# How to Keep Score in Baseball

Many baseball fans know how to keep score in baseball. An ERA is a pitcher's earned run average; an AVG refers to a batters batting average, and so forth. But here's the real question: do you know how these important numbers are calculated? In order to find out, let's go "inside the numbers":

ERA
An earned run average refers not to how many earned runs a pitcher normally allows, but how many he allows per nine innings pitched. So if a pitcher allows 4.5 earned runs for every nine innings pitched, his earned run average is 4.50.

AVG
A batting average is calculated by dividing a player's total number of hits by his total number of at-bats. So, if a player has 10 at-bats and three hits, his batting average is .300. Note that plate appearances that result in a base-on-balls (a walk) or a hit-by-pitch do not count as an official at-bat.

OBP
An OBP in baseball is a player's on-base percentage. This number refers to how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than an error, fielder's choice, uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction or catcher interference. The formula used to calculate an OBP is to divide a player's total number of hits, bases-on-balls and hit-by-pitches by his total number of at-bats, bases-on-balls, hit-by-pitches and sacrifice flies.

Slugging Percentage
This is quite possibly the most complicated part of learning how to keep score in baseball. Used to measure the power of a hitter, a slugging percentage is compiled as follows:

1. Take a player's total number of singles.
2. Multiply a player's total number of doubles by two.
3. Multiply a player's total number of triples by three.
4. Multiply a player's total number of home runs by four.

Now, add the results of 1-4, and divide the total by a player's total number of at-bats. That will give you a player's slugging percentage.

Make the Computer Work
If you don't have time to do the math to learn how to keep score in baseball, you could always purchase computer software to do it for you. Much the way software is used to determine tax and grade data, similar programs can be used to calculate the statistics mentioned above. Visit a reputable software store or website and make the pick that's best for you.

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