How Len Kasper helped Colin Rea pick up the win in Sunday’s game
Colin Rea hasn’t garnered an MLB win since 2016 and it didn’t look like that was going to change Sunday despite an important performance out of the bullpen.
When Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood had to depart Sunday’s game in Cincinnati with right elbow discomfort, Rea came in to get the final 2 outs in the 3rd inning of a game that was in a 0-0 deadlock.
The Cubs scored a pair of runs in the top of the 4th and Rea gave way to José Quintana, who pitched 3 innings and struck out 6 Reds.
Backed by a historic day from the outfield, the Cubs went on to build a big lead and claim a 10-1 victory. Initially, Quintana was credited with the win, but Cubs play-by-play broadcaster put in a call to the Reds official scorer and petitioned for Rea to get the win instead:
Guys, they changed it after I called. Colin Rea correctly got the win today. Quintana actually qualified for the save not the win—if he had finished the game he’d have gotten a save. @DevanFink @MLBRandomStats @IndyReds3— Len Kasper (@LenKasper) August 30, 2020
Here’s the official MLB rule on pitcher wins:
A pitcher receives a win when he is the pitcher of record when his team takes the lead for good – with a couple rare exceptions. First, a starting pitcher must pitch at least five innings (in a traditional game of nine innings or longer) to qualify for the win. If he does not, the official scorer awards the win to the most effective relief pitcher.
So in this case — since Chatwood was injured, he left in the midst of a tie game, making Rea the pitcher of record when the Cubs took the lead.
The initial choice was Quintana, but after a conversation from Kasper, the Reds official scorer changed it to Rea, with Quintana set up for a save if he had finished out the ballgame.
“The rule is clear cut in some ways, but it’s a rare occurrence so it can get confusing,” Kasper said. “I just wanted to get word to the scorer to double check it and thankfully in the end, they got it right. This stuff happens, no big deal. Normally pitcher wins are not top of mind for me but Colin Rea’s long journey back to the big leagues was too important to not get this one right, in my opinion.”
It’s Rea’s first win since 2016, when he was a member of the San Diego Padres rotation. He has worked his way back up to the big leagues after battling injuries over the last few seasons and this seemingly minor scoring change will mean an awful lot within Rea’s support system and the entire Cubs organization as a testament to his perseverance.
The 30-year-old right-hander has thrown 11 innings for the Cubs this season in 6 appearances out of the bullpen and 1 start.