Not all saves are created equal

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My internet friend Mike Treder pointed out something to me that escaped my notice: Sergio Mitre got the save in yesterday’s Yankees-Tigers game. Which ended 11-5.  Mike’s comment:

“You come into a game with your team leading 11 to 2, pitch three
innings, give up six hits and three runs, and you’re given a “Save” for
that??!”

Great point!

I don’t want to do away with the save statistic. I’m used to it by now and it’s kind of fun to argue about. But I do wish there was some way we could make it bear a closer relationship to the value a relief pitcher truly provides.  For starters, the “three innings to close a game = automatic save” rule should probably be scrapped.

Mostly, we should find some way to prevent saves from being awarded to pitchers who really aren’t terribly effective. But I’ll grant that, the more we get into the land of subjectivity, the more problems we likely create.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

toronto blue jays
Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.