Friday, May 23, 2008
Wait, what exactly did he save?
I ask this question because Will Ohman got a save last night for throwing two pitches and getting one out. That's it. Did he do more than Manny Acosta who got two outs in the ninth? Nope, but he got the save and not Acosta.
Seriously, MLB needs to change its rules on what constitutes a save or at least how it is implemented. It's the most useless stat out there. Rule 10.20 in the Official Rule Book states:
"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."
The first condition, I think, is one of the problems. Who cares if he's the finishing pitcher? Maybe they need to modify it and say they have to get at least one out in the ninth. You're basically awarding a stat not based on achievement, but on the manager's whim.
(3)(a) gets me too. Why three runs? Why should you get credit for holding a three run lead in one inning? That should be expected. Are we going to start awarding semi-wins to starters for every scoreless inning? This one drives me nuts especially for guys like Todd Jones or Joe Borowski. They come in with a 3-run lead, give up two runs, escape by the skin of their teeth, and they get a "save."
(3)(b) makes sense however. If you come in with the game on the line with the potential of someone tying the game or getting the lead and you finish the game off, then hats off to you. You saved the game. Here's your save... right next to your gold star. Todd Jones, you go sit in the corner with the dunce hat.