It occasionally happens that a pitcher will earn a save by throwing one pitch. For example, he is brought in with two outs in the ninth and a two-run lead, and his first pitch is popped up.
In principle, it should be possible for a pitcher to earn a save without throwing a pitch at all. For instance, he could pick off a runner. We could also imagine more exotic situations: a runner abandons the base paths, or the batter attempts to use an illegal bat.
Has this ever happened?
Instances in MLB would be most interesting, but other leagues would be interesting also.
In this forum post someone suggested that Mitch Williams did this in 1989 or 1990. It looks like they are thinking of September 11, 1989, where according to the box score, Williams did earn a one-out save by picking off a runner. But unfortunately, it appears he threw one pitch to the batter first (a ball).