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I have a question regarding the scoring of an earned run. The following are actual events that took place in a HS game.

The first batter of the inning is walked (BB). The first batter advances to second as the result a throwing error by the catcher on the next pitch. The catcher threw the ball over the head of the player playing first base. The first batter dove into first base, got up and advanced to second base on the over throw.

The second batter of the inning taps a shallow bunt to the first base side, moving the first batter from second base to third base (FC). The catcher, using poor judgment IMO, throws to third base when he should have thrown to first base for the first out. The third basemen stretched for the ball (like a first basemen) to field the throw from the catcher. Why the third baseman stretched for the ball I don’t know. It looked to me that the third baseman could have thought there was a force at third base??? Thus the third baseman could not / did not attempt to tag the advancing runner (first batter). The catcher fielded the ball clean and had plenty of time to PO the bunting batter at first base with errorless play. The catcher was out of position to make an attempt to throw the first batter advancing to third. Therefore, the throw was a bit off the mark but caught by the third baseman. The proper play was to first base. As a result, men are on first and third with no outs.

The third batter hits a fly ball to left field for the first out of the inning scoring the man on third (SAC). The second batter, who was on first, advances to second on the throw to the plate from left field. Man on second, one out.

The fourth batter hits another fly ball to left for the second out. The second batter stays at second. Man on second, two outs.

The fifth batter strikes out. The second batter is LOB at second.

Is the run that scored earned or unearned? I believe that the run that scored should be an unearned run. If this run is an earned, what did I miss? I am trying to get it right and to be consistent in the future. Scoring earned runs can be subjective.

I believe this is an unearned run because it is uncertain whether the first batter would have scored if this error did not occur. For example, the bunt by the second batter would have had a man on second base with one out. The next two batters hit fly balls to left field for two outs. The error changed the complexion of the inning. Everything I have read about scoring runs, earned vs. unearned, state that it is best to error in favor of the pitcher.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this post and commenting. I come to this site to read, observe, and learn from those that have the knowledge and experience that I don’t have.
Original Post
quote:
The second batter of the inning taps a shallow bunt to the first base side, moving the first batter from second base to third base (FC). The catcher, using poor judgment IMO, throws to third base when he should have thrown to first base for the first out. The third basemen stretched for the ball (like a first basemen) to field the throw from the catcher. Why the third baseman stretched for the ball I don’t know. It looked to me that the third baseman could have thought there was a force at third base??? Thus the third baseman could not / did not attempt to tag the advancing runner (first batter). The catcher fielded the ball clean and had plenty of time to PO the bunting batter at first base with errorless play. The catcher was out of position to make an attempt to throw the first batter advancing to third. Therefore, the throw was a bit off the mark but caught by the third baseman. The proper play was to first base. As a result, men are on first and third with no outs.


Since no error was given here, errorless play would have runners at 1b and 2b and no outs. (mental mistakes aren't errors) In your opinion would a runner have advanced to third base from second base on the first fly outs? If so, would he have scored on a sac fly on the second fly out? If you can answer yes to both, then the run would be earned. Personally I would be hard pressed to give an earned run in this situation because it would be difficult to advance from 2b to 3b on a FO to LF....but...I'm not the official scorer.
Fungo
Fungo,
Thanks for the help.

I understand that mental mistakes are not errors. I was inferring that the error changed the events of the inning. Given the scenario of 1st & 2nd with no outs, it is questionable whether the man on 2nd would have been able to advance to 3rd with the first FO to left. At best it most likely would have been a close play. The second FO to left would have given the runner on 2nd a better chance to advance.

That being said, is it reasonable (and proper) to give the pitcher the benefit of the doubt and score the run as unearned?

Also, is it reasonable to view the inning’s event without the error, in a perfect errorless world, to unfold as follows, therefore scoring the run as unearned?
1st batter BB on 1st base.
2nd batter SAC bunt PO at 1st base, 1st batter advances to 2nd base, one out.
3rd batter FO to LF, two outs, man on second or advance to 3rd, man on 3rd two outs.
4th batter FO to LF, three outs, 1 LOB.

This is a subjective. Are there any rules of best practice the scorer can use to remove the shades of grey?
quote:
Originally posted by Smokey:
Also, is it reasonable to view the inning’s event without the error, in a perfect errorless world, to unfold as follows, therefore scoring the run as unearned?
1st batter BB on 1st base.
2nd batter SAC bunt PO at 1st base, 1st batter advances to 2nd base, one out.
3rd batter FO to LF, two outs, man on second or advance to 3rd, man on 3rd two outs.
4th batter FO to LF, three outs, 1 LOB.


In the section that I "bolded" you are assuming an action that didn't occur. You have no latitude for doing this. When checking for errorless play (as applies to scoring unearned/earned runs) then you can't assume that that play would have been made, since the similar play wasn't. You would have to assume a FC allowing R1 to advance to 2B and the BR to advance to 1B, still with no outs.

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