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.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. 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.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing it to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.
An inning in baseball, softball, and similar games is the basic unit of play, consisting of two halves or frames, the "top" and the "bottom". In each half, one team bats until three outs are made, with the other team playing defense. A full baseball game typically is scheduled for nine innings, while softball games consist of seven innings; although this may be shortened due to weather or extended if the score is tied at the end of the scheduled innings. Inning, in baseball and softball, is always singular, which contrasts with cricket and rounders in which the singular is "innings".
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.
The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the nation's oldest and most successful professional baseball clubs, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, more than any other NL team and second in MLB only to the New York Yankees. The team has won 19 National League pennants, third-most of any team. St. Louis has also won 14 division titles in the East and Central divisions.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. Established in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York, the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. They played for four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium in 1962.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are an American professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The team plays its home games at PNC Park; the team previously played at Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium, the latter of which was named after its location near the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. Founded on October 15, 1881 as Allegheny, the franchise has won five World Series championships. The Pirates are also often referred to as the "Bucs" or the "Buccos".
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. 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.
Jerome Holtzman was an American sportswriter known for his writings on baseball who served as the official historian for Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1999 until his death.
In baseball statistics, earned run average (ERA) is the average of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine. Runs resulting from passed balls or defensive errors are recorded as unearned runs and omitted from ERA calculations.
In baseball and softball, a pitcher's win–loss record indicates the number of wins and losses they have been credited with. For example, a 20–10 win–loss record would represent 20 wins and 10 losses.
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.
The 1969 Major League Baseball season was celebrated as the 100th anniversary of professional baseball, honoring the first professional touring baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
A run batted in (RBI), plural runs batted in, is a statistic in baseball and softball that credits a batter for making a play that allows a run to be scored. For example, if the batter bats a base hit, then another player on a higher base can head home to score a run, and the batter gets credited with batting in that run.
William Robert Singer is an American former professional baseball pitcher with a 14-year career from 1964 to 1977. He played primarily for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1964–72) and the California Angels (1973–75), spending his final two seasons with the Texas Rangers (1976), Minnesota Twins (1976), and Toronto Blue Jays (1977). His nicknames included "Sing Sing," "Billy No-No" and "The Singer Throwing Machine."
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:
Baseball statistics play an important role in evaluating the progress of a player or team.
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.
In the game of baseball, the official scorer is a person appointed by the league to record the events on the field, and to send the official scoring record of the game back to the league offices. In addition to recording the events on the field such as the outcome of each plate appearance and the circumstances of any baserunner's advance around the bases, the official scorer is also charged with making judgment calls that do not affect the progress or outcome of the game. Judgment calls are primarily made about errors, unearned runs, fielder's choice, the value of hits in certain situations, and wild pitches, all of which are included in the record compiled. This record is used to compile statistics for each player and team. A box score is a summary of the official scorer's game record.
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 hold is awarded to a relief pitcher who meets the following three conditions:
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 found modern closers were put into fewer tough save situations compared to past relievers. The modern closer also earned significantly more "easy saves", defined as saves starting the ninth inning with more than a one-run lead. 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.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.
The statistic was formally introduced in 1969,although research has identified saves earned prior to that point.
|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|
Listed are the Major League Baseball players with the most saves in their career.
