A pitcher is charged with a loss, abbreviated L, if he surrenders a run that gives the opposing team a lead that they never relinquish. Under the rules, a pitcher is considered to have surrendered a run if he allowed the runner who scored it to reach base, even if he scored while a subsequent reliever is pitching. This is analogous to the process for assigning earned runs. The run allowed need not be earned for the pitcher to be charged with the loss; it is quite common for pitchers to lose a game in which they have not surrendered an earned run.
There is always a pitcher charged with the loss in a game that does not end in a tie.
A relief loss is a loss attributed to a pitcher who did not start the game. This statistic is used in determining the winner of the Rolaids Relief Award.
|Records for Pitcher Losses|
|MLB Career||Cy Young||316|
|MLB Season||John Coleman||48||1883|
|MLB Season (since 1900)||Vic Willis||29||1905|
- David E. Skelton: "20-Game Losers: Profiles of the 20-Loss Seasons, 1920 to Present", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 42, Number 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 111-121.