To: Steve P
From: Todd B
Date: 5/1/19 6:35 pm
Subject: To Save, or Not to Save
So I want to make sure of a ruling, and wanted your opinion. It’s about a save situation, where I hadn’t awarded a save to a relief pitcher, but looking at the scoresheet now, I think I need to. It’s the Astros at the Dodgers, top of the ninth with the Dodgers leading 8-4. LA starter Burt Hooton has put two runners on with one out, so I bring in Charlie Hough in relief.
The save rule states that if a pitcher comes in with the potential tying run on base, at-bat, or on deck, he’s eligible for a save. And that fits the situation for Hough. The first batter he faces singles, to load up the bases. The next batter flies out, but the runner on third scores. With two out, the next batter singles, but the runner trying to score from second is thrown out at home, ending the game.
My question: do I go by the rule book, and award the save because Hough performed the necessary requirements for a save? Or do I NOT award a save, because he faced three batters, allowing two hits and one run to score, and therefore didn’t pitch effectively? I’m now thinking, based on the rule book, he gets a save…but how much leeway/power does the official scorer get where he can say, “I don’t think he did well enough to EARN the save, so I’m not giving him one.”
Charlie is awaiting your feedback, so he can add this to his updated book, ‘Hough, As In Cough’.
To: Todd B
From: Steve P
Date: 5/1/19 6:48 pm
Subject: Re: To Save, or Not to Save
Personally, I’d give him the save.
I’ve always interpreted the “pitch effectively” to mean that if he didn’t face the tying run on deck, but pitched effectively, he gets the charity save in that scenario.
That’s just my interpretation.
To: Steve P
From: Todd B
Date: 5/1/19 6:56 pm
Subject: To Hough, or Not to Hough
Thanks for the feedback…I’ll give him the save (I don’t have enough of them in my season, anyway). The save rule also states that a pitcher can come in with a three-run lead and pitch one inning to earn a save, and also pitch ‘effectively’ for three innings to earn one. So I guess, in Hough’s case, he could’ve come in, given up three runs and a boatload of hits, and still got the save as long as the Dodgers held that lead and Hough lived up to the rule as written.
Also, I just thought of the title of his next book: ‘Turn Your Head and Hough’.