Watson: U.L.’s toothpick: The night Kevin Appier threw a one-hitter and lost

From SABR member Darin Watson at Baseball Prospectus on July 26, 2018:

Twenty-five years ago this week, Kevin Appier pitched perhaps the most dominant game in Royals history. And lost.

That’s a bold claim, you might respond. I answer with the Game Score stat.

You’re familiar with Game Score, yes? Devised by Bill James, it is a stat to determine a starting pitcher’s effectiveness in a single game. While it is somewhat of a “quick and dirty” method, in general it works to give us a good idea of just how well a pitcher did in any game. The formula is simple: start with 50 points, add one point for each out, one point for each strikeout, and two points for each inning completed after the fourth. Then subtract one point for each walk, two points for each hit, two points for each unearned run, and four points for each earned run. A Game Score of 100 is exceptional, a Game Score of 90 is terrific, and the proverbial “quality start” is probably going to be between 50-60 points.

In Royals history, the highest Game Score ever is a 98, achieved by Dick Drago in 1972. It was a much different time: Drago worked 11 innings before allowing a run in the 12th. Unfortunately, that cost him the game, as the Royals lost 1-0. The second-highest Game Score in team history is a game most of you will recall: Danny Duffy striking out 16 Tampa Bay hitters in 2016 for a 95.

Read the full article here: http://kansascity.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2018/07/26/u-l-s-toothpick-the-night-kevin-appier-threw-a-one-hitter-and-lost/

Originally published: July 26, 2018. Last Updated: July 26, 2018.