In baseball, a save (abbreviated SV or S) is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain prescribed circumstances, described below. The number of saves, or percentage of save opportunities successfully converted, is an oft-cited statistic of relief pitchers, particularly those in the closer role. It became an official Major League Baseball (MLB) statistic in 1969. Mariano Rivera is MLB's all-time leader in regular season saves with 652.
The term save was being used as far back as 1952. Executives Jim Toomey of the St. Louis Cardinals, Allan Roth of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Irv Kaze of the Pittsburgh Pirates awarded saves to pitchers who finished winning games but were not credited with the win, regardless of the margin of victory. The statistic went largely unnoticed.
A formula with more criteria for saves was invented in 1960 by baseball writer Jerome Holtzman. He felt that the existing statistics at the time, earned run average (ERA) and win–loss record (W-L), did not sufficiently measure a reliever's effectiveness. ERA does not account for inherited runners a reliever allows to score, and W-L record does not account for relievers protecting leads. Elroy Face of the Pittsburgh Pirates was 18–1 in 1959; however, Holtzman wrote that in 10 of the 18 wins, Face allowed the tying or lead run but got the win when the Pirates offense regained the lead.[note 1] Holtzman felt that Face was more effective the previous year when he was 5–2. When Holtzman presented the idea to J. G. Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News, "[Spink] gave [Holtzman] a $100 bonus. Maybe it was $200." Holtzman recorded the unofficial save statistic in The Sporting News weekly for nine years before it became official in 1969. In conjunction with publishing the statistic, The Sporting News in 1960 also introduced the Fireman of the Year Award, which was awarded based on a combination of saves and wins.
The save became an official MLB statistic in 1969. It was MLB's first new major statistic since the run batted in was added in 1920. Bill Singer is credited with recording the first official save when he pitched three shutout innings in relief of Don Drysdale in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 3–2 Opening Day victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field on April 7 of that year.
In baseball statistics, the term save is used to indicate the successful maintenance of a lead by a relief pitcher, usually the closer, until the end of the game. A save is a statistic credited to a relief pitcher, as set forth in Rule 9.19 of the Official Rules of Major League Baseball. That rule states the official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions:
If a relief pitcher satisfies all of the criteria for a save, except he does not finish the game, he will often be credited with a hold (which is not an officially recognized statistic by Major League Baseball).
A blown save (abbreviated BSV, BS or B) is charged to a pitcher who enters a game in a situation which permits him to earn a save (a save situation or save opportunity), but who instead allows the tying run to score. Note that if the tying run was scored by a runner who was already on base when the new pitcher entered the game, that new pitcher will be charged with a blown save even though the run will not be charged to the new pitcher, but rather to the pitcher who allowed that runner to reach base. If the reliever allows the tying or leading run, but the reliever's team wins the game, the reliever wins the game. Due to this definition, a pitcher cannot blow multiple saves in a game unless he has multiple save opportunities, a situation only possible when a pitcher temporarily switches defensive positions. The blown save was introduced by the Rolaids Relief Man Award in 1988. A pitcher who enters the game in a save situation and does not finish the game—but his team still leading—is not charged with a save opportunity. Save percentage is the ratio of saves to save opportunities.
In 1974, tougher criteria were adopted for saves where the tying run had to be on base or at the plate when the reliever entered to qualify for a save (unless he pitched three innings). This addressed saves such as Ron Taylor's in a 20–6 New York Mets win over the Atlanta Braves. The rule was relaxed in 1975 to credit a save when a reliever pitches at least one inning with no more than a three-run lead, or comes in with runners on base but the tying run on deck. In 2000, Rolaids started recording a tough save when a pitcher enters a save situation with the potential tying run already on base, but still earns the save.
As Francisco Rodríguez pursued the single-season saves record in 2008, Baseball Prospectus member Joe Sheehan, Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci, and The New York Sun writer Tim Marchman wrote that Rodríguez's save total was enhanced by the number of opportunities his team presented, allowing him to amass one particular statistic. They thought that Rodríguez on his record-breaking march was less effective than in prior years. Sheehan offered that saves did not account for a pitcher's proficiency at preventing runs nor did it reflect leads that were not preserved.
