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Encyclopedia > Earned Run Average

In baseball statistics, earned run average (ERA) is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It bears similar meaning to a hitter's batting average. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine. Runners reaching base on errors (even errors by pitchers) do not count toward ERA if they later score. Statistics are very important to baseball, perhaps as much as they are for cricket, and more than almost any other sport. ... In statistics, mean has two related meanings: the arithmetic mean (and is distinguished from the geometric mean or harmonic mean). ... In baseball, an earned run is any run for which the pitcher is held accountable (i. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In baseball, innings pitched (IP) are the number of innings a pitcher has completed, measured by the number of batters and baserunners that are put out while the pitcher is in the game. ... Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball measuring the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters, respectively. ...

Contents

Origins

Henry Chadwick is credited with first devising the statistic, which caught on as a measure of pitching effectiveness after relief pitching came into vogue in the 1900s. Prior to 1900 — and, in fact, for many years afterward — pitchers were routinely expected to pitch a complete game, and their won-loss record was considered sufficient in determining their effectiveness. After pitchers like James Otis Crandall and Charlie Hall made names for themselves as relief specialists, gauging a pitcher's effectiveness became more difficult using the traditional method of tabulating wins and losses. The National League first kept official earned run average statistics in 1912 (the statistic was called Heydler's Statistic for a while, after then-NL secretary John Heydler), with the American League following suit afterward. Henry Chadwick (October 5, 1824 – April 20, 1908), often called the father of baseball, was a sportswriter, baseball statistician and historian. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... // Public flight demonstration of an airplane by Alberto Santos-Dumont in Paris, November 12, 1906. ... In baseball, a complete game (denoted by CG) is the act of a pitcher pitching an entire game himself, without the benefit of a relief pitcher. ... In Major League Baseball, a win (denoted W) is generally credited to the pitcher for the winning team who was in the game when they last took the lead. ... James Otis Crandall (October 8, 1887 – August 17, 1951) was a right handed pitcher and second baseman. ... The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the National League, is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada and the worlds oldest extant professional team sports league. ... See also: 1911 in sports, 1913 in sports and the list of years in sports. Baseball April 20: The Boston Red Sox open in the new Fenway Park with a 7-6, 11-inning win over the New York Highlanders before 27,000. ... John A. Heydler (born 1869 - died 1956) was a baseball umpire from 1895 to 1897 and National League president in 1909, 1918 to 1934. ... American League The American League (or formally the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs) is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States of America and Canada. ...


Modern-day baseball encyclopedias notate ERAs for earlier years, but these were computed many years after the actual accomplishments. Negro League pitchers are often rated by RA, or total runs allowed, since the statistics available for Negro League games did not always distinguish between earned and unearned runs. Bud Fowler, the first professional black baseball player with one of his teams, Western of Keokuk, Iowa The Negro Leagues were American professional baseball leagues comprising predominantly African-American teams. ...


ERA and baseball era

As with batting average, the value of a good ERA varies from year to year. In the 1910s, a good ERA was below 2.00 (two earned runs allowed per nine innings). In the late 1920s and 1930s, when conditions of the game changed in a way that strongly favored hitters, a good ERA was below 4.00; only a pitcher of the caliber of Dazzy Vance or Lefty Grove would consistently post an ERA under 3.00 during those years. In the 1960s, sub-2.00 ERAs returned as ballparks with different dimensions were introduced, among other influences. Today, an ERA under 4.00 is again considered very good, although pitchers such as Greg Maddux and Pedro Martínez stand out as Grove and Vance did in their day. Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball measuring the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters, respectively. ... // The 1910s represent the culmination of European militarism which had its beginnings during the second half of the 19th Century. ... The 1920s is a decade that is sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... Clarence Arthur Dazzy Vance (March 4, 1891 - February 16, 1961) was a star Major League Baseball pitcher during the 1920s. ... Robert Moses Lefty Grove (March 6, 1900 - May 22, 1975) was one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball history. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... Gregory Alan Maddux (born April 14, 1966) is a pitcher for the San Diego Padres. ... This article is about the multiple All-Star/Cy Young right-handed pitcher. ...


