Roy pitched Saturday night for 4 2/3 innings before leaving the game with a strained oblique (which will likely cause him to skip a start). That's 14 outs out of the game's 27 outs. That's 51.8% of 9 innings. Roy left with a 3-2 lead, and the score never changed. How does it make sense, then, that Astros reliever Dave Borkowski, who pitched to 4 batters and made 4 outs, get the win? All the scoring for the entire game was over by the time he came in.
Now, don't think I'm advocating a rule change in terms of pitcher wins because it applies to Roy this weekend (and all season, for that matter). I've felt this way for a long time. Chad Qualls has a 6-3 record for the season. It's great that he has 6 wins, after all, that's 6 team wins, but that's just not right.
Saturday's game was a very unique occurrence in point. Oswalt pitched one out shy of the currently "required" 5 innings. In the top of that inning, the ace himself had driven what turned out to be the winning run. Therefore, all of the runs scored in the game were scored while he was in the game. He left with the lead, which was never relinquished. Yet, he doesn't get the win because Phil decided not to test Roy's injury for the sake of one more out (which, btw, I whole-heartedly agreed with).
Scenario: If a starter leaves the game, say, after 1 inning, with the lead, and is relieved by a pitcher who pitches two scoreless innings, only to be relieved by yet another who puts up a few more zeros, and then another comes in to close out the remaining three innings, it is under the official scorer's discresion whom to "give" the win to.
My argument is this: In a case like Saturday night's Astros-Padres game, it should be under the official scorer's discresion whom to attribute the 'W' to. The official rule of "5 innings to qualify for the win" should be followed. That is, if a pitcher pitches 5 innings and leaves with a lead that is never relinquished by his team, he is credited with the win. However, the official "5-inning rule" should have qualifying exceptions. For instance, if the starting pitcher pitches less than 5 innings and leaves with the lead that is never relinquished or added on to, if he ends up having made more outs than any lone pitcher that relieved him, he, too, should be credited with the win. In another instance, if the starting pitcher pitches less than 5 innings and leaves with a lead that is never relinquished or added on to, yet ends up having pitched fewer outs than the pitcher that relieved him, it should be under the official scorer's discresion to whom the win should be credited.
I firmly believe that if a pitcher leaves with the lead, which is relinquished by his bullpen, then re-gained by his own team, the STARTING pitcher---not Qualls--I mean, the reliever---should be given the win. That argument, however, is perhaps a little more far-fetched than the former.
Do you get what I'm saying? Starting pitchers seem to be getting shafted more than ever these days... I'm not sure exactly how long the 5-innings-to-qualify rule has been in effect, but I do know that there have been a lot more no-decisions lately, evidenced by the lack of 20-game winners of late. Whether that observation is triggered by the current rule or the recent growth of the bullpen's importance is uncertain.
This advocacy, is just an humble baseball fan's "suggestion for change", not necessarily a "call for change". Please, take it with a grain of salt.
Agree? Beg to differ? Comment.