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August 9, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Saved by the Rule

by Geoff Young

On July 30, Jerome Williams became the first person in more than a quarter of a century to get credit for a save while allowing at least five runs. When he recorded the final 12 outs of the Angels' 15-8 victory over Texas in the opener of a four-game showdown between the two teams, Williams joined a short list of men so credited since the save was introduced as an official statistic in 1969:

Date

Team

Opp

Pitcher

Enter

End

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

K

9/4/71

Cle

@Bos

Phil Hennigan

4-3

11-9

3.2

4

6

6

2

2

3

6/6/73

Min

@Cle

Dave Goltz

9-1

13-9

3.0

13

8

8

4

0

2

5/7/79

Phi

@SD

Rawly Eastwick

11-1

11-6

3.0

6

5

4

0

0

2

6/20/80

NYA

Oak

Ron Davis

8-1

15-7

3.1

7

5

4

1

1

1

7/1/83

Mil

@Cle

Jim Slaton

10-4

11-10

3.2

2

5

5

1

5

1

6/12/86

Sea

@Mil

Mark Huismann

13-4

15-9

4.0

7

5

5

1

1

3

7/30/12

Ana

@Tex

Jerome Wililams

12-3

15-8

4.0

8

5

5

2

1

1

Random notes that are as relevant as the saves themselves:

  • In the Hennigan game, Bill Lee faced three batters for the losing Red Sox. He gave up singles to Graig Nettles and Chris Chambliss, and a homer to Ray Fosse, then was removed. Nettles and Chambliss later would gain fame playing for the Yankees.

  • Goltz wins the award for worst save ever. More than a third of the batters he faced scored. He served up a homer to Rusty Torres, a career .212/.301/.334 hitter who went 4-for-4 in this one. Chambliss was in the lineup again. Nettles was not, having been traded to New York for, among others, the aforementioned Torres. This was the second game of a doubleheader played in front of 2,033 people.

  • Future Hall of Famers in the Eastwick game: Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Dave Winfield. Future managers: Larry Bowa, Pete Rose, Mike Hargrove.

  • Davis is the father of current Mets first baseman Ike Davis. Nettles played in this one for the Yankees. Mario Guerrero started at shortstop for the A’s. Per his usual custom, he did not score any runs.

  • Juan Eichelberger took the loss in the Slaton game. This is important because Juan Tyrone Eichelberger is the best name ever.

  • Huismann saved the game for starter Jerry Reed, who appeared in relief of Eichelberger in the Slaton game.

  • The last batter Williams retired in his save was Craig Gentry, who was a few months shy of his third birthday when Huismann recorded his save.

Somehow, I don’t think this is what Jerome Holtzman had in mind.

Related Content:  Saves,  Jerome Williams,  Dave Goltz,  Jerome Holtzman

7 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

LynchMob

I saw Juan Eichelberger pitch for the Amarillo Gold Sox in 1977 ... his opposing pitcher that day was Bob Welch, pitching for San Antonio (with Jeff Leonard in that lineup) ... still got the scorecard ... it reminds me fun it is to watch minor leaguers!

Aug 09, 2012 07:46 AM
rating: 2
 
misterjohnny
(925)

I'd be interested in knowing the worst saves that weren't three innings or more.

Say the guy comes in during the top of the 8th, up by 1 or 2 runs. Save situation. Gets 3 outs and keeps the lead.
Bottom of the 8th, his team goes nuts, scores a lot.
Top of the 9th, limps along giving up multiple runs, yet team still wins.

Aug 09, 2012 10:09 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Geoff Young
BP staff

Thanks for the suggestion. That could be fun.

Aug 09, 2012 10:44 AM
 
harderj

So far in my rudimentary search I've honed in on Brad Lidge and Todd Jones as being among the worst one-inning saves. Will look at one-plus once I figure out how to get the Baseball Reference Event Finder to work right.

The maximum ERA in a one inning save is 18.00 and here's what they did.

On 7/28/2009 Lidge faced five batters, giving up a walk and a home run and getting three outs (no strikeouts). His FIP was 19.1 (highest I found) and xFIP 10.04.

On 4/13/2009 he faced five batters, gave up two hits, one of them a home run, but walked none and struck out two. His FIP there was 12.1, but his xFIP was 0.41, so arguably not as bad.

For Jones's part, on 5/1/2006 he faced seven batters, giving up four hits but no home runs or walks (nor strikeouts), for a FIP of 3.15 and xFIP of 4.55.

And then on 5/19/2007 he faced eight batters, with three hits and two walks, but no home runs (nor strikeouts), for a FIP of 9.24 and xFIP of 11.75 (highest found so far).

Jones *was* a victim of high BABIP, above .500 in both those cases.

Two solo home runs, no strike outs, and leaving three runners stranded by hit, walk, or hit batter would probably be the worst theoretical one-inning save outing.

As the starting point to my search for "more than one but fewer than three inning bad saves," I looked up Willie Hernandez and Aurelio Lopez of the 1984 Detroit Tigers, since I knew from pitching coach Roger Craig's book about the season that they both got a lot of saves and often went more than one inning...but both were really good all year in their saves, with no real clunkers.

Aug 12, 2012 08:10 AM
rating: 0
 
harderj

Worst 1-inning save: Armando Benitez, 8/8/2001.

Faced 7 batters, gave up 3 hits, two of them home runs, one walk, one strikeout, 30.05 FIP.

Candidate for worst 1< IP <3 save: Al Brazle, 5/30/1950.

Brazle entered the game in the seventh inning with two outs and the bases loaded, his Cardinals leading the Pirates 10-7.

He got Johnny Hopp to fly out to center to end the threat.

A seven run top of the eighth made the score 17-7 Cardinals, so even though Brazle gave up a two-out home run in the eighth to Nanny Fernandez (followed by a Danny Murtaugh single, though he was stranded), it was still 17-8.

After a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, Brazle came out for his third inning of work.

Earl Turner led off with a single to left, and two outs later Hopp hit an infield single to put runners at first and second. Ralph Kiner singled Turner home to make it 17-9. Gus Bell singled Hopp home to make it 17-10.

Nanny Fernandez's second home run was a three-run blast, and it was 17-13.

Danny Murtaugh popped out to catcher to end it, and Brazle had his second save of the season.

2.1 innings pitched, 7 hits, 2 home runs, 6 runs, all of them earned, no walks, no strikeouts, 23.18 ERA. He did strand all three runners he inherited, however...


Aug 12, 2012 11:33 AM
rating: 0
 
jonjacoby

If I recall from a Rchmond Braves set of cards I had, Eichelberger's name is even more awesome becasue the card said it was Juan Tyrone Eichelberger III, how 'bou that!

Aug 09, 2012 11:44 AM
rating: 1
 
drawbb

Probably the 3 biggest reasons that the sabermetric movement has had to do so much work to overcome the general public's misinformed beliefs about baseball are the pitcher win, the RBI, and the save.

Aug 11, 2012 09:47 AM
rating: 0
 
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