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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

A Save in a 12-1 Ballgame

Sean GallagherContributor JS emails in to alert me about an odd occurrence in the Cubs game on Wednesday. A save was awarded despite the final score being 12-1. On any given day in baseball, several closers will be awarded saves. However, it’s not often that a non-closer gets a save, especially in a ballgame where the margin isn’t three runs or less. So Carlos Zambrano went his obligatory five innings for the win, then came in Sean Gallagher to go the rest of the way, pitching four effective innings to get the save. Because it happens so infrequently, it’s a good time to bring up the three circumstances under which a save can be awarded:

Credit a pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following conditions:
(1) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his club; and
(2) He is not the winning pitcher; and
(3) He qualifies under one of the following conditions:
– (a) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or
– (b) 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 batsmen he faces; or
– (c) He pitches effectively for at least three innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game.

As JS astutely points out, Scott Boras must have had the “effectively” clause stricken from the rule books in order to help him make more money. Can’t say I disagree.

(AP Photo/Joseph Oliver)


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