Bradford Doolittle of The Kansas City Star wrote, "[The closer] is the only example in sports of a statistic creating a job." He decried the best relievers pitching fewer innings starting in the 1980s with their workload being reduced from two- to one-inning outings while less efficient pitchers were pitching those innings instead. ESPN.com columnist Jim Caple has argued that the save statistic has turned the closer position into "the most overrated position in sports". Caple and others contend that using one's best reliever in situations such as a three-run lead in the ninth—when a team will almost certainly win even with a lesser pitcher—is foolish, and that using a closer in the traditional fireman role exemplified by pitchers such as Goose Gossage is far wiser. (A "fireman" situation is men on base in a tied or close game, hence a reliever ending such a threat is "putting out the fire.")
Firemen frequently pitched two- or three-inning outings to earn saves. The modern closer, reduced to a one-inning role, is available to pitch more save opportunities. In the past, a reliever pitching three innings one game would be unavailable to pitch the next game. Gossage had more saves of at least two innings than saves where he pitched one inning or less. "The times I did a one-inning save, I felt guilty about it. It's like it was too easy", said Gossage. ESPN.com wrote that saves have not been determined to be "a special, repeatable skill—rather than simply a function of opportunities". It also noted that blown saves are "non-qualitative", pointing out that the two career leaders in blown saves—Gossage (112) and Rollie Fingers (109)—were both inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fran Zimniuch in Fireman: The Evolution of the Closer in Baseball wrote, "But you have to be a great relief pitcher to blow that many saves. Clearly, [Gossage] saved many, many more than he did not save." More than half of Gossage's and Fingers' blown saves came in tough save situations, where the tying run was on base when the pitcher entered. In nearly half of their blown tough saves, they entered the game in the sixth or seventh inning. Multiple-inning outings provide more chances for a reliever to blow a save. The pitchers need to get out of the initial situation and pitch additional innings with more chances to lose the lead. A study by the Baseball Hall of Fame[note 2] found modern closers were put into fewer tough save situations compared to past relievers.[note 3] The modern closer also earned significantly more "easy saves", defined as saves starting the ninth inning with more than a one-run lead.[note 4] The study offered "praise to the combatants who faced more danger for more innings."
Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight has suggested the "goose egg," a new statistic that he considers to be a better evaluation of relief performance than the save. A reliever earns a goose egg for each scoreless inning pitched (no earned or unearned runs, no inherited runners score) in the seventh inning or later, where when he starts the inning: the score is tied, his team holds a lead of no more than two runs, or the tying run is on base or at the plate. Should the reliever be charged with an earned run in a goose egg situation, he will be credited with a "broken egg", the counterpart of the blown save, unless he finishes the game. The statistic is named for Gossage, who is the all-time leader in goose eggs but recorded relatively few saves compared to modern closers.
On September 3, 2002, the Texas Rangers won 7-1 over the Baltimore Orioles as Joaquín Benoit pitched a seven-inning save, the longest save since it became an official statistic in 1969.[note 5] Benoit relieved Todd Van Poppel (who entered the game in the first inning after starter Aaron Myette was ejected for throwing at Melvin Mora) at the start of the third inning, and finished the game while allowing just one hit. The official scorer credited the win to Van Poppel and not Benoit, a decision that was also supported by Texas manager Jerry Narron.
On August 22, 2007, Wes Littleton earned a save with the largest winning margin ever, pitching the last three innings of a 30–3 Texas Rangers win over the Baltimore Orioles. Littleton entered the game with a 14–3 lead, and the final 27-run differential broke the previous record for a save by eight runs. The New York Times noted that "there are the preposterous saves, of which Littleton's now stands out as No. 1."
On October 29, 2014, Madison Bumgarner of San Francisco Giants recorded the longest save in World Series history, pitching five scoreless innings of relief in a Game 7 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Listed are the Major League Baseball players with the most saves in their career.
