October 29, 2010

From a NY Times article entitled "Confidence in Abundance, despite an E.R.A. of Infinity":
When the Texas Rangers’ clubhouse opened for reporters after Game 2 of the World Series in San Francisco on Thursday, the only player talking was Derek Holland. Five minutes after the home clubhouse opened Friday, before a workout at Rangers Ballpark, Holland was back at his locker, ready for more.

Clearly, Holland is taking responsibility for one of the worst pitching performances in World Series history. But he also is ready to move on.

“I’m not worried about it,” Holland said Friday. “Today’s a new day. They’ll call on me again. It’s frustrating, but it’s over.”

Holland, a 24-year-old left-hander, came into Game 2 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, a runner on first, and the Giants leading the Rangers, 2-0. He threw 11 balls before his first strike, then threw another ball before he was removed.

Three batters. Three walks. Twelve balls, one strike. All the runners scored, leaving Holland with an infinite earned run average for the World Series.
I presume the reason why he is said to have an "infinite earned run average" is that he allowed three earned runs without retiring a batter, so lets look at this statistic in particular. Earned run average is calculated by multiplying nine by the number of earned runs allowed, then dividing that total by the number of innings pitched.

Since Holland failed to retire a batter, he technically didn't "pitch" an inning, so the quotient in this case is zero. When I was learning math back in the day, I was taught that anything divided by zero was "undefined," which didn't necessarily mean the same thing as "infinity." Has the consensus in this field changed since I was in school? Since the Texas Rangers have a team ERA that is numerically defined (10.69, to be exact), it would seem impossible for one of the component parts of that team statistic to be equal to infinity. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that Holland has failed to register an ERA in the World Series?

1 comment:

S.B.C said...

u look younger without the beard but def more handsome with it.