The Nine Worst One Inning Saves in MLB History

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

At New English D we’re very critical of the save statistic because not only does it not reflect actual performance, but it has also affected the way managers actually use their bullpens. Managers chase saves which results in using their best relievers in the wrong situations. I won’t rehash the problems, but you can check out the whole rationale in the bullpen section of our Stat Primer page.

What I’d like to do is identify the The Nine Worst One Inning Saves in MLB History. Below you’ll find a list of the most ridiculous appearances in which a reliever was credited with a “save.” The argument here is that a three up three down inning with 3 strikeouts results in a save and is valued identically to these appearances in the save column.

In order to gather this list, I sorted every save since the stat became official in the late ’60s by the number of baserunners allowed after deleting runners who reached via errors. After that I sorted by walks and dropped out anyone who induced a double play in order to leave me with nine.  From there, I broke any ties by sorting by the number of times each pitcher missed the strike zone. The only reason I was hunting for nine is because this is part of our The Nine series. A list of 11 or 13 would make the same point. I was just trying to find the absolute worst 1 inning saves in history. Let’s do it. Each of these appearances are 1 inning saves with 5 total baserunners:

Rank Player Date Tm H ER BB SO
9 Billy Koch 9/27/2002 OAK 3 2 2 0
8 Todd Jones 5/19/2007 DET 3 2 2 0
7 Bobby Jenks 9/29/2006 CHW 3 2 2 3
6 Trevor Hoffman 4/3/2002 SDP 3 2 2 1
5 Bryan Harvey 6/25/1989 CAL 3 2 2 3
4 Brad Lidge 7/26/2010 PHI 3 2 2 0
3 Jeff Brantley 5/21/2000 PHI 2 2 3 0
2 Joel Hanrahan 9/15/2012 PIT 2 2 3 1
1 Sergio Santos 9/26/2011 CHW 2 2 3 3

You’ll notice most of these are quite recent. Managers didn’t used to only call on pitchers for one inning saves and they used to pull relievers who pitched terribly before things got this bad. All of these pitchers earned a save for these performances. If you can get a save for pitching like this, how much is a save really worth?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: