Monday, November 5, 2007

Saves = Games Pitched in a Single Season

Today I want to look at players that had as many saves as games pitched in a single season. For example, Joey Jay of the Milwaukee Braves pitched in one game during the 1957 season and picked up the save. That was his whole major league season. He's one of only forty-six men since 1871 to pitch one game in a season and get a save.

Only four players in major league history pitched in two games and picked up two saves. All four played in the nineteenth century and the last turned the trick in 1895. Here are their names:
  • Ned Williamson, 1885 - The erstwhile single-season home run champion also moonlighted as a pitcher for the Chicago White Stockings (now the Cubs), throwing in a few games every year. He picked up one more save in 1886, giving him three saves in twelve appearances for his career.
  • George "Dandy" Wood, 1888 - Primarily a left fielder, Wood saved two games for the Philadelphia Quakers (now known as the Phillies), making forty percent of his career pitching appearances.
  • Bill Bishop, 1889 - Bishop only pitched in three seasons and was out of major league baseball before his twentieth birthday. He managed to record two saves in two games for the Chicago White Stockings, despite giving up 6 hits, 13 runs (6 earned), and 6 walks while striking out only one batter in three innings pitched. His 18.00 ERA and 4.00 WHIP makes his two saves look a lot less pleasant.
  • Jack Cronin, 1895 - Cronin was a rookie with the Brooklyn Grooms (now the Los Angeles Dodgers) and didn't do very well, giving up 10 hits, 8 runs (6 earned), and 3 walks while striking out one batter in five innings. Despite the 10.80 ERA and 2.60 WHIP, he picked up two saves for his two games. He ended up pitching in seven different seasons, ending up with a 43-57 career record (and three saves).
Only eight players had one game pitched and one save since 1950:
  • Ernie Nevel, 1951
  • Walt Kellner, 1952
  • Bill Abernathie, 1953
  • Joey Jay, 1957
  • Bud Daley, 1963
  • Rick Waits, 1973
  • Randy Lerch, 1976
  • Don Carman, 1983
If you're interested in the list of all such players dating back to 1871, you can find it by clicking here.

No comments: