Save (baseball)

Last updated
Mariano Rivera is the MLB all-time leader in saves. Mariano Rivera allison 7 29 07.jpg
Mariano Rivera is the MLB all-time leader in saves.

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. Most commonly a pitcher earns a save by entering in the ninth inning of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and finishing the game by pitching one inning without losing the lead. [1] The number of saves or percentage of save opportunities successfully converted are oft-cited statistics of relief pitchers, particularly those in the closer role. The save statistic was created by journalist Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an official MLB statistic in 1969. [2] [3] The save has been retroactively measured for pitchers before that date. Mariano Rivera is MLB's all-time leader in regular-season saves with 652, while Francisco Rodríguez earned the most saves in a single season with 62 in 2008.

Contents

History

The term save was being used as far back as 1952. [4] 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. [5] 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. [6] [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. [6] [9]

The save became an official MLB statistic in 1969. [6] It was MLB's first new major statistic since the run batted in was added in 1920. [6]

Notable saves

On April 7, 1969, Bill Singer was credited with 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. [10] [11]

On April 27, 1969, Frank Linzy of the San Francisco Giants became the first pitcher to be credited with two saves in one day, registering saves in both games of a doubleheader against the Houston Astros. [12] [13]

On April 29, 1970, Stan Williams of the Minnesota Twins became the first pitcher credited with a save without facing a batter. [14] In a home game against the Cleveland Indians with the Twins holding a 1–0 lead, Williams entered in relief of Jim Kaat in the top of the ninth inning with two outs and runners on first and second; he then picked off runner Tony Horton at second base, ending the game. [15]

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. [16] [note 2] 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. [19]

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." [20]

On October 29, 2014, in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants recorded the longest save in World Series history, pitching five scoreless innings of relief in a 3–2 victory over the Kansas City Royals. [21]

Usage

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; the current definition has been in place since 1975. [22] That rule states the official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions: [23]

  1. He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
  2. He is not the winning pitcher;
  3. He is credited with at least ⅓ of an inning pitched; and
  4. 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 with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck
    3. He pitches for at least three innings.

The definition of a save has not always been the same. As initially defined in 1969, a relief pitcher could earn a save if he entered a game with his team in the lead and he held the lead through the end of the game, regardless of the score or for how long he pitched. [22] [24] This produced some especially "easy" saves, such as Ron Taylor being credited with a save after pitching a scoreless ninth inning in a 20–6 New York Mets win over the Atlanta Braves in August 1971. [24] [25] In 1974, tougher criteria were adopted for saves where either the tying run had to be on base or at the plate when the reliever entered to qualify for a save, or the reliever had to preserve a lead of any size for at least three innings in completing a game. [26] [27] The rule was slightly relaxed in 1975 to the current definition as outlined above. [28] [27] Statistical sites, including MLB.com, include saves in pitching records prior to 1969 by retroactively applying the 1969 criteria. [22]

The ratio of saves to save opportunities is save percentage. [29] A save opportunity (or "save situation") occurs when a reliever enters a game in a situation that permits him to earn a save. Note that a pitcher who enters a game in a save situation and does not finish the game, but departs with his team still leading, is not charged with a save opportunity.

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 (abbreviated H), which is a statistic that is not officially recognized by Major League Baseball. [30]

A blown save (abbreviated BS; alternately BSV or B) [note 3] occurs when a reliever in a save situation surrenders the lead (allows the tying run, or more, to score). Like the hold, the blown save statistic is not officially recognized by Major League Baseball. [30] The blown save was adopted as part of the points system used by the Rolaids Relief Man Award starting in 1988. [31] [30] Note that if the tying run was scored by a runner who was already on base when the reliever entered the game, the reliever will be charged with a blown save even though the run is charged to the pitcher who allowed that runner to reach base. A reliever cannot blow multiple saves in a game unless he has multiple save opportunities, a situation only possible if the reliever temporarily switches to another defensive position, then returns to pitching.

