Thursday, August 23, 2007

Saves: Officially Useless

Hey, a save is a fine thing in hockey - although even there the save percentage is more important in the aggregate, and the goals-against average trumps all.

In baseball? Officially worthless. I wrote this part yesterday:

Last night the Yankees were smacked around by the Angels. Garrett Anderson (of all people) had 10 runs batted in, outdoing the Bombers single-battedly. But the worst part of the game was in the small text afterward: the pitching line at the very bottom of the boxscore:

Gwyn (S, 1) ... 3 IP, 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, one K

This man entered the game with a fourteen run lead. He only finished the game because it was considered out of reach - the absolute opposite of a "saving" situation. After the game, he was sent back to triple-A. The Save is pathetic.

So what happens last night? I hold the post for who-knows-why; probably a bit of research that was so obscure I forget now what I even wanted to find out. And I wake up this morning to see that the Texas Rangers hung thirty runs on Baltimore in one game... and heaven help all of us, there it is at the bottom of the boxscore AGAIN:

Littleton (S, 1) ... 3 IP, 0 runs, 2 hits and 1 walk, one K

This man entered the game with only an eleven run lead - and the Rangers scored ten times in the top of the eighth as a thank-you for his hard work. They then added six more runs in the ninth. He got a save? The Spider and I could have gotten the last nine outs without giving up that lead.

Enough with the save, already. I'm sure Wes Littleton is a fine fellow, but he should donate that save to science, so they can figure out what the hell use it is.

(The rest of that boxscore, by the way, is astounding. Two guys scored five times each, two guys drove in seven runs each. As a team, Texas hit .509 and raised their season's average five points. The Orioles allowed the first seven hitters in the eighth to reach base. Their relievers came into a 5-3 game with one man on base and allowed him to score, along with 24 friends, in four short innings - an ERA of 54.00. Baltimore required 252 pitches to finish the game - two more than the Cardinals and Marlins combined for their 6-4 game in St. Louis.)

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