Sports 101

Baseball is not only a game of strategy, hits, and pitching, but it's also a game of numbers and statistics. Two of the most talked-about stats include a player's batting average and a pitcher's earned-run average (ERA). The instructions at right will help you with these calculations and also provide you with a context so you can compare players and eras. So start crunching those numbers!

Q: When talking about a baseball player's batting average, what counts as an at-bat?

A: Any time a batter gets a hit, makes an out, or reaches base on an error or fielder's choice. Does not include walks, sacrifice bunts, sacrifice flies, obstruction calls, catcher's interference, or being hit by a pitch. These events count as plate appearances and aren't used to calculate batting average.

Q: What is an earned-run average, commonly known as an ERA?

A: A statistic measuring how many earned runs (runs that score without an error) a pitcher surrenders to the opposing team every nine innings. An ERA of 4.0 or less in the major leagues today is considered good.

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