Criticism

Heath Bell is congratulated by San Diego Padres teammates after a save in 2009 Heath Bell congratulated after save.jpg
Heath Bell is congratulated by San Diego Padres teammates after a save in 2009

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. [32] [33] [34] Sheehan offered that saves did not account for a pitcher's proficiency at preventing runs nor did it reflect leads that were not preserved. [32]

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. [35] ESPN.com columnist Jim Caple has argued that the save statistic has turned the closer position into "the most overrated position in sports". [36] 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.") [36] [37]

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. [38] Gossage had more saves of at least two innings than saves where he pitched one inning or less. [39] "The times I did a one-inning save, I felt guilty about it. It's like it was too easy", said Gossage. [40] ESPN.com wrote that saves have not been determined to be "a special, repeatable skill—rather than simply a function of opportunities". [41] It also noted that blown saves are "non-qualitative", pointing out that both Gossage and Rollie Fingers, who each had over 100 career blown saves, were both inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. [41] 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." [42] 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 4] found modern closers were put into fewer tough save situations compared to past relievers. [note 5] The modern closer also earned significantly more "easy saves", defined as saves starting the ninth inning with more than a one-run lead. [note 6] [27] The study offered "praise to the combatants who faced more danger for more innings." [27]

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. [43] 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. [43]

Leaders in Major League Baseball

Saves

The statistic was formally introduced in 1969, [6] although research has identified saves earned prior to that point. [44]

Key
PlayerName of the player
SavesCareer saves
YearsThe years this player played in the major leagues
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
*Denotes pitcher who is still active
LDenotes pitcher who is left-handed

Most saves in a career

Below are the 10 Major League Baseball players with the most saves in a career.

Regular season
PlayerSavesYears
Mariano Rivera 6521995–2013
Trevor Hoffman 6011993–2010
Lee Smith 4781980–1997
Francisco Rodríguez 4372002–2017
John Franco L4241984–2005
Billy Wagner L4221995–2010
Dennis Eckersley 3901975–1998
Joe Nathan 3771999–2016
Craig Kimbrel *3712010–present
Jonathan Papelbon 3682005–2016
Stats updated through 2020 season [45]

Progression of career saves leaders

The following 14 pitchers have led the major leagues in total saves for a career, since the formation of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA) in 1871. [46] This table is based on career totals at the end of each baseball season, including retroactive application of the saves definition prior to 1969, when it was first recognized as an official statistic by MLB.

PlayerStartEnd
SeasonCareer savesSeasonCareer saves
Harry Wright 18713189314
Tony Mullane 189415190315
Kid Nichols 189915190616
Joe McGinnity 190719190924
Mordecai Brown 191026192549
Firpo Marberry 192653194599
Johnny Murphy 19461041961107
Roy Face 19621181963134
Hoyt Wilhelm 19641461979228
Rollie Fingers 19802441991341
Jeff Reardon 19923571992357
Lee Smith 19934012005478
Trevor Hoffman 20064822010601
Mariano Rivera 2011603incumbent652

Notes:

  • Mullane and Nichols shared the record from 1899 through 1903.
  • Mullane pitched both right-handed and left-handed.

Most in a single season

Below are the Major League Baseball players who have recorded 50 or more saves in a single season.

Regular season
PlayerSavesTeamYear
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 Myers L53 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
Jim Johnson 50 Baltimore Orioles 2013
Craig Kimbrel * Atlanta Braves 2013
Mariano Rivera New York Yankees 2001
Stats updated through 2020 season [47]

