February 1, 2024

Five Star Sport

Sports Tips & Best Gear Reviews

What Is A Quality Start In Baseball?

5 min read
what is a quality start in baseball

How did you perform when you pitched in your most recent game? Or perhaps you didn’t get the win, but you pitched a great game even if you didn’t get the win. What is the most effective way to measure an enjoyable experience? Possibly a full game? Or how about a strong beginning? So what does a quality start in baseball mean?

Starting pitchers are given a quality start statistic if they throw six complete innings and allow three earned runs or fewer. To find out more about a good baseball start, read this article.

What Is A Quality Start In Baseball?

A starting pitcher who throws at least six innings and allows three runs or fewer is considered to have had a quality start in baseball. To determine which pitchers turned in strong performances, the stat is a useful tool for organizations and fantasy baseball owners.

However, achieving a strong start does not guarantee a game’s victory. If you leave the game with the score tied or if your team hasn’t scored any runs after you allow one run, you might lose the game 1-0. Despite the fact that a non-win or loss is terrible for the pitcher, the quality start metric helps to show that the pitcher did their job. You can check out more information we have on what is PO, MVR, and a cycle in baseball.

Who Came Up With The Phrase?

The phrase “quality start” comes from In 1985, John Lowe worked as a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over time, organizations and participants have added to that expression to describe various circumstances.

For example, Nolan Ryan uses the term “High-Quality Start” to represent a pitcher who pitches seven innings and gives up less than three runs. Another expression you might hear from the radio and television announcers is a tough loss, which refers to a pitcher who lost the game despite making a strong start.

what is a quality start in baseball

Is a quality start an official start?

A good start is a recognized stat in Major League Baseball. A starting pitcher who goes at least six innings and allows no more than three earned runs has had a quality start. The current standard for the statistic is six innings and three earned runs, despite the fact that some detractors think it should be changed.

What Is A Complete Game, And How Is It Distinct From A Quality Start?

A pitcher throws a game from beginning to end without being relieved, which results in a complete game.

Therefore, if a game is officially played despite being cut short by bad weather, a pitcher can still be given credit for a complete game. And if the game goes into extra innings and the pitcher is changed, the complete game may not be completed.

Two key distinctions can be seen in the light of the definition given above. First of all, in order to earn a quality start, a pitcher must complete the entire game as opposed to just six innings. Furthermore, there is no cap on earned runs in a game that is finished.

Consequently, which is superior? Of course, there are arguments for both, but if ESPN’s MLB statistics section is any indication, which no longer reports complete games, the quality start statistic is preferred.

Having said that, if you pitch the entire game and reach the earned run threshold, you can obtain both a quality start and a complete game.

Is A Quality Start A Good Statistic?

It’s crucial to keep in mind that there will always be restrictions when a statistic is used for any kind of analysis when considering this question. The goal is to attempt to quantify how well a pitcher performs during a specific outing.

I’d say it’s better than a complete game because, in a complete game, the performance of the pitcher’s team’s defense and offense is taken into account.

No statistic, though, is flawless. There are undoubtedly circumstances in this case that could be subject to discussion.

One instance is when taking into account the ERA for a specific at-bat. Another instance is when using metrics that are more arbitrary, such as comparing a pitcher’s six-inning performance with their twelve-inning performance in terms of earned run total. It can be difficult to determine which feels better.

A statistic can always be challenged with specific arguments from individual cases. The goal of any statistic, however, is to deliver a reasonable conclusion over a sizable sample size, which the quality start does.

what is a quality start in baseball

Looking at this statistic over an extended period of time presents another difficulty. Although not all records go back that far, baseball has been played for close to 150 years, and during that time, the game has evolved. And one of those things that have evolved and changed is the use of pitchers.

Pitchers are now used differently than in the past and are pitching fewer innings per outing thanks to the increased use of analytics in team construction and in-game decision-making.

The quality start does a great job of focusing on what the pitcher is out there to do: get more outs, and allow fewer runs. No data is perfect, but it does a great job of doing so.

Who Are The All-time Quality Start Leaders?

Teams and organizations use the quality start statistic to gauge a pitcher’s performance throughout the regular season. The quality start statistic aids in providing a comprehensive narrative, just like the WHIP baseball statistic. Instead of a pitcher who receives “cheap wins” for regularly pitching five innings and having a team that scores many runs, the quality start stat illustrates that they also did their job.

  1. Don Sutton (483)
  2. Nolan Ryan (481)
  3. Greg Maddux (480)
  4. Roger Clemens (465)
  5. Tom Seaver (454)
  6. Gaylord Perry (453)
  7. Steve Carlton (447)
  8. Phil Niekro (442)
  9. Tom Glavine (436)
  10. Tommy John (431)


One metric that teams can use to assess a pitcher’s effectiveness is a quality start. Great pitchers may be on bad teams that don’t win enough games, for example. A pitcher might go unsigned during free agency if a team owner only considers the win-loss ratio.

I’m hoping that this helps you think about your pitching outings a little more. You don’t necessarily have to pay as much attention to wins and losses as your coach does. Confidence is one of many things that go into becoming a better pitcher.

Share with Your Friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.