Let's say there are 2 pitchers. One has an ERA of 2.60. The other has 3.45. Many people will look at this and figure-----lower era is the best. I'll want to have the pitcher with 2.60 ERA. What people fail to look at are various factors. Factor 1: Pitcher with 2.60 ERA may have pitched 165 innings. The one with 3.45 ERA may have pitched 235 innings. So therefore, it's normal for one with 3.45 ERA to get tired from pitching so many innings. Factor 2: Let's say you're pitching with a 3-2 lead, you'll be very, very careful. If you allow one more run, you risk losing the game. Now if you're pitching with a 8-2 lead, you would let it off a little bit. Not too worried about giving 2 or 3 runs. Factor 3: Altitude----see how balls fly out in Colorado. Factor 4: Weather condition----maybe one pitcher has been forced to pitch in rain or cold weather a lot more than the other one so ERA is higher. Baseball fans!!!! Tell me what you think or add to it.