Most consecutive without a blown save

Regular season
PlayerSavesTeam(s)YearsRef
Éric Gagné 84 Los Angeles Dodgers 2002–2004 [48] [49]
Zack Britton L*60 Baltimore Orioles 2015–2017 [50]
Tom Gordon 54 Boston Red Sox 1998–1999 [49]
Jeurys Familia *52 New York Mets 2015–2016 [51]
José Valverde 51 Detroit Tigers 2010–2011 [52]
John Axford 49 Milwaukee Brewers 2011–2012 [53]
Brad Lidge 47 Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies 2007–2009 [49]
Grant Balfour 44 Oakland Athletics 2012–2013 [54]
Brad Ziegler 43 Arizona Diamondbacks 2015–2016 [55]
Rod Beck 41 San Francisco Giants 1993–1995 [49]
Trevor Hoffman San Diego Padres 1997–1998 [49]
Heath Bell San Diego Padres 2010–2011 [49]

Stats updated through 2019 season[ citation needed ]

Blown saves

Career

The below table lists MLB pitchers who have accrued 80 or more blown saves during their careers.

Regular season
PlayerBlown
saves
SavesSave %Years
Goose Gossage 11231073.51972–1994
Rollie Fingers 10934175.81968–1985
Jeff Reardon 10636777.61979–1994
Lee Smith 10347882.31980–1997
John Franco L10142480.81984–2005
Bruce Sutter 30074.81976–1988
Sparky Lyle L9523871.51967–1982
Roberto Hernández 9432677.61991–2007
Gene Garber 8221872.71969–1988
Kent Tekulve 8118469.41974–1989
Gary Lavelle L13662.71974–1987
Mariano Rivera 8065289.11995–2013
Mike Timlin 14163.81991–2008

Stats updated through 2020 season [56] [57]

Single season

The below table lists MLB pitchers who have accrued 13 or more blown saves during a single season.

Regular season
PlayerBlown
saves
SavesSave %TeamYearRef.
Ron Davis 142967.4 Minnesota Twins 1984 [58]
Rollie Fingers 2058.8 Oakland Athletics 1976 [59]
Gerry Staley 939.1 Chicago White Sox 1960 [60]
Bob Stanley 3370.2 Boston Red Sox 1983 [61]
Bruce Sutter 2765.9 Chicago Cubs 1978 [62]
Goose Gossage 132262.9 New York Yankees 1983 [63]
John Hiller L1350.0 Detroit Tigers 1976 [64]
Dan Plesac L2363.9 Milwaukee Brewers 1987 [65]
Jeff Reardon 3572.9 Montreal Expos 1986 [66]
Dave Righetti L3170.5 New York Yankees 1987 [67]

Stats updated through 2020 season [68] [69]

Notes

  1. Baseball-Reference.com differs slightly and recorded it occurring in only seven of the 18 wins. Face blew leads in his wins four times (April 24, May 14, June 11, and July 12), allowed lead runs in tie games he won three times (April 22, Aug 30, and Sept 19), and allowed an additional run while already behind in a win once (Aug 9). [7] Associated Press also reported Face allowing a tying run to score in his July 9 win over the Chicago Cubs. [8]
  2. Benoit bested the previous record of six innings by Horacio Piña of the Rangers in 1972. [17] Baseball-Reference.com retroactively credited eight-inning saves to pitchers prior to 1969 including Jim Shaw (1920), Guy Morton (1920), and Dick Hall (1961). [18]
  3. An abbreviation of BL may be used to indicate that a reliever was charged with both a blown save and the loss.
  4. The March 2006 study analyzed the career saves of Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, Dennis Eckersley, Trevor Hoffman, and Mariano Rivera. Hoffman and Rivera were still active, and had 436 and 379 career saves, respectively, at that time.
  5. Tough save opportunities (tough saves + tough blown saves): Fingers (161). Gossage (138), Hoffman (49), Rivera (46).
  6. Easy saves: Hoffman (261), Rivera (235), Fingers (114), Gossage (113).

