What Is a Blown Save & MLB Blown Save Leaders

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Explore the world of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the dreaded “blown save.” Discover the impact of this statistical mark on player reputation, team morale, and the outcome of games. Uncover the meaning of blown saves in MLB and delve into the high-pressure moments that define the drama of baseball.

In this article , we’ll break down the definition of a blown save, discuss its implications on players and teams, and highlight some blown save MLB stats. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the game, this guide will give you a deeper understanding of one of the most pivotal moments in baseball.

What is a Blown Save in Baseball?

A blown save in baseball occurs when a relief pitcher enters the game with his team leading, but fails to preserve the lead, resulting in the game being tied or the opposing team taking the lead. This statistic is typically attributed to relief pitchers, particularly closers, who are tasked with protecting leads in the late innings of games.

Who Has the Most Blown Saves in Baseball?

The record for the most blown saves in the history of Major League Baseball is held by Goose Gossage, with an astonishing 112 blown saves over the course of his career. Close behind him is Rollie Fingers, who finished his career with 109 blown saves. In third place is Jeff Reardon, who, after years on the mound, accumulated 106 blown saves. Lee Smith also had his share of relief challenges, ending his career with 103 blown saves. These numbers, while seemingly negative, also reflect the longevity and the trust these pitchers were given in high-pressure situations throughout their careers.

Is It a Blown Save if the Run Is Unearned?

In most cases, a run scored off of a relief pitcher during a blown save is recorded as an earned run. However, if the run is scored due to an error committed by the defense behind the pitcher, it may be considered an unearned run. This means that while the blown save will still be counted in the pitcher’s statistics, the run will not be attributed to their performance.

Why Is a Blown Save Considered a Negative Statistic?

A blown save is considered a negative statistic because it reflects the failure of a relief pitcher to successfully do their job and protect their team’s lead. In essence, it means that the opposing team was able to overcome the deficit and potentially take control of the game. This can be particularly devastating for a team, as blown saves often occur in crucial moments of the game and can greatly impact the outcome.

Can Blown Saves Be Avoided?

While blown saves are an inevitable part of baseball, there are certain strategies and techniques that pitchers can use to minimize their occurrence. This includes having a strong understanding of batters’ tendencies and utilizing effective pitches in certain situations. Additionally, having a consistent routine and maintaining mental focus can also help prevent blown saves.

The Evolution of the Blown Save Statistic

The blown save statistic was first officially recorded in 1988, making it a relatively new addition to baseball’s statistics. However, it has become an important metric for measuring the performance of relief pitchers and has even led to the creation of new categories, such as holds and blown hold opportunities. As the game of baseball continues to evolve, it is likely that the blown save statistic will continue to be refined and analyzed in new ways. Overall, it serves as a valuable tool for evaluating the success and effectiveness of relief pitchers. So while a blown save may not be desirable for a team or pitcher, its existence has only added to the depth and complexity of baseball statistics. Therefore, it will likely remain a crucial aspect of the game for years to come. As fans and analysts continue to delve into the intricacies of blown saves, we can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for this often overlooked statistic.

Can a Pitcher Get 2 Blown Saves in a Game?

In most circumstances, a pitcher cannot get two blown saves in the same game. This is because a “blown save” is defined as a relief pitcher entering a save situation (typically a lead of 3 runs or less in the later innings) and allowing the tying run to score.

However, there is one specific scenario where a pitcher could potentially be charged with two blown saves:

  1. The pitcher enters a save situation and blows it, but then remains in the game and enters a second save situation later on (typically in extra innings).
  2. In this second save situation, the pitcher also allows the tying run to score, fulfilling the criteria for a second blown save.

Blown Saves Leaders in MLB 2023

NameBlown SavesSave OpportunitiesSave Pct.
Emmanuel Clase125679%
Jake Bird11110%
A.J. Puk92463%
Trevor Stephan81020%
Kyle Finnegan83678%
Camilo Doval84783%
Trevor Gott7813%
Seranthony Domínguez7922%
Tyler Rogers7922%
Griffin Jax71136%
Justin Lawrence71861%
Joe Kelly6714%
Nick Martinez6714%

A blown save occurs when a relief pitcher fails to preserve a lead for his team late in the game. In the 2023 MLB season, Emmanuel Clase topped the leaderboard with 12 blown saves, indicating instances where he couldn’t secure victories for his team when called upon to close out games. Jake Bird closely followed with 11 blown saves, while A.J. Puk trailed with 9 blown saves.

These statistics shed light on the performance of relief pitchers in critical moments of the game, highlighting their ability to withstand pressure and secure wins for their teams. Blown saves can often be indicative of a team’s bullpen struggles or individual pitcher inconsistencies.

MLB Blown Saves By Team in 2023

TeamBlown SavesSave OpportunitiesSave Pct.
White Sox295749%
Blue Jays186974%
Red Sox165973%

The 2023 MLB season was a rollercoaster of close calls and heart-stopping finishes, where relievers played a crucial role in securing wins. Analyzing blown saves paints a fascinating picture of pitching prowess and late-game struggles across the league.

At one end of the spectrum, defensive dominance reigned supreme. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox stood tall with the lowest number of blown saves at an impressive 17 and 16, respectively. This translates to phenomenal save percentages of 72% and 73%, highlighting the effectiveness of their late-inning pitching strategies. Kenley Jansen’s experience and Craig Kimbrel’s fiery fastball proved invaluable for their respective teams, consistently shutting down opposing rallies.

On the other hand, some teams faced the sting of missed opportunities. The Colorado Rockies, with a staggering 34 blown saves, struggled to hold onto late leads, resulting in the lowest save percentage in the league (48%). This exposed vulnerabilities in their bullpen, raising questions about their pitching strategies and personnel choices.

The contrast between these two extremes speaks volumes. While blown saves are an inevitable part of the game, minimizing their occurrence can significantly impact a team’s success. The Dodgers and Red Sox showcase the value of a reliable closer and a well-structured bullpen, while the Rockies’ struggles serve as a cautionary tale. As the 2024 season approaches, teams across the league will be analyzing their bullpen performances and striving to strike the perfect balance between lockdown closers and airtight relief pitching to prevent those heart-wrenching blown saves.

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James Arnold
I'm James, and I live in Stanislaus County, California. I'm playing Baseball for many years, and I love this sport so much that I also encourage my kids (Danny and Sara) to play Baseball & Softball.