Saturday, June 14, 2014


...And another technicality that might be worth exploring.

Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals) pitched a great game against the Cardinals last night (6/13)...but Lance Lynn and Trevor Rosenthal combined to pitch a better one as St. Louis beat Washington, 1-0, at Busch Stadium III.

And just why is Cliff Lee (...or should we say: Cliff Lee's
backside) being featured here, anyway? 
This was thus an eight-inning complete game loss for Jordan (his second CG in a row).

BUT...the Nationals batted for Zimmermann in the top of the ninth.

Which means that if they'd tied the score or gone ahead during that inning, there would have no CG for Jordan.

It's one of the odd artifacts of the scoring rules, of course, and it is the first such occurrence in 2014.

It would be interesting (at least to a few of us, that is...) to determine just how many of these "fudgy CGs" have occurred. Clearly there were more of them when there were more complete games, but how many more? As with some other such arcana, it will take a database talent to come up with the answer, as not all eight-inning complete game losses will feature the situation where the starting pitcher is pinch-hit for in an unsuccessful top of the ninth.

So...should these count as CGs? It's hard to say no, really, since the game circumstances don't permit another pitcher to appear in the game...and the "basic" definition of a CG is that the starter is the only pitcher in an official game, whether it goes five innings or nine innings.

But we'd still like to know how many of these types of CGs there are...dammit!

[EDIT: What we can tell lieu of a complete that the last "fudgy CG" (where the starting pitcher was batted for in the top of ninth for a team that failed to extend the inning) occurred on September 27, 2013. The pitcher in question? Cliff Lee, who struck out 13 but gave up an eighth inning homer to Chris Johnson. He allowed only three hits, but Kris Medlin and Craig Kimbrel shut out the Phillies on just two hits as the Braves beat Philadelphia, 1-0.]