A closer in baseball completes the win for their team at the end of the game. Generally speaking, teams have their best relief pitcher as the closer since that pitcher pitches the most stressful innings.
However, sometimes a pitcher cannot get the job done via a win and receives a blown save. So what does a blown save mean, how can a pitcher get that unofficial stat, and who has some of the most blown saves in baseball? Find out more below.
What is a blown save in baseball
A blown save in baseball is when a pitcher doesn’t complete the job of getting the team a win. This can happen when they allow an earned run to score during their appearance, which means that they were pitching with a lead and then lost it. If they are brought in during a tie game or after the other team has taken the lead, then they can still earn a blown save if they don’t complete the game.
How does a blown save affect the game
A blown save doesn’t always mean that the team loses the game, but it greatly increases the chances of that happening. In fact, a study by Baseball Prospectus found that when a team had a closer who earned a blown save, they were only likely to win around 18 percent of the time. Contrast that with a closer who didn’t blow any saves, and that team would win over 75 percent of the time.
So a blown save greatly reduces the team’s chances of winning, and it can also have an effect on their morale. If the closer is seen as someone who can’t get the job done, then it can affect the whole team’s psyche.
Most blown saves
There have been a number of pitchers who have had a lot of blown saves. Heath Bell has the most all time with 97, while Francisco Rodríguez is in second place with 95.
Billy Wagner is third on the list with 91, and then there are a few pitchers who have around 80 such as Jonathan Papelbon and Armando Benítez. So there have been a lot of closers who haven’t been able to finish the job.
What causes a blown save
There can be a number of reasons why a pitcher might blow a save. One of the most common is when they allow the other team to score and take the lead. This can happen when they give up too many hits, or when they walk too many batters.
Other times, it might be because of poor bullpen management. If the closer is brought in too early or too late, then it can increase the chances of them blowing a save. In addition, if they are used in too many games in a row, it can also lead to a blown save. So there are a number of things that can lead to a pitcher blowing a save. It’s not always due to their own failings, as there can be a lot of factors that come into play.
How to prevent a blown save
There are a few things that a pitcher can do in order to try and prevent a blown save. One is to make sure that they stay calm and don’t get rattled. If they allow the other team to get on base, it can lead to them losing their composure.
In addition, they need to make sure that they’re physically prepared for the game. This means getting enough rest and not pitching too often in a row. Finally, they need to have a good understanding of the game situation and know when to come into the game. So there are a few things that a pitcher can do in order to try and prevent a blown save.