Much credit goes to the now seemingly defunct Recondite Baseball for doing much of the same thing we have done here, but also putting it wonderfully coherent wording.
Basically, there’s a lot of question and controversy over the definition of Vulture Wins, but the general sentiment is that of one where a pitcher is awarded a win undeserved. Such a definition insinuates that there is a subjective nature to it, and it’s really still not defined. So in order to clarify things a little bit, we’re going to go with the general definition established by Recondite Baseball:
A pitcher is credited with a vulture win if he is the winning pitcher and satisfies one or more of the following conditions:
- He enters a game in relief and pitches at most one inning.
- He enters a game in relief and gives up at least as many runs (earned or unearned) as complete innings pitched (i.e. 1 R in 1 2/3 IP, 2 R in 2 1/3 IP).
- He enters a game in a save situation and blows the save.
In other words, we’ll do our best to adhere to such criteria, but will occasionally deviate from it on a subjective case-by-case basis, if we feel that a relief win is truly bullshit. We might ignore wins received in extra-inning scenarios for away pitchers, or we might not count pitchers getting a win after a deadlocked game in the sixth or seventh.
It’s a subjective in nature, flawed, junk stat to begin with, so why does it matter?