Related Research Articles

Relief pitcher Pitching role in baseball

In baseball and softball, a relief pitcher or reliever is a pitcher who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed due to injury, ineffectiveness, fatigue, ejection, or for other strategic reasons, such as inclement weather delays or pinch hitter substitutions. Relief pitchers are further divided informally into various roles, such as closers, setup men, middle relief pitchers, left/right-handed specialists, and long relievers. Whereas starting pitchers usually rest several days before pitching in a game again due to the number of pitches thrown, relief pitchers are expected to be more flexible and typically pitch more games but with fewer innings pitched. A team's staff of relievers is normally referred to metonymically as a team's bullpen, which refers to the area where the relievers sit during games, and where they warm-up prior to entering the game.

Setup man Pitching role in baseball

In baseball, a setup man is a relief pitcher who regularly pitches before the closer. They commonly pitch the eighth inning, with the closer pitching the ninth.

Goose Gossage American baseball player

Richard Michael "Goose" Gossage is a former Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher. During a 22-year baseball career (1972–1994), he pitched for nine different teams, spending his best years with the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres.

Lee Smith (baseball) American baseball player

Lee Arthur Smith is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 18 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for eight teams. Serving mostly as a relief pitcher during his career, he was a dominant closer and held the major league record for career saves from 1993 until 2006, when Trevor Hoffman passed his total of 478. Smith was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2019 by the Today's Game Era Committee.

Brad Lidge American baseball player

Bradley Thomas Lidge nicknamed "Lights Out" is an American former professional baseball pitcher. Lidge played 11 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 2002–2012. He played for the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, and Washington Nationals. As a relief pitcher Lidge saved 225 games during his career. He was a two-time All-Star, and in 2008 won the Delivery Man of the Year Award and the National League (NL) Rolaids Relief Man Award. Lidge is currently a host on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio.

Hold (baseball) Baseball statistic

A hold is awarded to a relief pitcher who meets the following three conditions:

Dick Tidrow American baseball player and executive

Richard William Tidrow was an American professional baseball pitcher and the senior vice president of player personnel and senior advisor to the general manager for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Ron Davis (pitcher) American baseball player

Ronald Gene Davis is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played 11 years from 1978 to 1988. Davis played for the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins of the American League and the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants of the National League. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1981.

Carlos Mármol Dominican baseball player

Carlos Agustín Mármol is a Dominican former professional baseball relief pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Miami Marlins. Carlos owns Recta 49, a successful restaurant/car wash in the Dominican Republic.

300 save club Group of pitchers with 300 or more regular-season saves in their careers

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 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 228 total career saves.

Jim Johnson (baseball, born 1983) American baseball player

James Robert Johnson is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels. Johnson was an All-Star in 2012 and won the Rolaids Relief Man Award that year while leading MLB in saves. In 2013, Johnson became the first American League (AL) pitcher ever to have recorded back-to-back seasons of 50 saves or more. Johnson and Éric Gagné are the only two MLB pitchers to accomplish this feat.

Closer (baseball) Baseball relief pitcher who specializes in finishing close games

In baseball, a closing pitcher, more frequently referred to as a closer, is a relief pitcher who specializes in getting the final outs in a close game when his team is leading. The role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. Before the 1990s, pitchers in similar roles were referred to as a fireman, short reliever, and stopper. A small number of closers have won the Cy Young Award. Eight closers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter and Hoyt Wilhelm.

Sergio Romo American baseball player

Sergio Francisco Romo is an American professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, and Oakland Athletics. A right-hander who has served as a closer during his career, his main pitch is his slider.

David Robertson (baseball) American baseball player

David Alan Robertson, nicknamed D-Rob, is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies.

Neftalí Feliz Dominican baseball player

Neftalí Feliz Antonio is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Feliz won the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2010.

Craig Kimbrel American baseball pitcher

Craig Michael Kimbrel is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs. He is an eight-time All-Star, two-time Reliever of the Year, and a 2018 World Series champion. He is known for his triple-digit fastball, as well as his unique pre-pitch stare. Listed at 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m) and 210 pounds (95 kg), he both throws and bats right-handed.

