"I don't care what the rules say, no earned runs is stupid."
How did the Red Sox earn 4 runs off of Phil Hughes?
That question comes to mind after hearing numerous people say that it's laughable that Phil Hughes did not technically give up an earned run this evening. Going on to say that the rules are stupid. While I understand that Phil gave up a home run, which is indeed an earned run (no matter what the rules say), that earned run does come with an assumption. That assumption is that Dustin Pedroia would have hit a home run in his next at bat, regardless of when that at bat came. We all know that hitters change their approach depending on the situation (number of outs, men on base, score, etc), but let's assume the batters following that error did the same with their at bat, and find out what the 3rd and 4th innings would have looked like had Hughes not made that error.
1. Mike Aviles singles on a line drive to center fielder Curtis Granderson.
3. Pedro Ciriaco grounds into a force out, shortstop Jayson Nix to
I'm assuming no error by Jayson Nix on his throw to Swisher at 1B, instead of to Cano at 2B. So in that case no runs score.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury walks.
2. Carl Crawford pops out to third baseman Casey McGehee in foul territory. 1 out.
3. Dustin Pedroia homers (10) on a fly ball to left field.
4. Adrian Gonzalez lines out to first baseman Nick Swisher. 2 outs.
5. Cody Ross strikes out swinging. 3 outs.
So after doing a lot of assuming, the most runs I believe you can hang on Phil Hughes in that game are 2. Not 4. And a pitching line of 7IP, 4H, 2ER, 1BB, and 4K is pretty darn good to me. Especially for a guy that came into this season as the 5th starter.
Oh, and that's assuming Phil wouldn't have gone any deeper into the game, seeing as how he would have thrown a lot less pitches through those 7 innings.
In summary, get off Phil's back!