|Player||Name of the player|
|Years||The years this player played in the major leagues|
|†||Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame|
|*||Denotes pitcher who is still active|
|L||Denotes pitcher who is left-handed|
|Francisco Rodríguez||62||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||2008|
|Bobby Thigpen||57||Chicago White Sox||1990|
|Edwin Díaz*||Seattle Mariners||2018|
|John Smoltz†||55||Atlanta Braves||2002|
|Éric Gagné||Los Angeles Dodgers||2003|
|Randy MyersL||53||Chicago Cubs||1993|
|Trevor Hoffman†||San Diego Padres||1998|
|Mariano Rivera†||New York Yankees||2004|
|Éric Gagné||52||Los Angeles Dodgers||2002|
|Dennis Eckersley†||51||Oakland Athletics||1992|
|Rod Beck||Chicago Cubs||1998|
|Jim Johnson||Baltimore Orioles||2012|
|Mark Melancon*||Pittsburgh Pirates||2015|
|Jeurys Familia*||New York Mets||2016|
|Éric Gagné||84||Los Angeles Dodgers||2002–2004|||
|Zack BrittonL*||60||Baltimore Orioles||2015–2017|||
|Tom Gordon||54||Boston Red Sox||1998–1999|||
|Jeurys Familia*||52||New York Mets||2015–2016|||
|José Valverde||51||Detroit Tigers||2010–2011|||
|John Axford*||49||Milwaukee Brewers||2011–2012|||
|Brad Lidge||47||Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies||2007–2009|||
|Grant Balfour||44||Oakland Athletics||2012–2013|||
|Brad Ziegler||43||Arizona Diamondbacks||2015–2016|||
|Rod Beck||41||San Francisco Giants||1993–1995|||
|Trevor Hoffman†||San Diego Padres||1997–1998|||
|Heath Bell||San Diego Padres||2010–2011|||
|Gerry Staley||14||Chicago White Sox||1960|
|Rollie Fingers†||Oakland Athletics||1976|
|Bruce Sutter†||Chicago Cubs||1978|
|Bob Stanley||Boston Red Sox||1983|
|Ron Davis||Minnesota Twins||1984|
|John HillerL||13||Detroit Tigers||1976|
|Goose Gossage†||New York Yankees||1983|
|Jeff Reardon||Montréal Expos||1986|
|Dan PlesacL||Milwaukee Brewers||1987|
|Dave RighettiL||New York Yankees||1987|
Half of the Angels' games so far this year have offered a save opportunity, much higher than the typical team's rate, because they play a lot of close games, having only outscored their opponents 429-396.
Prior to the save, there was no such thing as a closer in baseball. It is the only example in sports of a statistic creating a job — a well-paying job. But that's not my issue with the save.
Gossage and Fingers weren't far behind, with Fingers the only pitcher who pitched at least three innings in more than 10% of his saves. Sutter and Gossage had more saves where they logged at least two innings than saves where they pitched an inning or less.
The 1995 American League West tie-breaker game was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1995 regular season; the California Angels and Seattle Mariners met to determine the winner of the American League's (AL) West Division. It was played at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington, on the afternoon of Monday, October 2.The game was necessary after both finished the strike-shortened 144-game season with identical records of 78–66 (.542). Scoreless until the fifth inning, Seattle held a slim 1–0 lead at the seventh-inning stretch. The Mariners then broke it open and won 9–1 to secure the franchise's first postseason berth. It was counted as the 145th regular season game for both teams, with all the events in the game added to regular season statistics.
The game matched two highly unlikely teams: the Angels had not been to the postseason since 1986, and had not finished above third place in the AL West since. The Mariners had never been close to a pennant chase, with only two winning records (1991, 1993) in eighteen seasons.
With under two months left on August 3, the Angels were 56–33 (.629) with a comfortable lead in the AL West standings, eleven games ahead of Texas, and thirteen ahead of the third-place Mariners, at 43–46 (.483). By the end of the month, the Angels (67–50 (.573)) were on a six-game losing streak and their lead was trimmed to 7½ games over both. On September 21, the Angels lost their seventh-straight and the Mariners pulled even at 72–63 (.533), with Texas four games back. Five days later, Seattle had won its seventh straight and built three-game lead with five to go. then were shut out by the Angels. The M's won the first two games at Texas to clinch a tie with two remaining, but dropped the last two while California swept Oakland to finish on a five-game winning streak.At the time, the Angels' lead relinquishment was the third-largest in major league history, behind the 1978 Boston Red Sox and 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers.
After winning the tie-breaker, the Mariners met the New York Yankees (wild card) in the best-of-five AL Division Series. After two losses at Yankee Stadium, the second in fifteen innings, Seattle swept the next three games at home, capped by an 11th-inning double by Edgar Martínez in Game 5. The Mariners hosted and won the opener of the American League Championship Series, but lost to the Cleveland Indians in six games. The Angels did not return to the postseason until 2002, when they won their only World Series.300 save club
In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 300 save club is the group of pitchers who have recorded 300 or more regular-season saves in their careers. Most commonly a relief pitcher ("reliever" or "closer") earns a save by being the final pitcher of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and pitching at least one inning without losing the lead. The final pitcher of a game can earn a save by getting at least one batter out to end the game with the winning run on base, at bat, or on deck, or by pitching the last three innings without relinquishing the lead, regardless of score.