The all-time single-season record for lowest ERA in a season is 0.86, set by Tim Keefe in 1880. The modern record is 0.96, set by Dutch Leonard in 1914. The lowest single-season ERA of an active pitcher is 1.12, achieved by Bob Gibson in 1968. The career record is 1.82, held by Ed Walsh, and the active player with the lowest career ERA (among those with more than 1,000 innings pitched, a threshold that filters out most relief pitchers) is Martínez, with an ERA of 2.72 through the 2005 season. Mariano Rivera (career ERA of 2.29 through the end of the 2006 season) finished the 2006 season with 881 2/3 innings pitched, and has a strong chance to finish with more than 1,000 innings lifetime, earning the right, in many fans' minds, to be considered on an equal footing with starters in debates involving the term "greatest pitcher". Tim Keefe on an 1888 Goodwin & Company baseball card (Goodwin Champions (N162)). Timothy John Tim Keefe (b. ... See also: 1879 in sports, other events of 1880, 1881 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Boat race Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race - Oxford Cricket 6 September-8 September, London - Only Test, England v Australia. ... Dutch Leonard was the name of two different pitchers in Major League Baseball: Hubert Benjamin Dutch Leonard (1892-1952), a left-handed pitcher who played between 1913 and 1925. ... See also: 1913 in sports, 1915 in sports and the list of years in sports. Baseball April 22 - Baltimore Orioles Babe Ruth, age 19, pitches his first professional game Football (Australian Rules) Victorian Football League Carlton wins the 18th VFL Premiership (Carlton 6. ... Pack Robert Bob Gibson (born November 9, 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska) is a former right-handed baseball pitcher for the St. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ed Walsh of the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park in 1913. ... // Athletics Mens 100 metres - Asafa Powell of Jamaica sets a new world record of 9. ... Mariano Rivera (born November 29, 1969 in Panama City, Panama) is a Panamanian baseball player. ...


Some sources may list players with undefined or infinite career ERAs. This can happen if a pitcher allows one or more earned runs without retiring a batter (usually in a single appearance). An undefined ERA occasionally occurs at the beginning of a baseball season. It is sometimes incorrectly displayed as zero or as the lowest ranking ERA when it is more akin to the highest.


In modern baseball, an ERA under 2.00 is considered exceptional and is rare. An ERA between 2.00 and 3.00 is also considered excellent and is only achieved by the best pitchers in the league. An ERA between 3.00 and 4.00 is better than average. An ERA between 4.00 and 5.00 is average; the majority of pitchers have an ERA in this range. An ERA above 5.00 is generally considered worse than average, and a pitcher with an ERA above 6.00 for a prolonged period of time is usually in danger of demotion to the bullpen or a lower league. While the game goes on, a relief pitcher warms up in the bullpen, beyond the outfield fence In baseball, the bullpen is the area where pitchers warm-up before entering a game. ...


ERA for starters vs. relievers

It can be very misleading to judge relief pitchers solely on ERA, because they are charged only for runs scored by batters who reached base while batting against them. Thus, if a relief pitcher enters the game with his team leading by 1 run, 2 outs in the inning, and the bases loaded, then gives up a single which scores 2 runs, he is not charged with those runs. If he retires the next batter, his ERA for that game will be 0.00 despite having surrendered the lead. (He is likely recorded with a blown save in this situation.) Starting pitchers operate under the same rules but are almost never called upon to start pitching with runners already on base. In addition, relief pitchers know beforehand that they will only be pitching for a relatively short while, allowing them to throw each pitch with maximum energy, unlike starters who typically need to keep something in reserve in case they are called upon to pitch 7 or more innings. This freedom to use their maximum energy for a few innings, or even for just a few batters, helps relievers keep their ERAs down. To save in a sport means to stop a goal or to maintain the lead. ...


ERA, taken by itself, can also be misleading when trying to objectively judge starting pitchers, though not to the extent seen with relief pitchers. The advent of the designated hitter rule in the American League in 1973 made the pitching environment significantly different— pitchers spending all or most of their careers in the AL have been at a disadvantage in maintaining low ERAs compared to National League pitchers who can often get an easy out facing the opposition's ninth batter (oddly, Martinez and Rivera, the ERA kings of the last decade or so, have been mostly active in the American League). In baseball or softball, a starting pitcher, often abbreviated as starter, is the pitcher who pitches the first pitch to the first batter of a game. ... This article or section needs additional references or sources to improve its verifiability. ...


