Thursday, August 28, 2008

Save Me

It's time for some minor rewriting of the Rules of Baseball, specifically Rule 10.19 dealing with saves. I want to know why a pitcher can receive a save when the team wins 18-3.

Here is the offical rule on saves from

10.19 Saves For Relief Pitchers

A save is a statistic credited to a relief pitcher, as set forth in this Rule 10.19.
The official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions:

(a) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
(b) He is not the winning pitcher;
(c) He is credited with at least a third of an inning pitched; and
(d) He satisfies one of the following conditions:
(1) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning;
(2) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batters he faces); or
(3) He pitches for at least three innings.

Last week the Cardinals defeated the Braves 18-3. Joel Pineiro came in to pitch in the 7th inning and finished the game for the Cards. He pitched three innings and by the rules, did earn a save. And yes, he did hold the lead that was give to him. But come on! The team was up by 14 runs (15-1) when Pineiro came in and extended the lead from there.

Personally, I find it absurd that a pitcher can receive a save just because he pitched three innings. If you pitch three innings in a close game, then you should get a save. But when your team wins by more than five or six runs, you should not get a save. I do not know what that threshold should be, but I will leave that up to better minds than myself. But 15 runs is definitely above any threshold I could ever come up with.

I just think it is time for a little common sense to be added to the rule. I may be way off base on this, but it just rubs me a little raw.

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Blogger Slut Bunwalla said...

You're right--the save is a worthless statistic. It's the only stat that chaanges how a manager uses his players--if the team is up by 3 or less, the closer comes in, but if the team is down 1, the manager uses someone else.

As much as some people hate the stat, the hold is a much more effective stat to measure a reliever's effectiveness. Much better than saves, for sure.

September 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM  

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