At the end of the game, statistics measuring player's performance in the game are calculated, and a certain set of the most useful/comprehensive statistics are organized into a box score.
A box score is a statistical summary of the game. It gives statistics and information on many facets of the game, including offensive performance, pitching performance, and fielding performance -- for both individual players and the team as a whole.
Each statistic in the box score is calculated using a certain formula, and is usually calculated as the game goes on. However, the box score is not finalized and published until the game is over.
The box score also often includes the line score, which is a more brief summary of the game. The line score lists the final game score, the winning pitcher, the losing pitcher, the saving pitcher (if applicable), and the scores of each of the innings. The line score will usually occupy the top of the box score.
Here are some of the offensive statistics for individual players that you might find on a box score:
At-Bats (AB): The number of at-bats each player had in the game.
Runs (R) : The number of runs each player scored in the game.
Hits (H): The number of hits each player had in the game.
Runs Batted In (RBI): The number of runs each player drove in, in other words, the number of times a player's at-bat resulted in a runner reaching home plate.
StrikeOuts (SO): The number of times each player struck out.
Batting Average (BA or AVG): A statistic measuring how many times, on average, a player gets a hit every time he is at-bat. This statistic covers the player's performance over the entire season, not just in that specific game.
On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS): A statistic measuring how often a player gets on base and his ability to hit for power (reach multiple bases after one hit). Although less common than BA, it provides a more holistic view on a player's offensive skills. Like batting average, this statistic covers the player's performance over the entire season, not just in that specific game.
Here are some of the offensive statistics for the entire team that you might find on a box score. (If an item in this list did not occur in the game, it is not included in the box score):
Doubles (2B): A list of the players who hit a double in the game, followed by how many doubles each player hit. If they hit just one double, only their name is added. If they hit more than one, the number of doubles they hit is added after their name.
Triples (3B): A list of the players who hit a triple in the game. Same rules from above apply.
Home Runs (HR): A list of the players who hit a home run in the game. Same rules from above apply.
Total Bases (TB): A list of the players who got a base hit in the game, followed by the total number of bases they reached after hitting. For example, if a player hit a double and a triple, a 5 would be listed after his name, since a double (2 bases) plus a triple (3 bases) equals 5 total bases. If the player only hit one single/only had one base, the same rule from above applies.
Stolen Bases (SB): A list of the players who successfully stole a base in the game.
Caught Stealing (CS): A list of the players who were caught stealing, in other words, attempted to steal a base but were put out.
Here are some of the pitchingstatistics that you might find for individual pitchers in a box score:
Innings Pitched (IP): The number of innings each pitcher pitched in the game.
Hits (H): The number of hits each pitcher gave up/allowed in the game.
Runs (R) : The number of runs the opposing team scored while the pitcher was in the game.
Earned Runs (ER): The total number of runs the opposing team scored as a result of the pitcher giving up a hit (as opposed to scoring after a fieldingerror).
Base on Balls (BB): The number of walks each pitcher gave up/allowed in the game.
StrikeOuts (SO or K): The number of times each pitcher struck out a batter in the game.
Home Runs (HR): The number of home runs each pitcher gave up during the game.
Earned Run Average (ERA): A statistic measuring the average number of earned runs a pitcher gives up per nine innings pitched. The most commonly used and most basic statistic used to analyze a pitcher's performance. Like batting average, this statistic covers the pitcher's performance over the entire season, not just in that specific game.
Here are some of the defensive statistics that you might find for fielders in a box score:
Double Plays (DP): A list of the double plays that occurred in the game, including the names of the players who executed the double play, in the order of who handled the ball.
Errors (E): A list of the players who committed a defensive error in the game.