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Chip R
11-01-2010, 02:12 PM
And here they are. Nice column.

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/10/31/talkin-baseball-stats/ (http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/10/31/talkin-baseball-stats/)

Sea Ray
11-01-2010, 03:16 PM
I like the inherited runs stranded stat, #5 on his list, but the first four ideas drip of a baseball writer struggling to think of something to write about after the season ends.

RedsManRick
11-01-2010, 03:27 PM
I think Joe recognizes the real issue but sort of ignores it.

For most people, it has never been an issue of the stats making sense or not. As Joe explains, the stats people hesitate to give up are just as convoluted as the new ones. Try explaining batting average fully in one sentence. Considering it'll take a paragraph to explain "at bat", good luck.

As Joe points out, our ability to appreciate the game is rooted in our knowledge of the language of the game. The Lincecum/Hamilton match-up isn't all that exciting merely from an aesthetic perspective, not in the way football and basketball are. It's exciting because I know that Hamilton is one of the best in the game at getting hits Lincecum one of the best at getting strikeouts. The stats I know provide this context.

What us sabermetric types are doing is asking people to give up the "language" of the game they grew up with. It's saying "your knowledge doesn't count" and "you are enjoying the wrong things". People in every walk of life react poorly in this situation -- to the point that they will do anything to defend and justify their existing viewpoint. Nobody wants to be devalued. But even then, do people really believe batting average and RBI better captures run production than OPS and RC? I don't think so -- they just don't care.

For most fans, the stats have never been about getting closer to absolute truth. It's about having a framework for enjoying the game. We've historically measured the things that are exciting -- the action. And this is the primary disconnect. People love RBI not because it's such an accurate measure of run production. They love it because it captures an event where something exciting happened. Jonny Gomes was involved in a lot of exciting plays this year, had a lot of RBI, and he stands out in peoples minds for it.

Getting a new language that more accurately portions out credit won't increase most people's enjoyment of the game. It won't make a bloop single less exciting nor a walk more exciting, even if they're worth the same amount from a run perspective. In fact, in some cases, the new language tells people that they're getting excited over stuff that's meaningless in the big picture. What's the fun in that?

The tension arises, when we want to do something other than enjoy a game we're watching or a season reliving through conversation. When we start trying to be the GM, the accounting matters. Historically, the excitement based language was the best for both purposes.

Sabermetrics is showing that it's not. Sure, exciting events strongly correlate with winning baseball, but not perfectly. It's time to recognize that reality -- and recognize that neither way of looking at the game is "right". It depends on what you're trying to do.

Any conversation about what stats we "should" be using needs to recognize what the stats are being used for to begin with. Otherwise, we're just talking past each other.

Stats like RBI and AVG have their place. WPA is a great one to add alongside it. But us sabermetric types need to stop pushing OBP on people who want their stat to describe how often a guy gets a hit. But similarly, those fans need to recognize that the stats they grew up with aren't ideal for doing the accounting behind the scenes. Unfortunately, there will always be cases where these worlds clash -- MVP voting for example. Without clarification, it will continue to mean different things to different people. It would be nice if we could simply recognize that and move on.

Johnny Footstool
11-01-2010, 03:34 PM
...the first four ideas drip of a baseball writer struggling to think of something to write about after the season ends.

I agree. Joe P. is a great writer, but this article and his "I hate the wildcard because it screws up 2-team pennant races" piece were way below par.

lollipopcurve
11-01-2010, 03:53 PM
For most fans, the stats have never been about getting closer to absolute truth. It's about learning a framework for enjoying the game. We love RBI because it allows us to have an opinion, to love Manny Ramirez or Jonny Gomes. Some of us crave the absolute truth, we're just wired that way; most people ultimately don't. Getting a new language won't provide them any additional enjoyment. It won't make a homer more exciting. In fact, in some cases it's telling them that they're getting excited over stuff that's meaningless in the big picture. And ultimately, I think that's the real issue.

Stats don't have to be simple to explain for people to adopt them and gain an emotional attachment to them. Rather, they do have to align with the personal experience of watching the game. Look at what we measure now. We measure the things that are exciting -- the action. At the most simplistic level, good players do exciting things. Sure, those things strongly correlate with winning baseball, but not perfectly.

