What is a Win in Baseball?
Wins are assigned to the pitcher of record for the winning team. In most circumstances, the pitcher of record is the pitcher at the time when their team takes the lead in the game, and maintains that lead for the remainder of the game.
Two situations can lead to the pitcher of record not receiving the win. In both situations, the official game scorer determines which pitcher receives the win:
- The starting pitcher does not pitch five innings, and as such, the official scorer assigns the win to the relief pitcher who pitched most effectively.
- In the eyes of the official scorer, the pitcher of record did not pitch effectively; and because of that ineffectiveness, the scorer instead assigns the win to the most effective relief pitcher.
Interestingly enough, a starting pitcher can be ineffective but still receive the win since the official scorer only has discretion to assign the win if, and only if, the starting pitcher does not reach five-inning minimum.
Note: the above applies to MLB games only. Short summary of differences below:
College: Same rules apply for games with a minimum of eight innings. For games with less than eight innings, the starting pitcher must pitch at least four innings.
High School: Same rules apply or games with a minimum of six innings. For games where the defense plays less than six innings, then the starting pitcher must pitch at least four innings.
What is a Relief Win?
As described above, relief pitchers are able to receive a win when the starting pitcher does not reach the minimum required innings pitched. In those cases (generally, when the starting pitcher tosses fewer than five innings), the most effective relief pitcher after the winning team assumes the lead is credited with the win by the official scorer.
Most Wins in MLB History
|Player Name||Number of Wins|
Other Common Questions
Does a pitcher need to record an out in order to be credited with a win?: Yes, only pitchers who have recorded an out will be considered the pitcher of record.
Does the minimum number of innings for a starting pitcher to earn a win change with 7-inning double headers?: No, starting pitchers are still required to pitch five innings to qualify for a win.
Is it possible for a pitcher to earn a win and a save in the same game?: No, a pitcher cannot receive both the win and save in a game (nor can they earn a hold and win in the same game).