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Tyler Duffey Got Screwed Out Of A "W" Last Night

There was a scoring decision last night that was at least odd and probably just plain incorrect. In the Twins 4-3 win over the Rangers, Sam Dyson was ruled the winning pitcher, despite taking the mound after the Twins took the lead. There are reasons to do that in baseball, but none seem to apply here.

First, let’s go through what happened.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
The Twins entered the bottom of the sixth leading 2-1 with Jake Odorizzi on the mound. Odorizzi tired, and after getting two outs, gave up a two-run double that gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead. He was replaced by Tyler Duffey who struck out a batter to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Twins second baseman Jonathon Schoop hit a two-run home run to give the Twins a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Dyson pitched, and wriggled out of some trouble to maintain the lead. In the eighth and ninth inning, Taylor Rogers and Sergei Romo did the same and the Twins won 4-3.

The reliever “on the mound” when the Twins took the lead was Duffey, so why was he not given the win? I asked Twins Official Scorer Stew Thornley (who was not involved, because the game was in Texas) and the only exception he could point to is rule 9.17©, which gives the scorer discretion to give the win to a subsequent reliever if the reliever on the mound is “brief and ineffective.” But Duffey was not ineffective. He may have vultured a win, but he struck out the only batter he faced. He could not have been more effective.

In fact, Thornley points out there is guidance on what “ineffective” means in this regard. The guideline states that if the reliever pitches less than an inning and gives up two or more runs, they can be deemed ineffective.

In fact, Thornley wrestled with this guidance just last weekend in a Twins game. On Sunday, Brad Hand blew a save, giving up two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. Cleveland won the game in the tenth. Hand wasn’t particularly effective, but Thornley awarded him the win because he did pitch a full inning as the guideline suggests.

The win statistic has come under a lot of fire over the last 25 years for being overrated. It has been and probably still is. But it's also in basbeall's rulebook. Whether you believe it to be important or not, it should at least be awarded to whom it is supposed to be awarded. Hopefully we’ll hear soon that a change has been made and Duffey gets his “W.”

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38 Comments

It happens where if a relief pitcher faces only one batter he does not get the win, even if the final lead change happens when he's on the clock.

 

It may not be right, but it happens.

    • howieramone2 likes this
Didn’t Duffey get a Win in a similar matter a few weeks ago?
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jorgenswest
Aug 17 2019 08:45 AM
Second time Duffey came in and did his job without getting the win.
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stringer bell
Aug 17 2019 08:59 AM

My understanding was the "brief and ineffective" rule only applied when the starter couldn't get the win and the winning team led from the point the starter exited the game. This win should have been Duffey's. Dyson and Rogers should both be credited with well-deserved "holds" and Romo gets a save.

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stringer bell
Aug 17 2019 09:01 AM

Dufffey may have gotten a win in a similar situation, but recently there was a discussion about who was awarded the win for the Twins' win against the Yankees at Target Field. That win was awarded to Thorpe and Duffey also was a candidate for the W.

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stringer bell
Aug 17 2019 09:03 AM

 

It happens where if a relief pitcher faces only one batter he does not get the win, even if the final lead change happens when he's on the clock.

 

It may not be right, but it happens.

I don't want to argue, but I don't ever recall a situation like this and I've been following baseball since the early '60s. Can you supply any examples?

    • USAFChief, adorduan and Nine of twelve like this
I've watched a lot of baseball over the years and dont recall ever seeing a similar scoring decision.

It was Duffey's W in every similar situation. Perhaps I'm forgetting, but I never forget.

Edit: I never forget, but I do get ninja'd.
    • Danchat and adorduan like this

Didn't Trevor May get one out (on 1 pitch) last week and get the win? It was pretty much the same scenario.

    • adorduan likes this
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AlwaysinModeration
Aug 17 2019 10:09 AM
Do we care about wins now?
    • Sconnie, howieramone2, Original Whizzinator and 1 other like this
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jorgenswest
Aug 17 2019 10:21 AM

Dufffey may have gotten a win in a similar situation, but recently there was a discussion about who was awarded the win for the Twins' win against the Yankees at Target Field. That win was awarded to Thorpe and Duffey also was a candidate for the W.


That game was a little different because the starter did not go 5 and treated differently in the rule book. It is similar because Duffey was the pitcher of record when the Twins took the lead. He came in and put out the fire at a critical moment in the game. Thorpe was awarded the win though Duffey in that game had a much better WPA.

Duffey also does not get credit for a hold for either game though he left with the Twins leading and the lead was never relinquished. He was effective and did his job both times. If your effective and leave with the lead you deserve the win.
    • John Bonnes likes this
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stringer bell
Aug 17 2019 10:39 AM

 

That game was a little different because the starter did not go 5 and treated differently in the rule book. It is similar because Duffey was the pitcher of record when the Twins took the lead. He came in and put out the fire at a critical moment in the game. Thorpe was awarded the win though Duffey in that game had a much better WPA.

Duffey also does not get credit for a hold for either game though he left with the Twins leading and the lead was never relinquished. He was effective and did his job both times. If your effective and leave with the lead you deserve the win.

The game you're referring to was the win against the Yankees at Target Field? Duffey was not the pitcher of record when the Twins took the lead. They led throughout and Pérez (the starter) only went four innings. My understanding of the hold rule is that it has to be a save situation (seventh inning or later) and leave with the lead. IIRC, Duffey pitched earlier than the seventh in that situation. It is certainly debatable if Duffey should have gotten the win on that day. IMHO, it is not debatable that he should have gotten the win last night.

    • jorgenswest likes this
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John Bonnes
Aug 17 2019 10:48 AM

I almost clarified something in the story, but was rushed for time so I'll add on to what jorgenswest and stringer bell are saying. There are two situations (at least) where it is the scorer's discretion:

 

1) The starting pitcher leaves the game with the lead, but hasn't thrown five full innings, and the team never relinquishes that lead. In this case, the scorer is not allowed to give the starting pitcher the win, so she can choose whichever reliever she feels is most deserving.

 

This one does not apply here because Odorizzi did go five innings and also left without the lead.

 

2) A reliever is on the mound when the lead changes, but is brief and ineffective.  That's the situation as described above, but (as noted above) it should not apply either. 

 

If there is a different situation that should apply, nobody seems to be able to point to it, including the Twins Official Scorer, Stew Thornley.

Dyson at one point in time pitched in Texas. Texas scorekeeper was making the decisions??? IDK but it just happens that way
Not that this matters, but I just looked it up on Google, and official scorekeepers make 150 dollars per game? I kinda figured MLB would do them a little better than that?
    • Nine of twelve likes this
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ToddlerHarmon
Aug 17 2019 11:27 AM
This brings up a question: has a pitcher ever got a Win without throwing a pitch? Same situation as Duffey, but before the first pitch, he picks off a runner. The rulebook would seem to say that's a win.
    • Nine of twelve likes this

Not that this matters, but I just looked it up on Google, and official scorekeepers make 150 dollars per game? I kinda figured MLB would do them a little better than that?


I mean, $50 an hour for a relatively unskilled job is a pretty good side gig.
    • DuluthFan and mrtwinsfan like this
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yarnivek1972
Aug 17 2019 12:32 PM

Not that this matters, but I just looked it up on Google, and official scorekeepers make 150 dollars per game? I kinda figured MLB would do them a little better than that?


$150 for at most 5 hours work. Do you make $30 per hour?
    • DuluthFan likes this
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stringer bell
Aug 17 2019 12:32 PM

 

This brings up a question: has a pitcher ever got a Win without throwing a pitch? Same situation as Duffey, but before the first pitch, he picks off a runner. The rulebook would seem to say that's a win.

It's probably happened in regular season games. It did happen in the 50s in an All-Star game. The pitcher was Dean Stone of the Washington Senators and he was credited with the win when a runner tried to steal home.

    • ToddlerHarmon and Nine of twelve like this
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yarnivek1972
Aug 17 2019 12:38 PM

This brings up a question: has a pitcher ever got a Win without throwing a pitch? Same situation as Duffey, but before the first pitch, he picks off a runner. The rulebook would seem to say that's a win.



This isn’t the only time and I’m not sure if it is even most recent.

Alan Embree picked a guy off without throwing a pitch and got the win. It was one of his last appearances before retiring.

https://www.baseball...200907070.shtml
    • ToddlerHarmon and Nine of twelve like this
Stan Williams pulled off a win without throwing a pitch for the Twins. It was in April of 1970 or 71.
Before he threw a pitch he picked the runner off of 2nd in a tied game in the top of the ninth. Twins scored in the 9th to win.
    • ToddlerHarmon likes this
    • ToddlerHarmon likes this
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AlwaysinModeration
Aug 17 2019 03:40 PM

This brings up a question: has a pitcher ever got a Win without throwing a pitch? Same situation as Duffey, but before the first pitch, he picks off a runner. The rulebook would seem to say that's a win.


Hell, a pitcher could “pitch” a perfect game without throwing a pitch!

Late to the discussion, but I was bothered by it before I saw this article and just need to chime in to say "Concur".

 

The Texas scorer completely misunderstands rule 9.17 in this application. Pertinent verbatim excerpts:

  • Whenever the score is tied, the game becomes a new contest insofar as the winning pitcher is concerned.
  • The official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher that pitcher whose team assumes a lead while such pitcher is in the game, or during the inning on offense in which such pitcher is removed from the game, and does not relinquish such lead

There is additional verbiage, such as "brief" and "ineffective", none of which applies.

 

The rules are written to minimize the personal opinion of the scorer, not to add opportunities for that; this scorer seemed to think their opinion was solicited, when it most definitely was not.

 

I don't know who has standing to protest a ruling like this (would be bush of Duffey to protest, while the Twins as a whole have a conflict of interest), but I hope it happens.

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IndianaTwin
Aug 17 2019 04:33 PM

 

Hell, a pitcher could “pitch” a perfect game without throwing a pitch!

 

No-hitter, yes, but not a perfect game. The runners would have to get on somehow.

 

A perfect game requires no walks or errors, not just pitching to 27 hitters. A walk and a double play doesn't count. 

 

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Nine of twelve
Aug 17 2019 05:29 PM

 

I mean, $50 an hour for a relatively unskilled job is a pretty good side gig.

Actually, the job requires skill and loads of baseball-watching experience.

    • Sconnie likes this