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Breaking Down the Box Score Part 2

In the first article in this series, we provided a history of the box score and broke down what you need to know offensively when following a game. In part two, we are going to take a look at the defensive side of the game so you are equipped to keep up with all of the action.

Taking a look at a box score should give you a good sense of what happened in a game. The first part of that is understanding the information in the box score.

Seymour (Wisconsin) varsity baseball coach Curt Jefson believes that best way for someone to learn about the box score is to explain the symbols that are used and what they mean.


For pitching stats, a box score will break down every pitcher who entered the game along with: IP (innings pitched), #P (number of pitches thrown), S% (percentage of pitches thrown that were strikes) H (hits the pitcher allowed), R (runs the pitcher allowed), ER (earned runs; runs that weren’t scored due to defensive errors), SO or K (how many batters the pitcher struck out), HR (how many home runs the pitcher surrendered) and ERA (the player’s earned run average for the season). The winning and losing pitchers will also be designed with a “W” next to their name or a “L.”


In more modern box scores and stat pages, you will find some of the following defensive statistics that help show what's happened defensively: TC (total chances a player has to field a ball), A (assisted on a play), PO (put out; the person who catches a batted or thrown ball that results in the batter being out), E (error), DP (double play; recorded two outs on one play), TP (triple play; recorded three outs on one play), FPCT (percentage of plays fielded without an error).  

To some, it might seem overwhelming to keep up with this many things, but it gets easier with practice. At GameChanger, we provide a glossary so that following along and understanding definitions is never a problem. Feel free to also use the reference guide below when you are following your next game.  


Once you have the symbols down, you can follow along and keep track of more than just the score.

Using the pitching and defensive statistics in conjunction with the offensive statistics paint a pretty comprehensive recap of the game helping to make following your favorite players and teams easy.

From GameChanger and Greg Bates.

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