People use stats because they provide a way to capture and relive the excitement. For most people, it never has been about accurate accounting of run production and prevention and it never will be. If your new stats don't improve upon our ability to enjoy the game, they're just a distraction.

Any conversation about what stats we "should" be using needs to recognize what the stats are being used for to begin with. Otherwise, we're just talking past each other.

Outstanding post.

In my view, so much of the new stats' failure to allure is in the wastebasket to which it assigns a lot of the action -- luck. What we see is interesting for a variety of reasons associated with our senses and our emotions (the pitcher has a quirky delivery, the batter has a vicious swing, the winning run scores on a dramatic play, etc.). The search for "absolute truth" is an intellectual exercise that attempts to transcend sensory and emotional data, in order to find, some would say, the spirit of the game, while others find it soulless, stripped of so much that is human in the game.

westofyou
11-01-2010, 03:56 PM
Focus on the problems that the method presents, rather than focusing on the potential it has. That just blocks you from learning.

Bill James

1983 Baseball Abstract

RedsManRick
11-01-2010, 04:03 PM
Outstanding post.

In my view, so much of the new stats' failure to allure is in the wastebasket to which it assigns a lot of the action -- luck. What we see is interesting for a variety of reasons associated with our senses and our emotions (the pitcher has a quirky delivery, the batter has a vicious swing, the winning run scores on a dramatic play, etc.). The search for "absolute truth" is an intellectual exercise that attempts to transcend sensory and emotional data, in order to find, some would say, the spirit of the game, while others find it soulless, stripped of so much that is human in the game.

I think it cuts both ways. I think you're recognizing this, but I just want to clarify.

There are different ways to enjoy stats and they're actually about enjoying different parts of the game. One is the aesthetics, the other is the mechanics. For most of baseball history, the same set of stats was used for both purposes.

But we're learning that the set of stats we grew up, rooted in the aesthetic side, have limited application on the mechanical side of things. Many casual fans seem unwilling to concede this.

I think we'd all be better off if we collectively recognized these different uses, talked about sabermetric stats as supplementary rather than replacements, and helped foster understanding about when to use which stats.

lollipopcurve
11-01-2010, 04:14 PM
I think it cuts both ways. I think you're recognizing this, but I just want to clarify.

There are different ways to enjoy them and they're actually about enjoying different parts of the game. One is the aesthetics, the other is the mechanics. For most of baseball history, the same set of stats was used for both purposes.

But we're learning that the set of stats we grew up, rooted in the aesthetic side, have limited application on the mechanical side of things. Many casual fans seem unwilling to concede this.

I think we'd all be better off if we collectively recognized these different uses, talked about sabermetric stats as supplementary rather than replacements, and helped foster understanding about when to use which stats.

I can buy all of this.

In my opinion, there is a whole generation of stats still to come, more revolutionary than what we've seen. Better and more cameras will allow people to collect data that help us see with much greater precision players' skillsets and the fault line that divides skill and chance.

RedsManRick
11-01-2010, 06:20 PM
I can buy all of this.

In my opinion, there is a whole generation of stats still to come, more revolutionary than what we've seen. Better and more cameras will allow people to collect data that help us see with much greater precision players' skillsets and the fault line that divides skill and chance.

I agree completely. We will continue to get better stats for understanding and describing the mechanics.

I think we'll continue to improve our ability to assign credit to individual players for past performance and to predict future performance based on players' skills.

But I don't think we should expect casual fans to accept the next generation of stats any better than they expect the current ones. The kinds of stats we're developing, increasingly accurate as they may be, continue to focus on the mechanical side of things.

At the end of the day, most fans will continue to favor those stats which clearly describe and codify the action as they see it. Translations of those stats in to some abstract value simply are not attractive. Perhaps we can improve upon the stats we already use, particularly the pitcher win stat. But I doubt we'll ever fundamentally change the types of statistics casual fans use to describe the performances of players.

IslandRed
11-01-2010, 11:38 PM
James also wrote that he loved baseball stats, as opposed to stats of any other kind, because they had acquired the powers of language.

And that goes along with what RMR wrote. The newer stats, informative and instructive though they are, don't really have that power of language except among those who are determined to learn it. And really, for someone who's enjoying the game just fine as is, there's little real-world payoff for the effort of learning the new language. It's a great second language for armchair GMs, though.

RedEye
11-01-2010, 11:58 PM
James also wrote that he loved baseball stats, as opposed to stats of any other kind, because they had acquired the powers of language.

