I will never understand baseball’s “earned run” rule. Without bothering to look up the actual definition of the rule, I do know that it’s meant to protect pitchers from being unfairly blamed for runs that score as the result of errors. It would seem, then, that if a batter hits a ball that is misplayed by the center fielder, and said batter-runner comes around to score on the exact same play, and the official ruling on the play is “a double” and “a two-base error,” then the run scored by the batter-runner should be unearned. It was the error, after all, that allowed him to score; a double does not count as a run.
On that note, here’s Melky Cabrera of the erratic 2010 Atlanta Braves to demonstrate.