MLB 2011: How to Be the Winning and Losing Pitcher in the Same Game

David FreemanContributor IMay 3, 2011


Let’s open the 2011 season by pulling a question out of the email bag…

Q: Suppose Bob is the pitcher of record when a game is suspended. Before the game resumes a few months later, Bob gets traded to the other team. Assuming Bob pitches for his new team once the game resumes, could he be the winning pitcher for one team, and ALSO the losing pitcher for the other team?
(Luke – via the WorldWideWeb)

A: The answer is YES, Luke. First off, Bob is eligible to pitch for both teams in the same game. This is covered on page 41 of the 2010 edition of the Official Baseball Rules:

Rule 4.12(c): …A player who was not with the club
when the game was suspended may be used as a substitute,
even if he has taken the place of a player
no longer with the club who would not have been eligible
because he had been removed from the lineup
before the game was suspended.

That being said, I only know of one scenario in which Bob could be both the winning and losing pitcher. In order for this incredibly rare instance to occur, all of the following conditions would have to happen before the game was suspended and when it was resumed—as indicated in Rule 10.17:

  • Bob’s “first” team would have be the home team
  • The home team would have to be batting (bottom of the inning)
  • The home team would have to be trailing the visiting team (not tied)
  • The tying or go-ahead runs could not be on base
  • Bob would be the “pitcher of record,” having completed the top of the inning
  • Upon the game’s resumption, Bob would have to immediately enter the game as the visiting pitcher
  • The home team would have to assume the lead with Bob as the pitcher of record for the visiting team

In the minors, infielder Andrew Pinckey had the chance to play for both teams in the same game on July 28, 2008. To read more about it, click here. I’m sure there are others, but as far as Major League Baseball goes I have my own story on this topic.

Early in my minor league scoring career I was personally ”duped” by a former major-leaguer turned pitching coach who had claimed to have struck himself out under a circumstance similar to Luke’s question. In this fibbing player’s scenario, he had been batting when the game was suspended, traded to the opposing team, and entered as the pitcher when the game was resumed. A tremendous story, except the world wide web confirmed it to be an extremely tall tale. A famous man once said, "Trust - then verify."

It’s a simple game. Really.

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