Originally posted on Baseball Hot Corner  |  Last updated 8/7/13
The save has become the primary measuring stick for determining the effectiveness of the relief pitcher who fills the role of closer on each Major League team. Typically, a closer has to: 1. face the tying run or have the tying run on base or on deck, or 2. be protecting a lead of no more than three runs and pitch at least one inning, or 3. pitch at least three innings while protecting a lead. However, many times a relief pitcher might face the tying run in the middle innings, say the sixth or seventh stanza of a game, or a relief pitcher might face the middle of the order in the eighth inning and then turn the game over to the so-called closer who pitches the ninth inning while facing the bottom of the opposing team’s batting order. To wit, in the game between St. Louis and Los Angeles on Tuesday night the Cardinals were leading 2-1 when St. Louis relief pitcher Seth Maness entered during the sixth inning of a 2-1 game with the bases loaded and one out. Maness promptly induced a do...
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