This pretty much tells you that both reliever wins and the save statistic are, to say the least, flawed: Mariano Rivera came into the ninth inning with a one-run lead, closed the game out and … didn’t get the save. Why? Because in this case it was a judgment call by the official scorer pursuant to rule 10.17:
(c) The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.
David Robertson was the pitcher of record when the Yankees took the lead for the last time and, in most cases, would be credited with the win. But he also gave up three runs on four hits in one evening, and was therefore — to say the least — ineffective. Ergo, the official scorer declared Rivera the winner.
Query: could they give Robertson the blown save too? Even if he pitched before Rivera? Because that seems like the most accurate of the three possible pitcher dispositions here.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.