Randy Choate got the win for the Cardinals Saturday night, and above I have embedded his entire victorious performance. Don’t worry, it won’t take you long to watch. Choate only needed one pitch to get the victory.
Choate came into a 1-1 tie with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, and with his one pitch, got the Nationals’ Denard Span to ground out, ending the inning. The Cardinals took the lead their next time at-bat with Choate still in the game.
By major league rules, Choate gets credit for the victory despite throwing only one pitch. And that is why people say wins are a meaningless stat.
Actually, let’s clarify something about the rules. The baseball rule book states that, in a situation like Choate’s one-pitch winning performance, the scorekeeper could elect to award the win to a different pitcher. But as everyone knows, this rule is never invoked. Pitchers never have wins taken away from them on such rulings.
Here’s a crazy idea: how about in situations like that, the pitcher can elect to give the win away to one of his teammates? Sort of like a golfer calling a penalty on himself. Put pitchers on the honor system. Randy Choate should have the option of awarding the win to a teammate who threw more than one pitch. Why not?