And that goes along with what RMR wrote. The newer stats, informative and instructive though they are, don't really have that power of language except among those who are determined to learn it. And really, for someone who's enjoying the game just fine as is, there's little real-world payoff for the effort of learning the new language. It's a great second language for armchair GMs, though.

But the growth of any language is also organic--and it also takes time. I, for one, am amazed at how many people are already conversant in OBP and OPS just a few years removed from the fuss around Moneyball. Perhaps "new" stats will catch up with the mainstream faster than we might think.

Brutus
11-02-2010, 12:01 AM
But the growth of any language is also organic--and it also takes time. I, for one, am amazed at how many people are already conversant in OBP and OPS just a few years removed from the fuss around Moneyball. Perhaps "new" stats will catch up with the mainstream faster than we might think.

I've always hoped Gross Production Average would take off because of it's intuitiveness, it's scaling to a BA like metric and a slight bit closer correlation to runs than OPS.

Unfortunately, it hasn't gained much leverage in the culture. wOBA has picked up a bit, perhaps because Tom Tango's influence, but GPA just hasn't picked up.

For those that are wondering, GPA is simply 1.8 times OBP plus SLG and divided by four to align almost perfectly with batting average where .300 is a real good player, .265 is about average, etc.

Ron Madden
11-02-2010, 03:56 AM
I've not seen or heard very many fans argue that the so called newer stats are perfect, ONLY that they may be more informative than the three (BA, HR, RBI) displayed on the scoreboard and at the bottom of our TV screens.

Most of the arguments come from fans who honestly believe batting average is the best way to judge a hitter and W-L record and ERA are the best measurement to judge pitchers.

I can understand clinging to the numbers we grew up believing in but whats wrong with keeping an open mind to what the newer stats might tell us?

Sea Ray
11-02-2010, 09:17 AM
Opinions on the grand scheme of stats is well and good but what do you think about his five specific stat changes?

TRF
11-02-2010, 12:17 PM
personally, I like every run average the best. A pitcher cannot control what happens behind him, for good or bad. a HR saving grab affects his ERA in a positive way, but a ball stuck in the webbing of a fielder's glove has no effect. Errors and spectacular plays happen. So count them all.

I remember a game Reitsma started for the Reds where he gave up something like 7-8 UNEARNED runs. I knew right then he wasn't a starter. Counting every run shows the pitcher's ability to overcome that which he has little control over.

or something like that.

bucksfan2
11-02-2010, 12:43 PM
personally, I like every run average the best. A pitcher cannot control what happens behind him, for good or bad. a HR saving grab affects his ERA in a positive way, but a ball stuck in the webbing of a fielder's glove has no effect. Errors and spectacular plays happen. So count them all.

I remember a game Reitsma started for the Reds where he gave up something like 7-8 UNEARNED runs. I knew right then he wasn't a starter. Counting every run shows the pitcher's ability to overcome that which he has little control over.

or something like that.

What is every run average? And can you explain it quickly and have it make sense to most fans?

IMO that is the single biggest hangup to the more advanced stats. It isn't the validity of the stat, thats for us big time baseball fans to argue about, its about the ease of understanding. If someone were to ask what ERA is, its a pretty easy to explain it to a casual fan. It may not be the best metric but its a metric that is easy to put into practice.

I look at stats like OPS and WHIP and see two stats that were once considered more advanced making in roads into everyday baseball. I do see some obstacles with them, most importantly a good accepted baseline, but they are becoming more prevalent across mainstream baseball.

Can you imagine trying to explain WAR to the guy sitting next to you at game? Heck he may think you are talking about politics or a card game. IMO that is the reason why traditional stats will always be around. As big of flaws as BA, HR, RBI, W, L, etc. have, they will always have some value in that your mainstream fan relates to them.

edabbs44
11-02-2010, 12:59 PM
There is way too much emphasis on this movement right now, IMO. It seems like everyone and their brother is out on a witch hunt, trying to bash any "traditional" statistic that exists. Some of it makes sense, some of it is overkill.

It's kind of like walking into a store and seeing a shirt costing $50. It makes sense, people know what $50 means and all that. But then a group of people start a blog talking about how it really isn't worth $50, its value actually fluctuates and costs VoNW, or Value over Net Worth. So instead of seeing a price tag of $50, you need to bust out the equation that they came up with and enter in your current net worth, your projected earnings over the next 3-5 years along with the current inflation rate in Indonesia. Now it really costs $50 +/- some variable.

