Pitcher of record
The pitcher of record is the pitcher who is in position to receive credit for his team's win or loss. In general, the pitcher of record is whichever pitcher was in the game at the time that the lead changed, but there are three exceptions:
- A pitcher is liable for every runner who he allows on base, and can be charged with a loss if a runner he allowed on base scores the go-ahead run while a subsequent reliever is on the mound. This applies even if the baserunner he allowed is erased by a fielder's choice: the runner now on base as a result of this play is still the responsibility of the original pitcher, even though he never faced him as a batter. This is analogous to the process for charging pitchers with earned runs.
- A pitcher receives credit for all the runs that his team scores in a half inning in which he is replaced by a pinch hitter or pinch runner. Since no new pitcher has been put into the game, the most recent pitcher receives the credit.
- A pitcher who is judged to be ineffective, either by failing to pitch 5 innings as a starting pitcher or being ineffective in a brief appearance as a reliever, but is bailed out by his team's good offense does not receive credit for a win even though he is the pitcher of record when his team takes the lead. The win is then credited to the pitcher judged by the official scorer to have made the biggest contribution to his team's victory, either because of pitching a longish stint with no or few runs allowed, or by getting an out at a key moment of the game.