Would they pull him for the tenth inning in most cases? I know that they're generally one-inning specialists but would they go to a setup man or something after?


This would depend on many factors. Some of those:

  • How comfortable is the closer pitching more than one inning? Many are fairly comfortable, many are not.
  • How often has the closer pitched recently?
  • How high a leverage situation is this? 7,8,9 guys coming up? Or 1,2,3?
  • How rested is the rest of the bullpen? If this goes 17, am I going to regret not pitching him a second inning?
  • NL or AL? If NL, is the closer coming up to bat?
  • How is the handedness of the upcoming batters?
  • How good is my bullpen? Do I have a couple of good guys who can go out and get outs reliably left?
  • How many pitchers already pitched in this game? Chris Sale goes 8, Robertson comes in and blows the save, he's probably not going out again. John Danks goes 5, 3 other relievers pitch 6,7,8, Robertson blows the save, he's probably out for 10.

There isn't a realistic answer, though, for "most cases" that has any meaning. I suspect > 50% of the time, you would find the closer does not come out again, but that's for a variety of reasons. And who they'd go after would vary significantly also - maybe a setup guy, maybe a long innings guy. Maybe a hybrid (TB has a guy right now, Geltz, who could do anything from 1 inning to 3 happily; he's often a 7th inning guy but is likely who they'd go to in the 10th.)


One other element to consider will undoubtedly be pitch count. In this day and age - whether right or wrong - pitch count is almost worshipped as the ultimate indicator for how long any pitcher goes. Typically a closer can throw 20 an outing and they are strict on minimizing injury risks given how much the closers are paid and how important they are. So...how many pitches did this closer throw?

  • Did the 8th inning guy come in to pitch the ninth with a 5 run lead only to allow 3 runs in and force the closer to come in for 10 pitches and the closer allowed an inherited runner but only threw up 10 pitches in the process?
  • Was it a good morning good afternoon good night 9th with a solo homer allowed where pitch count is still low?
  • Was the 9th a 25 pitch count inning?

Also - how important is the game? Game 7 World Series you have nothing to save his arm for especially if he is a free agent after the season (sad but true but some managers like Dusty Baker are less caring about arm longevity)

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