Thursday, June 30, 2011

Time For a Change: Blown Save

In Wednesday night's game against the Giants, Ryan Dempster pitched great for the Cubs.  He entered the final inning with a 1-0 lead, but gave up a double to the first hitter.

The Cubs went to Carlos Marmol to close out the game, and in true Marmol fashion, the bases were loaded and a run scored before a double play got them off of the field.  Of course, Aramis Ramirez drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th and the Cubs got the win.

The pitching "win" in these situations, however, is kind of odd.  Dempster gave up no runs himself, but because his baserunner, inherited by Marmol, ended up scoring the tying run, Dempster automatically lost his chance at being awarded the win.  Marmol, the pitcher who actually let Dempster's runner score, then became the pitcher of record and did receive the win when the Cubs scored later that inning.

Is it time to change this?  I believe it is.

I don't think it is fair for Marmol (or any relief pitcher) to be credited with a loss for allowing inherited runners to score.  But in this case, when an inherited runner scored only the tying run, if the home team scores to win in the bottom of the inning, I believe the starting pitcher should be given the win.  The relief pitcher can have the save, which is a more valuable stat to him anyway.

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