This discrepancy between the leagues also affects relievers, but not to the same degree, as they actually pitch to pitchers far less than do starters for a number of reasons, chiefly because relievers are usually active in later innings when pinch hitters tend to be used in the ninth spot. ERA is also affected somewhat by the park in which a pitcher's team plays half its games, as well as the tendencies of hometown official scorers to assign errors or base hits in plays that could be either. In baseball, a pinch hitter is a common term for a substitute batter. ...


For an extreme example, pitchers for the Colorado Rockies have historically faced many problems, all damaging to their ERAs. The combination of high altitude and a semi-arid climate found in Denver causes fly balls to travel up to 10% farther than at sea level. Denver's altitude and low humidity also reduce the ability of pitchers to throw effective breaking balls, due to both reduced air resistance and to difficulty in gripping very dry baseballs. Also, the fences at Coors Field are not far enough from home plate to compensate for the increased fly-ball distance. The field also has a relatively small amount of foul territory. These conditions have been countered to some extent since 2002 by the team's use of humidors to store baseballs before games. These difficult circumstances for Rockies pitchers may not adversely affect their won-lost records, since opposing pitchers must deal with the same problems. Indeed, hometown hurlers have some advantage in any given game since they are physically acclimated to the altitude and often develop techniques to mitigate the challenges of this ballpark. Still, conditions there tend to inflate Rockie ERAs relative to the rest of the league. Major league affiliations National League (1993–present) West Division (1993–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 42 Name Colorado Rockies (1993–present) Other nicknames The Rocks, The Rox, Blake Street Bombers Ballpark Coors Field (1995–present) Mile High Stadium (1993-1994) Major league titles World Series titles (0) None NL Pennants... Nickname: Location of Denver in Colorado Location of Colorado in the United States Coordinates: , Country United States State Colorado City-County Denver (coextensive) Founded [1] November 22, 1858 Incorporated November 7, 1861 Government  - Type Strong Mayor/Weak Council  - Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) Area [1]  - City & County  154. ... Coors Field, located in Denver, Colorado is the home field of the National Leagues Colorado Rockies. ... A humidor is being prepared for use An Elie Bleu Medaille in blue A humidor is any kind of box or room with constant humidity (and often temperature as well) used to store cigars or pipe tobacco. ...


Sabermetric treatment of ERA

In modern baseball, Sabermetrics uses several defense independent pitching statistics including a defense-Independent ERA in an attempt to measure a pitcher's ability regardless of factors outside his control. Further, because of the dependence of ERA on factors over which a pitcher has little control, forecasting future ERAs on the basis of the past ERAs of a given pitcher is not very reliable and can be improved if analysts rely on other performance indicators such as strike out rates and walk rates. For example, this is the premise of Nate Silver's forecasts of ERAs using his PECOTA system.[1] Silver also developed a "quick" earned run average (QuikERA or QERA) to calculate an ERA from peripheral statistics including strikeouts, walks, and groundball percentage. Unlike Peripheral ERA, it does not take into account park effects.[2] This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In baseball, Defense Independent Pitching Statistics (DIPS) are statistics which measure a pitchers effectiveness based only on plays which do not involve fielders: home runs allowed, strikeouts, hit batters and walks. ... Defense-Independent ERA (dERA), created by Voros McCracken, projects what a pitchers earned run average would have been, if not for the effects of defense and luck on the actual games in which he pitched. ... Nate Silver is Executive Vice-President of Baseball Prospectus. ... PECOTA, an acronym for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, is a sabermetric system for predicting Major League Baseball player performance. ... Peripheral ERA is a pitching statistic created by the Baseball Prospectus team. ... // To throw pitches at the edges of the strike zone. ...


All-time leaders

Rank Player ERA Team(s) Year(s)
1 Ed Walsh 1.82 Chicago (AL), Boston (NL) 1904-17
2 Addie Joss 1.89 Cleveland 1902-10
3 A. G. Spalding 2.04 Boston (NA), Chicago (NL) 1871-77
4 Mordecai Brown 2.06 St. Louis (NL), Chicago (NL), Cincinnati, Brooklyn (FL), St. Louis (FL), Chicago (FL), Chicago (NL) 1903-16
5 John Ward 2.10 Providence, New York (NL), Brooklyn (NL), New York (NL) 1878-94

