SoSH Glossary: Game Score

Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.

Game Score

Game score (GSc) is a statistic that takes a pitcher’s performance from an individual game and places a score on it. GSc is on a 0-100 scale with 0 being roughly the worst game a pitcher can pitch, and 100 being close to the best – though numbers below 0 and above 100 are possible. Game score was created by Bill James in The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract in 1988.

How Is It Calculated?

To calculate a game score, start with 50 and then:

  • Add one point for each out recorded
  • Add two points for each inning completed after the fourth
  • Add one point for each strikeout
  • Subtract two points for each hit
  • Subtract four points for each earned run
  • Subtract two points for each unearned run
  • Subtract one point for each walk

Best and Worst Game Scores In MLB History

Kerry Wood holds the MLB record for the best game score when he threw a 20 strikeout one-hitter against the Houston Astros on May 6, 1998. His GSc for that game was 105. He threw 122 pitches, and did not walk a single batter in what was just his fifth career MLB start.

Hod Lisenbee holds the not-so-illustrious honor of the worst game score in MLB history – coming in at -35. On September 11, 1936, the 38-year-old right-hander buckled down to throw a complete game 26-hitter. Lisenbee gave up 17 runs (14 earned), 4 walks, 2 homers, and struck out 1. Amazingly, Hod did this all in eight innings.

Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.

Follow Pete on Twitter @PeterWHodges.

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