Then someone else comes along and starts to add values to the different types of threads being used, the projected durability of the shirt, how many days the previous models of the shirt were worn and whether or not there was too big of a leap between models (+30 wearings from year to year is way too much). Now the value of the shirt is known as xVoNW, whcih is something totally different.

But, to most people, they can make a determination on that shirt based on their opinion using their own assessment of how much is costs and what it is worth to them. It's easy, and it fits into what they want to do.

I think that this movement has value and all that, especially to the people who it should really matter to (like the owners, GMs and managers), but to force feed it to the public and bash any statistic that was in the mainstream pre-steroid era is a little ridiculous. Give anyone traditional statistics and I think generally they will be able to tell you who the more productive players are in the game. Just because they can't take those stats and equate them to theoretical run values doesn't mean they are completely useless. Because they aren't.

RedsManRick
11-02-2010, 01:04 PM
Opinions on the grand scheme of stats is well and good but what do you think about his five specific stat changes?

1) Teams Wins = Pitcher Wins: Agree. If we just want to judge the pitcher himself, judge the pitcher on what he does. If we're going to contextualize it, let's just do that.

2. If it’s a sacrifice, make it a sacrifice: Agree, sort of. The manipulation of the "AB" is just plain silly, inconsistently applied, and obfuscates the reality that you just made an out. Outs all count whether you made them on purpose or not. If you want to recognize that something valuable happened in the process, call them productive outs and be done with it. Pretending like certain at bats didn't happen just doesn't make sense. I'd actually go full out and kill the AB. Stick with PA.

3. Simplify RBIs. Agree, sort of. If a run scores as a consequence of what you did at the plate, you get an RBI. (no RBI on a wild pitch or steal of home). But if you drive yourself in, you should get an RBI. Runs and RBI have always "double counted". Your ability to put a guy on base and drive him in during the same PA should be recognized.

4. Give me “every run average” rather than “earned run average.” Agreed. Earned Run Average suggests that it is filtering out the contributions of defense -- that's utter BS.

5. Create simple but effective middle-reliever stats. Agreed, sort of. Is any new reliever stat going to be more meaningful than what we already have? Even an IRS based stat is going to be affected by the number of outs in the inning. Guy on first with 2 outs is very different than guy on 3rd with none.

All simple stats are likely to be misleading, particularly ones in which player usage has a significant impact. Give me rate stats and opportunity context and I'm happy. If I want to know how effective a reliever is, I'll look at his FIP rate stat and I know what I need to know. As soon as you start talking about runs scoring, you're talking about a complex set of factors that are not necessarily reflective of the pitcher himself.

Generally speaking, I like stats that are opportunity neutral, otherwise a good portion of what you're measuring is how the guy was used and how well his teammates performed, which doesn't tell me very much.

REDREAD
11-02-2010, 01:25 PM
And here they are. Nice column.

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/10/31/talkin-baseball-stats/ (http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/10/31/talkin-baseball-stats/)

I wouldn't mind his idea of giving the starting pitcher the win if the team wins, but I still think the starting pitcher should have to go 5 innings (or some other minimum) to get that win.

We already keep track of inherited runners a reliever allows to score.

The other changes are silly, IMO. Why get your panties in a wad because sacrifice bunts and flies don't ding batting average. I thought he hated batting average anyhow?

Not counting an RBI for a HR kind of countradicts what he said earlier about giving an RBI any time a run crosses the plate. That's like saying a double shouldn't count in your batting average, because it's already boosting your SLG%.. ie, it makes no sense.

TheNext44
11-02-2010, 03:07 PM
Here's what I would like to see changed. Basically keeping the old stats, but just changing how they are defined.

1) Wins - If you simply were able to give the win to whoever you thought was most instrumental in the team's win, instead of who was pitching when the winning run scored, Wins would be a much better stat, that might actually mean something. I've never understood the fairness in assigning a win to whoever was pitching when the winning run scored. It's so random and has nothing to do with how effective a pitcher was. I also would take away the 5 inning rule. It just causes too many problems and I would rather let official scorers use their judgment.

