Cards Blog: Wainwright should have received the 'W'

Categories: Sports

Hell of a game last night, fellows. Great job bouncing back after a rough go of it against the Giants.



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Wainwright

I realize that wins and losses for pitchers are really kind of a meaningless stat, but I also happen to be in the minority who thinks it sucks. Last night, Adam Wainwright pitched a fantastic game, going seven innings, giving up only two runs, and, despite not having his best stuff, keeping the powerful Milwaukee offense down long enough for his offense to put just enough runs on the board to win. And for all of that, he received…

Nothing.

Well, not totally nothing, of course. He did get paid quite handsomely, I'm sure. He did get the appreciation of the fans and his teammates. He received appreciative stares from all the female fans in attendance as he left the field, and his team won the game anyway.

But still.

The Win is an outmoded statistic in baseball; an anachronism left over from the time when pitchers essentially threw the whole game most days. Under those circumstances, a win meant something. Even then, of course, a pitcher had to receive some run support, but at least he was most likely on the mound for the entire game; the outcome rested largely on his shoulders.

These days, though, with bullpen usage and pitch counts such a big part of the game, starters less and less often get credited for their work, no matter how impressive, with a ''W.'' Like I said, it's not a big deal, but it bugs me.

Ryan Franklin got the Vulture Victory in last night's game. He came in at the beginning of the eighth inning, right after his teammates had finally broken through for a run to take the lead in support of Wainwright, and promptly gave the lead right back. The offense came out in the next frame and put up another run, thereby earning him a win when closer Jason Isringhausen was able to nail down the save. I like Ryan Franklin as much as the next guy, but there's no way he should have gotten the win in that situation.

How about this? Let's change the rules a bit; give a smidge more latitude to the official scorer as to who receives the win. Technically, there's already a clause in the rules that allows the scorer to award the victory to whatever pitcher he feels was the most effective, in case the pitcher who should get the win under the rules just happened to suck it up. However, you almost never see that rule used.

''Any reliever who comes into a game and refuses to record a hold, (basically, who is charged with a blown save) shall not be credited with a win. If, in the event that a reliever inherits said lead and fails to hold it, he shall be charged with a blown save. If said reliever's teammates regain the lead prior to another pitcher entering the game and pitching effectively, credit for the victory shall revert back to the pitcher of record prior to the blown save.”

At the very least, that would hopefully prevent relievers from coming into the game, pitching into a hole, and then essentially being dug out by their teammates. And the starter who came out of the game with the lead? He ends up with nothing. I don't think this is enough to really restore great meaning to a ''W,'' but it's a start.

-- Aaron Schafer

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