30 - 3! How can there be a save??

So, the Rangers beat the Orioles 30-3 this afternoon

The article mentions that Wes Littleton earned a save in the game by pitching 3 scoreless innings.

How is this a save situation?? I thought that the potential tieing run had to be on-deck during an inning in order for it to be a save situation?

I’m pretty savvy with baseball rules, but the save rule has always been a mystery to me.

Can someone explain?

You can also earn a save by pitching three innings as long as you meet the following requirements:

a. Your team wins
b. You aren’t the winning pitcher
c. You finish the game.

Zev Steinhardt

Here’s the rule (10.19)

10.19 Saves For Relief Pitchers
A save is a statistic credited to a relief pitcher, as set forth in this Rule 10.19.
The official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions:
(a) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
(b) He is not the winning pitcher;
© He is credited with at least a third of an inning pitched; and
(d) 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, or at bat or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batters he faces); or
(3) He pitches for at least three innings.

Source

Zev Steinhardt

What’s more amazing is that the Rangers won a game.

Last time someone scored 30 runs, it was 1900. 30 runs, now, is the AL record.

Looks like I was beaten to the answer. He pitched effectively for three innings.

Still, I can’t believe I turned this game off! I got home and watched it for a bit. I then put in a DVD and then got on the dope. Never knew that I was again turning off a record game!

The Rangers still have to play another game tonight, then fly back to Texas to play the Mariners tomorrow night.

That’ll be a tired team.

The requirement to pitch “effectively” was removed. If Littleton had pitched 3 innings and given 26 runs and the Rangers won 30-29, he still would have gotten the save.

The rule was altered slightly this year to take out judgment calls for 3+ inning saves.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Since the OP’s question is answered, I hope he won’t mind if I hijack this thread with another save question:

In order to earn a save, a pitcher must meet four conditions:

(a) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
(b) He is not the winning pitcher;
© He is credited with at least a third of an inning pitched; and
(d) 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, or at bat or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batters he faces); or
(3) He pitches for at least three innings.

Now, I’m looking at © and trying to envision a scenario whereby it’s possible that the pitcher could finish a game won by his team and not have a third of an inning pitched. How did he get out of the last inning? (Or, to put it another way, why have that requirement?)

Zev Steinhardt

All I can figure is if the game is called on account of the weather before he has recorded an out. As long as his team still wins and he finishes the game, and one of the (d) conditions is met.

If a pitcher comes into the game with 2 outs and a man on first and picks him off without ever throwing a pitch, is he considered to have “pitched a third of an inning”?

I think so - who else would have been credited with the out?

I agree with Jas09 - the clause excludes pitchers who were called in to the game but didn’t record an out before the game was ended by external circumstance.

What seems strange to me is that I would assume that the previous pitcher would get the save in that situation - the one that recorded the last out. But according to the rule he didn’t finish the game so he’s out too. You could have a 1-0 game end in the ninth due to rain and nobody get the save. Right?

No.

The home team still gets a final at bat, or the visitors get to finish theirs if there’s a rain out.

I’m puzzled by that stipulation. Perhaps it is something like a pick off situation.

As a life-long Oriole fan, I can be proud that my beloved team will be a part of the record books (even if it is for getting the everliving shit stomped out of them).

I wish Earl Weaver had been in the dugout and I could have been sitting right next to him. What beautiful music he would be making.

If a pitcher picks off a runner (or he is put out in some other manner besides the usual pitch-the-ball-hit-the-ball scenario) he is still credited with 1/3 of an inning pitched.

From the rule book:

(1) Number of innings pitched;
Rule 10.02©(1) Comment: In computing innings pitched, the official scorer shall count each putout as 1/3 of an inning. For example, if a starting pitcher is replaced with one out in the sixth inning, the official scorer shall credit that pitcher with 5 1/3 innings. If a starting pitcher is replaced with none out in the sixth inning, the official scorer shall credit that pitcher with 5 innings and make the notation that that pitcher faced _____ batters in the sixth, noting the number of batters faced. If a relief pitcher retires two batters and is replaced, the official scorer shall credit that pitcher with 2/3 of an inning pitched. If a relief pitcher enters a game and his team initiates a successful appeal play that results in one out, the officer scorer shall credit such relief pitcher with 1/3 of an inning pitched.

It’s based on the number of outs, not how they occured.

Zev Steinhardt

So we’re stuck with a rainout or other circumstance that cuts the game short. While Trunk is correct that a game would not normally end that way, it could be a late season game where the outcome has no effect on any playoff races, so the game might simply be called. That’s all I can think of.

How about if before the first pitch is thrown by the new pitcher the team challenges the last play and an out is awarded, ending the game?

From zev’s last post:

That’s an interesting question – if pitcher B is called into the game, relieving A, and then, before he makes a pitch, an appeal is made on the previous play, who gets credit for the 1/3 of an inning pitched?

In any event, it doesn’t really solve this question – since if you’re going to award the 1/3 inning to A, then the game was over before B ever came into the game; and if you’re going to give it to B, then he’s pitched 1/3 of an inning.

Zev Steinhardt