SoSH Glossary: Save

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SoSH Baseball Glossary

Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.

Save

A save is earned by the pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team, but is not the winning pitcher, and meets one of these three criteria:

  1. He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches at least one inning.
  2. He enters the game, no matter the score, with the tying run either on base, at bat, or on deck.
  3. He pitches for at least three innings.

The first instance is the garden-variety save that baseball fans are most accustomed to, when the traditional closer enters in the ninth inning of a close game to secure a victory. The second possibility sometimes occurs when a team has a lead but the game gets away from the current pitcher, so a reliever must be called upon to finish the game. The third option happens sometimes in a blow out when a long reliever enters to complete a game. This is sometimes called “mop-up” duty, and the reliever may allow any number of runs, as long as he does not cough up the lead. If a pitcher fails to convert a save opportunity then he earns a blown save.

Holds

A hold is given to a middle reliever of the winning team who enters the game with a lead and meets one of these three criteria:

  1. He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches at least one inning.
  2. He enters the game, no matter the score, with the tying run either on base, at bat, or on deck and does not give up the lead.
  3. He pitches for at least three innings and does not give up the lead.

A pitcher can not get credit for a hold if he earns a win or a save. If a pitcher gives up a lead when he has the opportunity for a hold, then he gets a blown save.


Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.

Follow Pete on Twitter @PeterWHodges.

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