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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
Span Pitcher Total Notes
MLB Career Cy Young 316
MLB Season John Coleman 48 1883
MLB Season (since 1900) Vic Willis 29 1905

See Also[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bill Nowlin and Emmet R. Nowlin: 20-Game Losers, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2017. ISBN 978-1-943816-59-0
  • 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.