Simple pitching decision fix: Flip it
That’s right, just flip the decision tree, instead of having it be the pitcher who was pitching before the team took the lead, have it be the pitcher to pitch after the team took the lead. This is easily the simplest solution and would fix a lot of the issues that people currently have with the system.
In the examples from before, Daniel Bard, Mike Muñoz, and Player B would have been the ones to get the win for the Colorado Rockies, while Estévez, Ruffin, and Player A would have received no-decisions. The only time that the old style of decision-making should be used is in the ninth inning for walk-off victories. I am sure I am not the only person to propose this, but it is beautiful in its simplicity and fixes some issues that are presented by the current system.
That doesn’t mean that this system is perfect. There are still issues where an undeserving pitcher would get the win.
For example, back to players A and B, but now let’s add in player C.
Player A pitches 2 innings and allows 6 runs. In the top of the 3rd, Player A’s team scores 9 runs, Player B comes in and allows 2 runs over 0.2 innings and is pulled for player C, who plays scoreless baseball for the rest of the game.
Now, using the old method, Player A would get the win. Using this new flipped method, Player B would get the win, but that doesn’t seem to make sense. Player B had an awful outing. The team would’ve probably lost if Player C had not been put in. While immensely rare, this scenario may still cause inappropriate players to receive the win, though at a significantly lower rate.
So what scenario might the wins truly go to the pitcher who deserves them the most? That gets a bit more complicated.