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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Yankees edge Royals in extras, become first team in MLB history to win despite four blown saves in the game

With their 8-6 win in 11 innings over the Royals on Monday night in Kansas City (box score), the New York Yankees became the first team in MLB history to blow four saves in one game and still win. With the unlikely victory, the Yankees have won nine of their past 11 and are 16-7 in the second half. They’re also now just two games behind the Red Sox for the second AL wild card spot.

The Yankees on Monday night got six scoreless from the surging Jameson Taillon—he now has a 1.45 ERA over his past seven starts—but they weren’t able to push across a run of their own until Luke Voit’s RBI single in the seventh. Voit, back at first base in place of deadline acquisition Anthony Rizzo, who’s on the IL after testing positive for COVID, also homered in the ninth.

The Yankees and Royals traded runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, and each plated a pair of runs in the 10th. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that made for the first time in MLB history in which both teams scored in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th innings. While the automatic runner rule presently in force abetted the run-scoring in the 10th, it’s an elusive feat in any context. Along the way, Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green, Zack Britton and Clay Holmes all blew save opportunities for New York. As Katie Sharp noted on Twitter, only one other team, the 1995 Astros, ever blew four save chances in a game, but they wound up losing that game.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 10, 2021 at 02:29 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals, yankees

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 10, 2021 at 04:33 PM (#6033698)
Minor pet peeve: Two of those are really "blown holds" which would be a silly category to create but since that guy who comes on in the 7th inning is not gonna stick around to get the "save", why should he get charged with blowing one? Or create the "blown late inning lead" (BLIL!!) for both setup guys and closers. Anyway, something that acknowledges how pitchers are actually used (and have been for 30-40 years now) and that the 7th and 8th inning guys do not actually get a "save opportunity."

I forget who it was but this came up sometime in the last few years when some setup guy was moving to closer and a writer objected because he was only 5 for 15 in save opportunities or some such. And the reality was more that he was 40-8 in hold opportunities and 5-2 in a handful of genuine save opportunities.
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 10, 2021 at 05:27 PM (#6033708)
Massive agreement, Walt. Also, why isn't Holds routinely shown on stats leaderboards? Most places, it's hidden among GO/AO, aLI, and the like.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: August 10, 2021 at 06:08 PM (#6033713)
The hold was never really picked up by writers or broadcasters so I don't mind it being a bit hidden (in an already over-crowded b-r stat line). Now the fact it doesn't even appear on their leaderboards and isn't searchable in stathead is an issue. Am I safe in assuming that the retrosheet project has wisely decided they have better things to do than track 19th c holds? :-)

I'm not really a fan of the hold ... or the save for that matter. But if we're gonna have em, let's do em right.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 10, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6033716)
In a world where pitcher wins are being massively devalued, it shouldn't be a surprise that no one cares about holds. If a guy pitches a scoreless seventh inning, do we really need to make an additional distinction as to whether his team is winning 3-2 or losing 3-2?
   5. Brian C Posted: August 10, 2021 at 06:20 PM (#6033717)
Well, the problem is that it doesn't become a "hold" until the pitcher leaves the game. Obviously we all "know" that he's not going to stick around, and I do realize I'm making a fairly pedantic point here, but by definition there can't be such a thing as a "blown hold".

And there's no real point in changing the definition since, as noted, no one actually cares about holds anyway. But I guess you could always just compare the number of (holds + saves) to the number of blown saves if you need a ratio.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: August 10, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6033753)
Hence the BLIL!! But sure there can be a blown hold. A pitcher receives a hold if he enters with a lead (i.e. a "save" situation) and leaves without losing the lead. When he's lost the lead, he's blown the hold. It's the same as the difference between a save "situation" and a save "opportunity" (which is the denom in save %age) ... the save opportunity isn't defined until you've either blown the lead or completed the last inning.

It's easy enough to come up with definitions that if the pitcher enters before the 9th, it is a "hold" situation unless that same pitcher begins the 9th, then the "hold" situation becomes a "save" situation. If he resolves the hold situation successfully, he gets a hold; if he does not but it has not yet become a "save" situation then he gets a blown hold. You need some tinkering to handle guys who start the 9th but don't finish it but haven't blown the lead yet.

But sure (saves + holds)/(saves + holds + blown saves) would work fine ... kinda hard to do though when (a) b-r doesn't do it for us lazy folks and (b) b-r can't even be bothered to list blown saves much less holds in the main stat table. You've got to go 7 tables down on the advanced page just to get the raw data (and as I said not available in stathead that I could see). And even when you try (first guy I tried), you get Steve Cishek credited with 132 saves, 98 holds and 36 blown saves, totalling 266 outcomes ... in 265 save situations.

