# Blown save when starter is ineligible for a win

I'm parsing some baseball data, so I need to be able to appropriately award saves, blown saves, holds, etc. In doing so, I came across some examples that I'm unsure how to handle.

Example 1: Suppose Adam is the starter and he leaves the game after 4 innings and his team is leading by a run. Billy comes in and pitches into the 8th, when he gives up the tying run. Is Billy charged with a blown save?

Example 2: Suppose pitcher Adam is the starter and he leaves the game after 4 innings and his team is leading by a run. Billy comes in and pitches a scoreless 5th and 6th. The score is unchanged when Charlie comes in in the 7th, and allows the tying run. Is Charlie charged with a blown save?

Example 3: Suppose pitcher Adam is the starter and he leaves the game after 4 innings and his team is leading by a run. Billy comes in and pitches a scoreless 5th. The score is unchanged when Charlie comes in in the 6th, and he pitches a scoreless 6th, 7th, and 8th. It is still a 1 run game when David comes in in the 9th, and records a scoreless 9th. Could the official scorer determine that Charlie deserves the win (hence David gets a save), while Billy gets a hold?

My intuition: 1) No, because there is no other pitcher eligible to receive the win. Hence, it's not truly a save situation, and Billy can't be charged with a blown save. 2) Yes, because Billy could be assigned the win, thus Charlie would have entered in a save situation. Therefore, he would be charged with a blown save. 3) No, it doesn't make any sense for a pitcher to get a hold and the pitcher that relieves him gets a win when their team does not surrender their lead.

All rules related with Win-loss record (pitching), Save (baseball) and Hold (baseball) are well-explained in the links. Your questions seem to be focused on save situations.

1. No. In order for a pitcher to be credited with a save or charged with a blown save, there should be a save situation (opportunity). Since there is none, Billy will not be charged with a blown save.

2. Yes.

3. Yes or no. If Charlie was the most effective relief pitcher in the official scorer's judgment, he could be awarded a win. Also, you need to note that David can't get a hold because there was no save situation.

A save is a statistic credited to a relief pitcher, as set forth in Rule 10.19 of the Official Rules of Major League Baseball. That rule states the official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions:

1. He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;

2. He is not the winning pitcher;

3. He is credited with at least 1/3 of an inning pitched; and He satisfies one of the following conditions:

(1) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning

(2) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck

(3) He pitches for at least three innings.

If a relief pitcher satisfies all of the criteria for a save, except he does not finish the game, he will often be credited with a hold (which is not an officially recognized statistic by Major League Baseball).

• In your answer, under E1, I assume you mean Billy? And my instinct (no one else can get a win implies that a save situation doesn't exist) is correct? Similarly, in E3, David would get a save by virtue of closing the game (assuming he's not named the winner). I fail to see how E2 and E3 could be "yes or no, it depends" type of answers. I would expect them to be one or the other. If in E1 Billy cannot be charged with a blown save, because there was no one else eligible for a win, then I would expect that in E2 Charlie would be charged with a blown save, because Billy could get the win. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 14:23
• @PistolPete I edited my answer.
– user10632
Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 14:57
• thanks for clearing up the confusion. Additionally, my reasoning that I gave at the end of my initial post is correct? Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 15:59