The Save

Traditional baseball statistics are being devalued, as their relationship to actual player value is rightly questioned. A pitcher’s won-lost record is now regularly described as unimportant. One current example is the pitcher who pitches four shutout innings in a 7-inning doubleheader game but doesn’t qualify for a win, even though, percentage-wise, he has contributed more innings to his team’s victory that the pitcher who goes five innings in a 9-inning game.
I have previously criticized the rules for a “save” as being capricious and arbitrary, and Wednesday’s Twins win over the Cubs (9/22/21) provided a glaring example. Alex Colome, the Twins’ dubious closer, was brought on in the 9th to protect a 5-2 lead, the minimum margin eligible for a save. Before recording the third out (on a swinging strikeout in the dirt), he had given up a double, two singles, a walk and three stolen bases, but only two runs. For this less-than-stellar performance he was awarded a save. The three relievers before him gave up a total of one hit and no runs, but Colome got a save, not them.

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