2) ERA - Assign partial credit for runs scored. If a pitcher leaves with runners on 1st and 2nd, and those runs scores, he should get credit for 1/4 of run scored for the runner on first, and 2/4 or 1/2 of a run scored for the runner on second, or 3/4 of a run scored for both of them combined. The relief pitcher who gave them up get the other 1 1/4 runs scored for letting them score. Basically, 1/4 of a run scored for every base you let a runner reach who scores. This avoids the whole inherited runner stat, which just confuses things. With this ERA would be a much fairer stat, and correlate better to ability and performance.

3) You get on base, it adds to your OBP. Can someone tell me why getting hit by a pitch requires more skill than hitting into an error? On Base Percentage should be just that, the percentage of times you get on base, by any means neccesary. Why deny a player credit for getting on because of an error? Do we take away a hit because it was a good play? You get on base, it adds to your OBP. Very simple

4) I like Poz's elimination of the double credit for a Home Run, but I would keep the RBI and take away the runs scored. RBI's represent how good you are at creating runs, driving them in. Scoring a run is more representative of how often you get on base and how well you run the bases. A home run drives a run in, more than it scores a run, in my opinion.

And BTW, outstanding first post RMR. Poz would be impressed. :thumbup:

Johnny Footstool
11-02-2010, 03:31 PM
What is every run average? And can you explain it quickly and have it make sense to most fans?

IMO that is the single biggest hangup to the more advanced stats. It isn't the validity of the stat, thats for us big time baseball fans to argue about, its about the ease of understanding. If someone were to ask what ERA is, its a pretty easy to explain it to a casual fan. It may not be the best metric but its a metric that is easy to put into practice.

I've explained ERA to a number of non-fans. It's not that easy. Casual fans can understand it because they've been exposed to it for a long time, but outsiders have a hard time grasping the concept of "earned" runs versus "unearned" runs. Every Run Average is actually simpler, because it eliminates that concept altogether.

Chip R
11-02-2010, 04:07 PM
Here's what I would like to see changed. Basically keeping the old stats, but just changing how they are defined.

1) Wins - If you simply were able to give the win to whoever you thought was most instrumental in the team's win, instead of who was pitching when the winning run scored, Wins would be a much better stat, that might actually mean something. I've never understood the fairness in assigning a win to whoever was pitching when the winning run scored. It's so random and has nothing to do with how effective a pitcher was. I also would take away the 5 inning rule. It just causes too many problems and I would rather let official scorers use their judgment.

I would rather not let official scores use their "judgement." We got this guy in Pittsburgh who wouldn't know an error if it came up and bit him on the nose. It's too subject to personal biases.


2) ERA - Assign partial credit for runs scored. If a pitcher leaves with runners on 1st and 2nd, and those runs scores, he should get credit for 1/4 of run scored for the runner on first, and 2/4 or 1/2 of a run scored for the runner on second, or 3/4 of a run scored for both of them combined. The relief pitcher who gave them up get the other 1 1/4 runs scored for letting them score. Basically, 1/4 of a run scored for every base you let a runner reach who scores. This avoids the whole inherited runner stat, which just confuses things. With this ERA would be a much fairer stat, and correlate better to ability and performance.

A little too complicated for my taste.


3) You get on base, it adds to your OBP. Can someone tell me why getting hit by a pitch requires more skill than hitting into an error? On Base Percentage should be just that, the percentage of times you get on base, by any means neccesary. Why deny a player credit for getting on because of an error? Do we take away a hit because it was a good play? You get on base, it adds to your OBP. Very simple

I agree.


4) I like Poz's elimination of the double credit for a Home Run, but I would keep the RBI and take away the runs scored. RBI's represent how good you are at creating runs, driving them in. Scoring a run is more representative of how often you get on base and how well you run the bases. A home run drives a run in, more than it scores a run, in my opinion.

I'm not so sure about that. Even if you drive yourself in it's still a run driven in and a run scored. What I'd like to see is home runs subtracted from OBP. Yes, you are getting on base but you are getting off base as soon as you are getting on.

bucksfan2
11-02-2010, 04:27 PM
1) Wins - If you simply were able to give the win to whoever you thought was most instrumental in the team's win, instead of who was pitching when the winning run scored, Wins would be a much better stat, that might actually mean something. I've never understood the fairness in assigning a win to whoever was pitching when the winning run scored. It's so random and has nothing to do with how effective a pitcher was. I also would take away the 5 inning rule. It just causes too many problems and I would rather let official scorers use their judgment.

