Tyler Duffey Got Screwed Out Of A "W" Last Night
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY SportsThe 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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