engineeringdaze.com has some wrap-up thoughts on baseball, now that the World Series just finished the season.

I was watching a baseball game recently and the team in the field brought in a relief pitcher. There was one or possibly two people on base, but he started pitching and no more outs were made when the first person he faced scored.

As an engineer, I am fascinated with baseball. Sure, the sport is mildly interesting, but the stats are what is really amazing. “This guy bats .322 with men on third base and when the pitcher he is facing is left-handed and has pitched more than once in the previous 3 days, as long as those appearances were further then 400 miles apart.”

Getting back to the game at hand, I did a quick calculation and figured, since there were no outs yet, something was terribly wrong. It looked like they were about to take this relief pitcher out of the game, resulting in him with an earned run counted against him, and no outs. That means his earned run average (ERA) for the day would have been either, impossible to calculate, because one would have to divide by zero, or, to make it a little more acceptable, infinity! Technically, it is impossible to calculate.

For the sake of logic, baseball should have the following rule:

“If a pitcher has an earned run counted against him, and he has not gotten any outs, then he will play until he gets an out, or, if he is leaves the game, an out will be charged to the other team.” In order for teams to not yank players just to get an out, then their team would start with two outs the next half inning.

Engineers can add so much logic to the game. Because, believe me, dividing by zero is not logical.

Thankfully, they let the pitcher get one out before taking him out of the game, and then with two runs against him, he ended the day with an ERA of 54.00. At least it was not infinity.