A reader wanted to know how in the how Zack Greinke was charged with two runs in the eighth inning on Thursday night at Cleveland. He thought the second run should have been charged to John Bale.
Here’s what happened: With one out, Mark DeRosa singled and Victor Martinez walked. At that point, Greinke was relieved by Bale. Shin-Soo Choo hit a possible double-play ball to first baseman Billy Butler, who threw to second for the force. But shortstop Tony Pena Jr.’s return throw got past Bale covering for an error, DeRosa scoring. On that play, second baseman Alberto Callaspo, after chasing down the ball, threw poorly to home for another error that let Choo take second. Then Joakim Soria relieved Bale and Jhonny Peralta blasted a double off the top of the left-field wall, Choo scoring.
Greinke is charged with both runs because he put the first two runners on base. And even though Martinez was retired on Choo’s fielder’s choice, the fact that there was a runner on at all still reverts to Zack. It might be a bit unfair but that’s the way it is.
Even though DeRosa scored on Pena’s throwing error, that came on a double play attempt in which you cannot assume the second out which would have ended the inning. So the scorer ruled that DeRosa would have scored along with Choo on Peralta’s double, hence both runs were earned and charged to Zack.
In the case of the second run charged to Zack, I suppose the scorer could have ruled that Choo would not have reached second base except for Callaspo’s error and therefore would not have scored on Peralta’s double. However, there were two outs when the double was hit so Choo would have been running all the way if he were still at first base and the ball hit high off the wall anyway so he’d probably have scored from first regardless.