Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Advanced Baseball Statistics: The Save

Baseball revolves around statistics, perhaps, more than any other sport. Consequently, baseball statistics are more numerous and intricate than those of other sports. As baseball transitions from being our national pastime to a primarily analytical pursuit, appealing less to the average American and more to the obsessed fantasy manager, the relevance of statistics is only increasing. Over the past 30 years, fanatical statisticians and baseball analysts have created a multitude of new statistics that may seem foreign to the casual baseball fan. We will periodically explain many of these statistics, here's the first:

The Save:

Purpose: To reward relief pitchers for closing a game under particularly stressful circumstances.
Introduced: 1969
Explained: Saves are awarded to the pitcher that meets all of the following requirements

  1. He records the last out for the game for the winning team

  2. He is not the winning pitcher

  3. He is records at least one out

  4. He satisfies one of the following conditions:

    1. He enters the game with a lead of ≤ 3 runs and pitches for at least one inning

    2. He enters the game with the potential tying run either on deck, at bat, or on base

    3. He pitches for 3+ innings