The Angels have a pretty good bullpen and their closer is likely to break the single-season save record by a wide margin.

But today’s game shows how meaningless the “save” statistic can be, and how the save’s definition becomes part of game strategy itself.

The Angels had a 4-run lead in the 6th today against Cleveland, and brought in Justin Speier. He has a 5+ ERA, so my immediate thought was he was coming in to make the game close. To generate a save situation. But Speier failed miserably in this (cynical) definition of the set-up role. He set them down in order.

Darren O’Day did much better a couple of innings later, but the offense just would not do its part to keep the game close.

Then in came the rookie to show everyone how it’s down. Entering the game with a 4-run lead in the 9th, he gave up a run after 2 were out.

Out popped Mike Scioscia. Nice pat on the butt for the kid, and we have ourselves a bona-fide SAVE SITUATION!

One pitch, game over, 42 saves for K-Rod.

Could not script it better…

24 July: Corrected the 9th inning sequence above.

0 thoughts on “Saves

  1. Well sure…it’s not the most useful statistic ever, although still probably of higher value than a pitcher’s wins and losses. But it’s all relative, no? I haven’t examined Bobby Thigpen’s 57-save season in detail but odds are he picked up a cheapie here and there. People like watching a record chase, no matter the true worth of the statistic.


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