Something I suspect the inventor of the hold wasn't expecting is that hold numbers tend to be pretty modest. Cishek spent just 4.5 seasons as a closer, the other 6.5 seasons as a set-up guy but have 34 more saves than holds. There are only 105 more save situations than opportunities and while some of those "opportunities" were actually blown holds (probably about half), he obviously made a lot of non-save-situation appearances (374-375 of them apparently). A typical Cishek season was about 64 appearances so that approx 37/27 breakdown works out nicely and that's probaly fewer "hold opportunities" for an elite setup guy than the hold supporters expected.
   7. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 10, 2021 at 09:37 PM (#6033756)
Futzing around with these things might be fun, but we could also just, you know, look at stats that matter.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: August 10, 2021 at 09:44 PM (#6033758)
Save Opps stats for setup men can never be mocked enough, but well done here, lads.
   9. Brian C Posted: August 10, 2021 at 09:51 PM (#6033762)
Hence the BLIL!!

Which is what a "blown save" already is, unless I'm missing something.
the save opportunity isn't defined until you've either blown the lead or completed the last inning.

Again, pedantically this isn't true. The save opportunity exists when you come into the game, if you come into the game at a point where finishing it without giving up the lead will earn you a save.
It's easy enough to come up with definitions that if the pitcher enters before the 9th, it is a "hold" situation unless that same pitcher begins the 9th, then the "hold" situation becomes a "save" situation. If he resolves the hold situation successfully, he gets a hold; if he does not but it has not yet become a "save" situation then he gets a blown hold. You need some tinkering to handle guys who start the 9th but don't finish it but haven't blown the lead yet.

I mean, that's pretty convoluted to be called "easy enough", but again, regardless the bigger issue here is that you run smack into the "who cares" problem.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: August 10, 2021 at 10:52 PM (#6033767)
While I certainly agree with the idea that charging a middle reliever with a blown save when he wouldn't have any chance to save the game is silly (particularly when his poor save percentage is used as evidence he can't close), it's probably worth noting that really doesn't have anything to do with what happened here. Whether you label it a blown save or blown hold or BLIL, this would appear to be the first time any team won a game after four pitchers squandered a lead after the seventh inning. That's interesting regardless what you want to label the pitching failures.

   11. Howie Menckel Posted: August 10, 2021 at 11:43 PM (#6033779)
that's fair
   12. TomH Posted: August 11, 2021 at 07:48 AM (#6033790)
And when we get rid of the extra-inning-bonus-runner rule, it will likely never happen again.

Unearned run %

2018 & 2019; 7.5% of all runs
2021 - 8.8% of all runs

I don't have the data on runs scored by inning, but I assume it goes from about .5 runs per inning to about 1.0+ runs per inning in extras. And it would be more if the home didn't stop after scoring one to win.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: August 11, 2021 at 08:16 AM (#6033792)
And when we get rid of the extra-inning-bonus-runner rule, it will likely never happen again.


Probably, but the first three innings came under normal conditions, and the Yankees had a two-run lead going into the bottom of the 10th, so the last BS was still legit.
   14. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: August 11, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6033800)
And when we get rid of the extra-inning-bonus-runner rule, it will likely never happen again.


Prediction: The zombie runner isn't going away.
   15. Brian C Posted: August 11, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6033808)
And why should it? I hated the idea, but in practice, it turned out to be a pretty good rule once I got over my reactionaryism.

In fact, the combination of zombie runners and hockey 3x3 has made me rethink overtimes in general - it now seems obvious to me that if you're tied after regulation play, then OT should be designed to wrap things up reasonably quickly even if you have to sacrifice some purist aesthetics along the way.

The corollary here is that the NFL made a dumb mistake by changing OT away from sudden death. The NBA should consider a short 3x3 period themselves (shorter than the current 5-minute period). Soccer ... well, Jesus save us from those 30-minute OTs where no one's really even trying to score. Just skip straight to PKs ffs.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 11, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6033812)
The box score of the game in BB-Ref. shows 4 blown saves, but AFAIC that's just SABR semantics. For those of us who were watching the game, the true wonder was in the symmetry of the line score from the 1st through the 10th innings:


NY 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 3 8
KC 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 1 5

You can argue about whether Loaisiga and Green should be tagged with "blown saves" or "blown holds" in the 7th and 8th innings, but there's never been a game where a previous scoreless tie was broken and then tied again in four consecutive innings. I'll be shocked if that ever happens again in any of our lifetimes, with or without the Ghost Runner rule. It was lightning in a bottle, and it was a "streak" that would've been broken twice, in the 7th and the 8th, if first Judge and then Gardner hadn't been thrown out at home and 3rd, and it could've also been broken from the 7th through the 9th if the Royals hadn't left the go-ahead or winning run on base.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 11, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6033814)
the combination of zombie runners and hockey 3x3 has made me rethink overtimes in general - it now seems obvious to me that if you're tied after regulation play, then OT should be designed to wrap things up reasonably quickly even if you have to sacrifice some purist aesthetics along the way.