Stats updated through 2019 season
|Mariano Rivera †||652||1995–2013|
|Trevor Hoffman †||601||1993–2010|
|Lee Smith †||478||1980–1997|
|John Franco L||424||1984–2005|
|Billy Wagner L||422||1995–2010|
|Dennis Eckersley †||390||1975–1998|
Stats updated through 2019 season
|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 L||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|
Stats updated through 2019 season
|Éric Gagné||84||Los Angeles Dodgers||2002–2004|
|Zack Britton L*||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|
Stats updated through 2007 season
|Goose Gossage †||112||1972–1994|
|Rollie Fingers †||109||1968–1985|
|Lee Smith †||103||1980–1997|
|Bruce Sutter †||101||1976–1988|
|John Franco L||1984–2004|
|Sparky Lyle L||95||1967–1982|
|Gary Lavelle L||1974–1987|
Stats updated through 2007 season
|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 Hiller L||13||Detroit Tigers||1976|
|Goose Gossage †||New York Yankees||1983|
|Jeff Reardon||Montréal Expos||1986|
|Dan Plesac L||Milwaukee Brewers||1987|
|Dave Righetti L||New York Yankees||1987|
Mariano Rivera is a Panamanian-American former professional baseball pitcher who played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees, from 1995 to 2013. Nicknamed "Mo" and "Sandman", he spent most of his career as a relief pitcher and served as the Yankees' closer for 17 seasons. A thirteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is MLB's career leader in saves (652) and games finished (952). Rivera won five American League (AL) Rolaids Relief Man Awards and three Delivery Man of the Year Awards, and he finished in the top three in voting for the AL Cy Young Award four times. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2019 in his first year of eligibility, and was the first player ever to be elected unanimously by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).
The Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award was an annual award presented to the best relief pitcher in each league in Major League Baseball (MLB). It was established in 1960 by The Sporting News (TSN) as the Fireman of the Year Award. At the time, no reliever had ever received a Cy Young Award vote. The Fireman of the Year Award originally recognized the reliever with the most combined saves and wins in each league in MLB. The magazine had started publishing the then-unofficial save statistic that same year. Later, a save was worth two points compared to one for a save in determining the winner. In 2001 the award was chosen based on consensus from TSN editors, and it was renamed to Reliever of the Year Award. The award was last issued in 2010 before being discontinued.
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.
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.
Richard Michael "Goose" Gossage is a former Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher. During a 22-year baseball career, he pitched for nine different teams, spending his best years with the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres. The nickname "Goose" came about when a friend did not like his previous nickname "Goss", and noted he looked like a goose when he extended his neck to read the signs given by the catcher when he was pitching. Although Gossage is otherwise generally referred to as "Rich" in popular media, a baseball field named after him bears the name "Rick".
Lee Arthur Smith is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played 18 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for eight teams. Smith served mostly as a relief pitcher during his career. One of the dominant closers in baseball history, he held the major league record for career saves from 1993 until 2006, when San Diego Padres relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman passed his total of 478. Smith was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on December 9, 2018 as part of the Today's Game Era Committee vote.
Bradley Thomas Lidge nicknamed "Lights Out" is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 11 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 2002–2012. He played for the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, and Washington Nationals. 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.
Guillermo Reynoso Mota is a Dominican former professional baseball relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. In his career, he pitched for the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants. Mota is 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and weighs 240 pounds (110 kg). He throws and bats right-handed. He throws three pitches: a fastball, a slider and a circle changeup.
Braden LaVerne Looper is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.
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 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.
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 227 total career saves.
James Robert Johnson is an American professional baseball relief pitcher who is a free agent. 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.
Craig Michael Kimbrel is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox. He is a seven-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.
Gregory Scott Holland is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals organization. He has previously played for the Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals, Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks. Holland is a three-time All-Star.
The Rolaids Relief Man Award was an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given from 1976 to 2012 to the top relief pitchers of the regular season, one in the American League (AL) and one in the National League (NL). Relief pitchers are the pitchers who enter the game after the starting pitcher is removed. The award was sponsored by Rolaids, whose slogan was "R-O-L-A-I-D-S spells relief." Because the first closers were nicknamed "firemen", a reference to "putting out the fire" of another team's rally, the trophy was a gold-plated firefighter's helmet. Unlike other awards, such as the Cy Young Award or the MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, the Relief Man was based on statistical performance, rather than votes. Each save was worth three points; each win was worth two points; and each loss was worth negative two points. Beginning with the 1987 MLB season, negative two points were given for blown saves. In the 2000 MLB season, the term "tough save", which was worth an additional point, was introduced by Rolaids. A "tough save" happened when a relief pitcher entered the game already having the potential tying run on base, and got the save. The player with the highest point total won the award.
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.
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.