerned.

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I’m very confused. Baseball makes no sense.

You’re right. RBI counts no matter how the runner gets on base. Brainfart.

Like vegabomb mentioned, earned runs are only tracked for the pitching team. Hitters don’t get credited with earned or unearned runs, so it makes no difference to hitter B’s stats that the runs are unearned.

By rule, earned/unearned runs are determined by reconstructing the inning under the assumption that no errors had been made, and guessing which runs would have scored in the inning without the aid of the error(s). Since the scorer only reconstructs that one inning and not the rest of the game, it doesn’t matter (by rule) whether the home run would have happened the next inning anyway.

It would make more sense to charge the second run as earned based on the assumption that it would have happened the next inning anyway (unless this is the final inning of the game). While CaliBuddha is right that there is no way to know that it would have still happened under different circumstances, this is still the logic behind earned runs–you assume everything that happened after the error still would have happened regardless when trying to guess how many runs would have scored without the error. I assume they only reconstruct the inning and not the entire rest of the game for simplicity’s sake, because that would be a nightmare to calculate for the official scorer, especially if the error happened in an early inning and you have to go through the whole game shifting events from one inning to the next to account for the offset out count. So while it would make more sense to charge the second run as earned, they don’t because that could make calculating earned runs impractically complex if you carry that logic out for the whole game.

This is actually one reason that some analysts prefer to use runs allowed (including unearned runs) to measure pitcher performance rather than earned runs. How the pitcher performs after an error has a large impact on how many, or if any, unearned runs score in the inning, and that information turns out to be valuable when evaluating pitcher performance.

The really confusing part is if the defensive team changes pitchers after hitter A reaches on an error, and then hitter B hits the home run off a new pitcher, the second run is actually charged as an earned run to the new pitcher. However, it is still charged as an unearned run to the team. So it is possible that the total earned runs allowed by a team and the total earned runs allowed by that team’s pitchers don’t match up.

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Ok, I see.

Btw, I phrased the question wrong, I meant an earned run for the pitcher, not the hitter.