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The pitcher (abbreviated to P or 1) is a baseball fielding position for the player responsible for throwing (pitching) the baseball to the catcher during an opponent's turn at bat. The pitcher and catcher together are often referred to as the "battery".

The pitcher is a special fielding position, he is required to throw the ball towards home plate only while at least one foot is touching the rubber bar on the pitching mound, which is situated 60 feet and 6 inches away from the front of the home plate. If the pitcher fails to execute a pitch correctly, the umpire can rule a balk has occurred, which will result in any runners who are on-base advancing by one base, including to home plate (if a runner is on third), resulting in a run scored.

The pitcher's goal is to retire a batter, or force them "out". This can be done by causing the batter to swing and miss the ball (a strike) three times for a strikeout, or by forcing the batter to hit the ball poorly so that the batted ball is caught for an out (such as a flyout), or thrown to force a runner or the batter out. Pitchers often use a variety of pitches, speeds and deliveries in order to get the batter out on strikes, or to induce them to swing and hit the ball poorly.

Pitching roles

At most levels of play, pitchers are divided into Starting Pitchers (SP) and Relief Pitchers (RP). Starting pitchers are normally part of a team's pitching rotation and take turns being the first pitcher, the one who starts a game. These pitchers will accumulate a game started statistic. A relief pitcher is normally one who substitutes for another pitcher at some later part of the game. A relief pitcher may be used to start a game, and a starting pitcher may appear in a relief role, but for game strategy purposes many teams try to keep the roles separate, partly to ensure that they always have a rested starting pitcher for future games.

A pitcher who is regularly the last pitcher to play in a game can be said to have the "closer" position (often abbreviated to CL). A closer is normally one of the best relief pitchers on a team's roster, who is effective at keeping the opposing team from scoring in late innings, when the starting pitcher would normally be tired.

Pitching statistics

Pitchers have unique statistics recorded only for them, such as Earned run average, innings pitched, shutouts, and others. In some leagues, where pitchers appear in the batting lineup (leagues without a DH rule), they also accumulate batting statistics.

Pitching statistics - Bull League leaderboard[1] Min. 82 IP for single-season averages, 410 IP for career averages
Statistic Single-season
Year set Player Career record Player
ERA 0.28 1993 Iron Arm 2.23 Iron Arm
Wins 14 2012 Lien-ying Li 138 Angelo Rodriguez
Losses 13 2001 Logan Starr 91 Ian Love
Win Pct. 1.000 2009 Matt Hanna .771 Andres Zarate
Saves 29 2015 Nate Kremer 234 Nick MacLellan
Games 51 2000 Nick MacLellan 587 Leonard Hurrach
GS 21 1995 Dan Kirk 253 Asif Ibrahim
CG 9 2015 Niek Rodriguez 58 Angelo Rodriguez
Shutouts 4 2011 Niek Rodriguez 22 Iron Arm
IP 156.0 1995 F.Y. Jackass 1,974.2 Angelo Rodriguez
Hits allowed 168 2015 Bob Finney 1,819 Angelo Rodriguez
HR allowed 28 2014 Yoshiaki Fujimara 207 Mu-ruo Chen
Strikeouts (K) 195 2011 Ricky Terrazas 2,017 Angelo Rodriguez
Bases on balls 79 2002 Logan Starr 723 Dan Robinson
BB/9 IP 0.20 2002 Dandy Lundgren 0.83 Dandy Lundgren
HA/9 IP 1.87 1993 Iron Arm 6.34 William Febres
K/9 IP 14.96 2012 William Febres 12.42 Micah Jones
BB+K/IP 0.38 1993 Iron Arm 0.97 Ricky Rodriguez
Opp. BA .000 1993 Iron Arm .195 William Febres
Opp. OBP .214 2008 Ricky Terrazas .258 Ricky Rodriguez
Opp. SLG .000 1993 Iron Arm .306 Ricky Terrazas
Opp. OPS .426 2008 Ricky Terrazas .580 Ricky Terrazas
WAR 6.4 1999 Iron Arm 67.0 Iron Arm

Pitching Awards

In the Bull League, pitchers can win a fielding award called the Platinum Glove Award. The Sandy Koufax Award is awarded to the best pitcher in each of the American Eagle League and the Lake League. The best relief pitcher may also win the Woodchuck Trophy.


  1. History Leaderboard. BNN. [1]. Accessed: 28 November 2016.