Clipping:Fielding scoring for pitchers

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Date Saturday, January 11, 1879
Text

There is one thing worthy of note in regard to the pitching of 1878, and that is that under the scoring rules of the League no correct estimate of a pitcher’s skill as a fielder can be arrived at. There are two absurd sections, one of which credits the pitcher with a fielding assistance when batsmen strike out, while the other charges him with a fielding error when a batsman takes his base on called balls. The fielding records of a pitcher can only be fairly made up from the very same data which govern the fielding average of a base-player or outfielder. These are credited with put-outs only when they catch a man out or touch him when off bases; and they are credited with an assistance only when they throw a ball accurately to another fielder to put a runner out. They are also charged with errors only when they fail to catcher or stop a ball, or throw wildly to other pitchers. Called balls may be the result of poor pitching or of strategy, while striking-out may just as readily result from poor batting as from the skillful delivery of the pitcher. It would be just as reasonable to credit the pitcher with an assist in the case of foul-ball catchers, as for outs on strikes. Moreover, if it be an error to give a batsman a chance to take his base on three called balls, it is equally an error to give the umpire an opportunity to call one ball, and the pitcher is as rightfully chargeable with nine errors on three balls called as with one.

Source New York Clipper
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings

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