Ed Walsh of the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park in 1913. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 16, 19, 42, 72, Name Chicago White Sox (1904–present) Other nicknames The Sox, The South Siders, The ChiSox, The Pale Hose, The Good Guys, The Go-Go Sox, The... Major league affiliations National League (1876–present) East Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 3, 21, 35, 41, 42, 44 Name Atlanta Braves (1966–present) Milwaukee Braves (1953-1965) Boston Braves (1941-1952) Boston Bees (1936-1940) Boston Braves (1912-1935) Boston Rustlers (1911) Boston Doves (1907-1910) Boston... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Addie Joss, 1911 American Tobacco Company baseball card Adrian Joss (April 12, 1880 – April 14, 1911) was a Major League Baseball pitcher in the early 20th century. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 3, 5, 14, 18, 19, 21, 42, 455 Name Cleveland Steamers (1915–present) Cleveland Naps (1905-1914) Cleveland Bronchos (1902-1904) Cleveland Blues (1901) Other nicknames The Steamers, The Tribe, The Wahoos Ballpark Jacobs Field... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Al Spaldings sporting goods company made a lasting impact on baseball. ... Major league affiliations National League (1876–present) East Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 3, 21, 35, 41, 42, 44 Name Atlanta Braves (1966–present) Milwaukee Braves (1953-1965) Boston Braves (1941-1952) Boston Bees (1936-1940) Boston Braves (1912-1935) Boston Rustlers (1911) Boston Doves (1907-1910) Boston... Major league affiliations National League (1876–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 10, 14, 23, 26, 42 Name Chicago Cubs (1902–present) Chicago Orphans (1898-1901) Chicago Colts (1890-1897) Chicago White Stockings (1870-1871, 1874-1889) (a. ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... {{Infobox baseball player | name=Mordecai Peter Centennial Three Finger Brown | image name= none | birthdate=October 19, 1876 | birthplace=Nyesville, Indiana | dead=dead | deathdate=February 14, 1948 | deathplace=Terre Haute, Indiana | debutdate=April 19, 1903 | debutteam=St. ... Major league affiliations National League (1892–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 2, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 42, 42, 45, 85 Name St. ... Major league affiliations National League (1876–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 10, 14, 23, 26, 42 Name Chicago Cubs (1902–present) Chicago Orphans (1898-1901) Chicago Colts (1890-1897) Chicago White Stockings (1870-1871, 1874-1889) (a. ... Major league affiliations National League (1890–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 5, 8, 10, 13, 18, 20, 24, 42 Name Cincinnati Reds (1958–present) Cincinnati Redlegs (1953-1958) Cincinnati Reds (1882-1953) Cincinnati Red Stockings (1876-1882) Other nicknames The Redlegs, The Big Red Machine... The Brooklyn Tip Tops were a team in the short-lived Federal League of professional baseball from 1914 to 1915. ... St. ... The Chicago Whales were a Federal League baseball club in Chicago from 1914 to 1915. ... Major league affiliations National League (1876–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 10, 14, 23, 26, 42 Name Chicago Cubs (1902–present) Chicago Orphans (1898-1901) Chicago Colts (1890-1897) Chicago White Stockings (1870-1871, 1874-1889) (a. ... 1900 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... For the manager of Cheltenham Town F.C., see John Ward (football manager) John Montgomery Ward (March 3, 1860 – March 4, 1925) was a 19th century professional baseball player, league official, labor organizer and manager. ... The Providence Grays were a 19th century baseball team. ... This article is about the current National Football League team. ... The Brooklyn Dodgers were a Major League Baseball team that played from 1890-1957. ... This article is about the current National Football League team. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1894 (MDCCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...

See also

There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Defense-Independent ERA (dERA), created by Voros McCracken, projects what a pitchers earned run average would have been, if not for the effects of defense and luck on the actual games in which he pitched. ... In baseball, an earned run is any run for which the pitcher is held accountable (i. ... Catchers ERA or CERA in baseball statistics is the earned run average of the pitchers pitching when the catcher in question is catching. ... Peripheral ERA is a pitching statistic created by the Baseball Prospectus team. ... In baseball statistics, run average (RA) refers to measures of the rate at which runs are allowed or scored. ...

Notes

  1. ^ See Alan Schwarz, "Numbers Suggest Mets are Gambling on Zambrano," New York Times, August 22, 2004.
  2. ^ See Nate Silver, "Playoff Hurlers," BaseballProspectus.com (September 27, 2006).

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