Josh Hader American baseball pitcher

Joshua Ronald Hader is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is a three-time All-Star and three-time winner of the National League Reliever of the Year Award.

Edwin Díaz Puerto Rican baseball player

Edwin Orlando Díaz Laboy is a Puerto Rican professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his major league debut in June 2016 with the Seattle Mariners, where he played between 2016 and 2018.

Camilo Doval is a Dominican professional baseball relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut with the Giants in 2021. His fastball has reached 104.5 miles per hour (168.2 km/h).

References

  1. Horneman, Tim (March 23, 2010). "Baseball Save Rules". livestrong.com. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  2. Weber, Bruce (July 22, 2008). "Jerome Holtzman, 82, 'Dean' of Sportswriters, Dies". The New York Times . Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  3. Bloom, Barry (July 21, 2008). "Legendary historian Holtzman passes". MLB.com . Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  4. Newman, Mark (July 22, 2008). "Holtzman helped 'save' baseball". MLB.com. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013.
  5. Holtzman, Jerome (September 16, 2003). "How the save formula began". MLB.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2010.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Holtzman, Jerome (May 2002). "Where did save rule come from? Baseball historian recalls how he helped develop statistic that measures reliever's effectiveness". Baseball Digest. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  7. "Roy Face 1959 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference.com . Archived from the original on November 10, 2012.
  8. Wilks, Ed (July 10, 1959). "Dodger' Craig Old Self Again; Two Double Shutouts in American League". The Florence Times. Alabama. Associated Press. Section 2, Page 3. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  9. Zimniuch, Fran (2010). Fireman: The Evolution of the Closer in Baseball. Chicago: Triumph Books. p.  125. ISBN   978-1-60078-312-8.
  10. "Famous Firsts in the Expansion Era of Major League Baseball by Baseball Almanac" . Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  11. "Retrosheet Boxscore: Los Angeles Dodgers 3, Cincinnati Reds 2" . Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  12. "2 Saves in 1 Day". Baseball Almanac . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  13. "Events of Sunday, April 27, 1969". Retrosheet . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  14. "From 1957 to 2007, Saves without a batter faced". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  15. "Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com . April 29, 1970. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  16. Beck, Jason (April 6, 2013). "Smyly's long save has nothing on Benoit". MLB.com. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  17. "AL roundup: Benoit gets 7-inning save against O's". Deseret News. Associated Press. September 4, 2002. Archived from the original on May 6, 2015.
  18. "From 1916 to 2013, Recorded Save, (requiring IPouts>=21), sorted by smallest IP". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved April 25, 2013.(subscription required)
  19. "Rangers MLBeat: Narron pleased". mlb.com. Archived from the original on June 9, 2003. Retrieved April 15, 2007.
  20. Spousta, Tom (August 23, 2007). "With a 27-Run Cushion, a Save Is in the Books". The New York Times . Archived from the original on June 5, 2015.
  21. "Did you know: Madison Bumgarner makes history". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  22. 1 2 3 "BR Bullpen: Save". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  23. "Divisions Of The Code" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  24. 1 2 Zimniuch 2010, p.126
  25. "August 7, 1971 New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Box Score and Play by Play". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  26. "New baseball regulations may save Hiller record". The Times Herald . Port Huron, Michigan. AP. January 20, 1974. Retrieved June 6, 2021 via newspapers.com.
  27. 1 2 3 4 Schechter, Gabriel (March 21, 2006). "Top Relievers in Trouble". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007.
  28. "Baseball changes rules". Lewiston Morning Tribune . Lewiston, Idaho. AP. January 31, 1975. p. 3B via Google News.
  29. Dickson, Paul (2011). The Dickson Baseball Dictionary. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 120, 741. ISBN   978-0-393-34008-2.
  30. 1 2 3 Tourtellotte, Shane (December 28, 2017). "The Unofficial Rules: Of Holds and Blown Saves". fangraphs.com. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  31. "Thrown for a Loss". Sun-Sentinel . Fort Lauderdale, Florida. AP. May 21, 1988. p. 48. Retrieved June 6, 2021 via newspapers.com.