The statistic was created by Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an official statistic by MLB in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for past pitchers where applicable. Hoyt Wilhelm retired in 1972 and recorded just 31 saves from 1969 onwards, for example, but holds 227 total career saves.Mariano Rivera holds the MLB save record with 652. Only Rivera and Trevor Hoffman have exceeded 500 or 600 saves, and Hoffman was the first to achieve either. Rivera, Hoffman, Lee Smith, Francisco Rodríguez, John Franco, and Billy Wagner are the only pitchers to have recorded 400 or more saves. Rollie Fingers was the first player to record 300 saves, reaching the mark on April 21, 1982. Craig Kimbrel is the most recent, achieving his 300th on May 5, 2018. In total, 29 players have recorded 300 or more saves in their career. Only eight relievers – Dennis Eckersley, Fingers, Goose Gossage, Hoffman, Rivera, Smith, Bruce Sutter, and Wilhelm – have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; all but Wilhelm are also members of the 300 saves club. Kimbrel and Fernando Rodney are the only members of the 300 save club who are still active players. Of them, Kimbrel is the active leader in saves with 333.Baseball's Seasons
Baseball's Seasons is a documentary series on MLB Network. Each episode takes a look at a season in the history of Major League Baseball. It first aired January 7, 2009 in the first week of the network's existence. Like a lot of the network's other original programming, Baseball's Seasons airs during baseball's offseason.Division 1-A Rugby
Division 1-A Rugby (formerly known as the College Premier Division) is the highest level of college rugby within the United States and is administered by USA Rugby. Division 1-A rugby is modeled after NCAA athletic competitions, with the 66 D1-A rugby schools divided into eight conferences: East, Mid-South, Rocky Mountain, California, Big Ten, Liberty, Red River, and PAC 6.
The regular season sees all teams in the conference play one another, with the two top seeds qualifying for the playoffs. Playoffs are a single-elimination format, occurring each year in April and May, with the winner of D1-A declared the National Champion. Regular seasons for most conferences are played in the spring, although some cold-weather conferences, such as the Big Ten Universities, play their regular season in the fall.
The competition's first season was played during 2011 and consisted of teams from 31 schools from across the United States. The first ever match of the competition was played on Friday March 4, the Arizona State Sun Devils hosted the Colorado Buffaloes at the Arizona State University Soccer Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The 2011 final was played at Rio Tinto Stadium, in Sandy, Utah, on the 21 May 2011.
D1-A Rugby secured sponsorships in 2012 with World Rugby Shop and Veloce.
Several players who have excelled in the top level competitions in college rugby have also represented their country as part of the United States national under-20 rugby union team.Don Wadewitz
Donald Richard Wadewitz II (born May 20, 1974) is an American sportscaster.Joe Page
Joseph Francis Page (October 28, 1917 – April 21, 1980), nicknamed Fireman and The Gay Reliever, was a Major League Baseball relief pitcher. Page, who was left-handed, played with the New York Yankees from 1944 to 1950 and with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1954.Jon Duplantier
Jon Christopher Duplantier (born July 11, 1994) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball (MLB).Luis Peraza
Luis Peraza Rios (born June 17, 1942 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Peraza appeared in eight games, all in relief, for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969. He threw and batted right-handed, stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).
Peraza's professional baseball career began in 1961 in the New York Yankees' organization, then it was interrupted for two seasons (1962–1963). In 1964, Peraza was signed by the Los Angeles Angels' system, pitching at the Class A level for all of 1964 through two games during 1965. Then he was out of pro ball until he was signed by the Phillies in 1967.His eight-game MLB trial in 1969 consisted of nine total innings pitched. Peraza allowed 12 hits, six earned runs and two bases on balls, with seven strikeouts. He did not record a decision or a save.Vindicated (book)
Vindicated is a 2008 book written by former baseball player José Canseco. This book, similar to his first, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, focuses mainly on steroids in baseball. Vindicated has made several headlines. Canseco also writes of the now infamous 1998 party at his home.William Shea
William Alfred Shea (June 21, 1907 – October 2, 1991) was an American lawyer and a name partner of the prominent law firm of Shea & Gould. He is probably better known as the founder of the Continental League, which was instrumental in bringing National League baseball back to New York City with the New York Mets, and for being the namesake of the stadium where that team played for 45 years.