Save (sport)

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(Redirected from Save (baseball statistics))

To save in a sport means to stop a goal or to maintain the lead.



A save in hockey is the successful blocking of a shot on goal by a goaltender.

Football (Soccer)

Similarly, a save in football is the successful blocking of a shot by a goalkeeper.


In baseball statistics the term save is used to indicate the successful maintenance of a lead by a relief pitcher, usually the closer, until the end of the game. A save is credited to a pitcher who fulfills the following three conditions:

  1. The pitcher is the last pitcher in a game won by his team;
  2. The pitcher is not the winning pitcher (for instance, if a starting pitcher throws a complete game win);
  3. The pitcher fulfills at least one of the following three conditions:
    1. He comes into the game with a lead of no more than three runs, and pitches the remainder of the game, gaining at least one out.
    2. He comes into the game with the potential tying run being either on base, at bat, or on deck. In other words, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batters he faces.
    3. He pitches at least three "effective" innings (this is the only subjective criterion and is judged by the official scorer).

No more than one save may be credited in each game, even if more than one of the previous conditions is fulfilled.

Save rules have changed over the years; the above rules are taken from the Official Baseball Rules 2004.

The save is defined in Section 10.20 of Major League Baseball Official Rules. The statistic was formally introduced in 1969, although research has identified saves earned prior to that point.

A blown save is charged to a pitcher who enters a game in a situation which permits him to earn a save (a 'save situation'), but who instead allows the tying run (and perhaps the go-ahead run) to score. As with any other similar situation, if the pitcher's team does not come back to win the game, said pitcher will be charged with both the loss and a 'blown save.' The blown save is not an officially recognized statistic, but many sources keep track of them. Blown saves have been tracked since 1988.

If a pitcher enters a game in a save situation (for a team leading by three runs or less) in an inning which is not the last (e.g. in a regulation 9-inning home game, pitching the top of the 8th), and his team later scores one or more run(s) to extend their lead beyond three runs, then as long as the same pitcher pitches until the end of the game, he is still credited with the save. As the various roles of relief pitchers have changed since the 1960s, closers who often pitch two or more innings have become increasingly rare; although exceptions remain.

Save leaders in Major League Baseball

Bold denotes active players.


  1. Lee Smith - 478
  2. John Franco - 424
  3. Trevor Hoffman - 401
  4. Dennis Eckersley - 390
  5. Jeff Reardon - 367


  1. Bobby Thigpen (1990) - 57
  2. Éric Gagné (2003) - 55
  3. John Smoltz (2002) - 55
  4. Mariano Rivera(2004) - 53
  5. Trevor Hoffman (1998) - 53
  6. Randy Myers (1993) - 53

See also


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