  32. 1 2 Sheehan, Joe (September 11, 2008), "Prospectus Today: Closing In", BaseballProspectus.com , archived from the original on February 13, 2010
  33. Verducci, Tom (July 22, 2008). "What would my idol say about K-Rod's chase of the saves record?". SI.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  34. Marchman, Tim (July 22, 2008). "K-Rod May Be Baseball's First 60-Save Man". The New York Sun . Retrieved October 5, 2011. 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.
  35. Doolittle, Bradford (July 28, 2008). "Wishing that baseball's save statistic had never been invented". The Kansas City Star . Archived from the original on July 29, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 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.
  36. 1 2 Caple, Jim (August 5, 2008). "The most overrated position in sports". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  37. Passan, Jeff (April 26, 2010). "Should managers play Scrabble with relievers?". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012.
  38. Zimniuch 2010, pp.xxvi,158–9
  39. Schecter, Gabriel (January 18, 2006). "The Evolution of the Closer". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. 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.
  40. Zimniuch 2010, p.99
  41. 1 2 Philip, Tom (April 30, 2011). "Blown saves are overblown". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2011.
  42. Zimniuch 2010, p.98
  43. 1 2 Silver, Nate (April 17, 2017). "The Save Ruined Relief Pitching. The Goose Egg Can Fix It". FiveThirtyEight.
  44. Armour, Mark L.; Levitt, David R. (2004). Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way. Potomac Books. pp. 92–93. ISBN   9781574888058 . Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  45. "Career Leaders & Records for Saves". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  46. "Progressive Leaders & Records for Saves". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  47. "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Saves". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  48. "Eric Gagne Consecutive Saves Record". Baseball Almanac . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  49. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Center, Bill (May 4, 2011). "Pregame Preview: Will Bell set Padres saves record?". San Diego Union-Tribune . Archived from the original on May 5, 2011.
  50. Zucker, Joseph (July 23, 2017). "Zach Britton Sets AL Record After Converting 55th-Straight Save Opportunity". Bleacher Report.
  51. "Mets' Jeurys Familia: Cruises to 24th save". RotoWite Staff. June 22, 2016.
  52. "Tigers edge Red Sox after José Valverde blows save". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 5, 2012. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012.
  53. "Corey Hart, Brewers edge Cubs in 13 innings". ESPN.com. Associated Press. May 12, 2012. Archived from the original on May 15, 2012.
  54. "Tommy Milone carries shutout into 9th, then A's hold on". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 5, 2013. Archived from the original on July 11, 2013.
  55. Magruder, Jack (June 12, 2016). "For Brad Ziegler, sealing a win includes SEALs". todaysknuckleball.com.
  56. "Player Pitching Season & Career Finder: Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, In the Regular Season, from 1901 to 2020, requiring BSv >= 80, sorted by greatest BSv". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  57. "Player Pitching Season & Career Finder: Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, In the Regular Season, from 1954 to 2020, requiring BSv >= 80, sorted by greatest SV%". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  58. "Ron Davis 1984 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  59. "Rollie Fingers 1976 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  60. "Gerry Staley 1960 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  61. "Bob Stanley 1983 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  62. "Bruce Sutter 1978 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  63. "Rich Gossage 1983 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  64. "John Hiller 1976 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  65. "Dan Plesac 1987 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  66. "Jeff Reardon 1986 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  67. "Dave Righetti 1987 Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  68. "Player Pitching Season & Career Finder: For Single Seasons, In the Regular Season, since 1871, requiring BSv >= 13, sorted by greatest BSv". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  69. "Player Pitching Season & Career Finder: For Single Seasons, In the Regular Season, from 1954 to 2021, requiring BSv >= 13, sorted by greatest SV%". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved June 10, 2021.