I don't know. I realize that Wins and Losses aren't the best judge of talent, but its a nice baseline. I disagree with letting the official scorer decide who wins or loses the game. Is the pitcher who pitches 6 innings of 1 run baseball more instrumental in a win than a pitcher who comes in with one out and the bases loaded and gets out of the jam with 0 runs scored more influential?

FWIW I think people associated with the game and voters in specific awards have moven away from the W-L record as the most important stat.


2) ERA - Assign partial credit for runs scored. If a pitcher leaves with runners on 1st and 2nd, and those runs scores, he should get credit for 1/4 of run scored for the runner on first, and 2/4 or 1/2 of a run scored for the runner on second, or 3/4 of a run scored for both of them combined. The relief pitcher who gave them up get the other 1 1/4 runs scored for letting them score. Basically, 1/4 of a run scored for every base you let a runner reach who scores. This avoids the whole inherited runner stat, which just confuses things. With this ERA would be a much fairer stat, and correlate better to ability and performance.

Doesn't this all balance out as the season progresses? Sometimes you get lucky and other times you get unlucky. Im not a huge fan of partial run credit. It makes sense but I wonder how valid and accurate it actually would become.


3) You get on base, it adds to your OBP. Can someone tell me why getting hit by a pitch requires more skill than hitting into an error? On Base Percentage should be just that, the percentage of times you get on base, by any means neccesary. Why deny a player credit for getting on because of an error? Do we take away a hit because it was a good play? You get on base, it adds to your OBP. Very simple

I like this one. Every time you reach base you get credit for it in OBP. Sometimes players have an impact in reaching on errors. I think you need to reward that. I would almost make a scale of easy errors and hard errors with hard errors being credited to OBP and easy errors not but that would become way too complicated.


4) I like Poz's elimination of the double credit for a Home Run, but I would keep the RBI and take away the runs scored. RBI's represent how good you are at creating runs, driving them in. Scoring a run is more representative of how often you get on base and how well you run the bases. A home run drives a run in, more than it scores a run, in my opinion.

To me this really doesn't matter.

Roy Tucker
11-03-2010, 07:59 AM
But, to most people, they can make a determination on that shirt based on their opinion using their own assessment of how much is costs and what it is worth to them. It's easy, and it fits into what they want to do.



Value over replacement shirt. :)

kaldaniels
11-03-2010, 11:53 AM
Forecasting future results and compiling stats over a season are 2 different animals.

What is a pitcher's goal....to allow the least amount of runs per inning he pitches.

What is a batter's goal....to get on base and to acculmulate bases.

Interesting concept to filter out all the background "noise" and look at just that.

If Jonny Gomes hits 150 [non Home-Run] 4-base error "Home Runs", guess what, he is going to be the most productive offensive player in the league that year...why not recognize that.

Granted that is absurd, but acquiring bases is acquiring bases...no matter how you do it.

I'm not staunchly in favor of this concept, but I'd sure like to see a test run.

RedsManRick
11-03-2010, 01:42 PM
If we're going to call a pitcher's goal allowing the least amount of runs per inning, isn't the corollary batter's goal to produce as many runs per PA? Or we could flip it the other way and say that a pitcher's goal should be to allow the fewest men on base and prevent base accumulation.

I find it interesting that we implicitly recognize that the best way to judge a batter is based on what he does at the plate, but for pitcher's we want to use the outcome of team performance.

That's not a critique of you Kal, just an observation of the general disconnect in the populous. It sort of falls under the "if we didn't use these stats already, would we recreate them?" header.

kaldaniels
11-03-2010, 02:37 PM
Runs. That is what it is about. Bases acculmulated in an AB/PA is the most important building block to a run scored.

Once a batter bats and reaches base, it is generally up to the next batter to cause the first runner to score.

Once a pitcher allows a runner on base, it is mostly up to that same pitcher (of course a pitching change skews this) to not allow that first batter to score. (I'd be open to somehow splitting the "blame for runs"...if a pitcher allows a double and is replaced and the reliever allows him to score...charge each pitcher with 1/2 a run)

That's why I think it's ok for pitchers to be measured in runs and batters to be measured in bases. Nothing is perfect though.