Following the Texas Rangers’ 30-3 demolishment of the Baltimore Orioles, many fans are now asking how reliever Wes Littleton could enter the game and be credited with a save where his club led by 11 runs upon his entry and ultimately won the game by 27 runs.
It had me scratchng my head enough to get me to review the save rules.
Last season, this blog did a write-up defining; What is a save?
It seems that aside finishing or closing a game which his team wins and not being designated as the winning pitcher, there are 3 other conditions, of which he must qualify under 1.
Absurdly, Littleton met one of the 3 conditions, the last one which states;
He pitches effectively for at least three innings.
The same held true for reliever John Ennis who entered a recent game to start the 7th inning with the Phillies up 14-1, gave up a run in the 7th and kept the San Diego Padres off of the board the rest of the way to earn the save in the Phils’ 14-2 blowout. The AP report for Yahoo sports recounted;
John Ennis pitched three innings in his Phillies debut for his second major league save.
I agree with bloggers such as Chris of SportsProjections.com that either the save call be referred to the game’s scorekeeper for a decision or that the rules for saves be stiffened so that anomalies such as these no longer occur.
But I’ll also go one further on Chris’s humorous, sarcastic questions.
With the Phils up 14-11 in the 8th inning of game 4, Williams proceeded to cough up 3 runs on 3 hits as Toronto took it’s 15-14 lead before Williams retired the side.
And in game 6, Williams was brought in nail down a 6-5 Phillies win which would take the series to a 7th game. But after giving up a hit and a walk, Williams got one up in Joe Carter’s wheel-house and the Phils lost game 6 by an 8-6 score, thus losing the series by 4-2. Yes, wild thing would be capable of finding a way to blow a 27 run lead.