The corollary here is that the NFL made a dumb mistake by changing OT away from sudden death. The NBA should consider a short 3x3 period themselves (shorter than the current 5-minute period). Soccer ... well, Jesus save us from those 30-minute OTs where no one's really even trying to score. Just skip straight to PKs ffs.


I'm against the Ghost Runner rule and agnostic on your NBA OT proposal,** but when it comes to football I'm surprised that you didn't mention the most abominable OT rule of all: College football. If any OT rule is guaranteed to extend a game way beyond its normal expiration date, it's college football, which at the very least should mandate that all OT TDs come with 2-pt. conversion attempts. Personally I'd like all football OTs to be decided by the original PFB Sudden Death rule, but I can at least live with the current rule.

** One basketball rule I'd definitely change would be to give players an additional allowable foul for every two OT periods.
   18. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: August 11, 2021 at 11:30 AM (#6033816)
And why should it? I hated the idea, but in practice, it turned out to be a pretty good rule once I got over my reactionaryism.

In fact, the combination of zombie runners and hockey 3x3 has made me rethink overtimes in general - it now seems obvious to me that if you're tied after regulation play, then OT should be designed to wrap things up reasonably quickly even if you have to sacrifice some purist aesthetics along the way.

The corollary here is that the NFL made a dumb mistake by changing OT away from sudden death. The NBA should consider a short 3x3 period themselves (shorter than the current 5-minute period). Soccer ... well, Jesus save us from those 30-minute OTs where no one's really even trying to score. Just skip straight to PKs ffs.


I agree pretty much across the board except the last paragraph. I despite with the heat of a thousand suns the NFL system. The idea that a team can lose without ever touching the ball is freakin' insane. Just give each team a possession. "Last ups" if you will. Keep doing that until someone wins.

As for soccer I think the problem is that soccer's OT is only used for the biggest games. Baseball and hockey use their gimmicks for regular season games and while those games matter at the end of the day the season is long enough that I think the artificial drama works. I'm with you though, I hated it at first but the zombie runner is fun. It may be artficial drama but it's drama nonetheless.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 11, 2021 at 11:41 AM (#6033818)
I agree pretty much across the board except the last paragraph. I despite with the heat of a thousand suns the NFL system. The idea that a team can lose without ever touching the ball is freakin' insane. Just give each team a possession. "Last ups" if you will. Keep doing that until someone wins.

I sympathize with that POV, but in fact the only way a team can't get a possession is if its defense can't stop the other team from scoring a touchdown. That both properly prioritizes the defensive half of the roster and forces the first team's coach to make what's not always an easy decision about settling for a FG or trying to win the game outright.

   20. Howie Menckel Posted: August 11, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6033819)
I like when the call they call the ghost runner the "Manfred Man."
   21. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 11, 2021 at 01:09 PM (#6033839)
There's no tying in baseball...!
   22. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 11, 2021 at 01:38 PM (#6033842)
I think the ghost runner is an interesting idea, and I like it, if only because baserunning and "little ball" skills become more important, suddenly.

What isn't good about it is that run is difficult to deal with from a "stats" standpoint. For example, the runner gets a run scored. The pitcher gets an unearned run, etc.

A compromise would take from hockey and just get rid of a player (the team would probably choose to get rid of an outfielder). So you play with 8 position players starting the 10th inning. Whichever spot gets taken out also leaves the batting lineup, perhaps. Now those runs become more "earned" and at the same time there are interesting managerial choices to be made.

That would be more in line with what would happen a lot in sandlot baseball when one of the players has to go home early to do chores or homework...

Maybe when you get to the 14th inning - go down to 7!
   23. bunyon Posted: August 11, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6033844)
Doug, I prefer that, too. I'd take a player away each inning. Offense calls which defensive position is unfilled but the defense gets to decide which player to remove. So I can't decide to remove the other team's best hitter but I can make it so CF isn't covered.

Or, if you're going to gimmick an free runner, go full clown. Roll dice at the beginning of each inning to set the runners.

1 - no runner
2 - runner on 1st
3 - runner on 2nd
4 - runner on 3rd
5 - runner on 1st and 2nd
6 - runner on 2nd and 3rd

   24. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 11, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6033845)
As for soccer I think the problem is that soccer's OT is only used for the biggest games.

In the old days, they would either re-play the entire game the next day, or play multiple OTs until somebody scored. But TV time-slots are a cruel mistress, so...

I always thought soccer games should be settled with a real shoot-out...give the players guns. (That'll teach 'em to play for a tie...!)
   25. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 11, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#6033850)
Doug, I prefer that, too. I'd take a player away each inning. Offense calls which defensive position is unfilled but the defense gets to decide which player to remove. So I can't decide to remove the other team's best hitter but I can make it so CF isn't covered.


I think it's best if the defense just gets to decide how they want to deploy fewer position players. They may want to keep their best hitter, they may not. They may want to play 2 outfielders, they may want to get rid of the second baseman, that's the managers choice. But of course - this is something maybe best experimented with in The Atlantic League, or the Cape Cod League, or the AFL.

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