How Does a Pitcher Get a Win or Save?

Pitching is one of the most crucial aspects of the game of baseball, and understanding how pitchers can get a win or a save is an important part of understanding the sport. A pitcher’s performance can have a major impact on the outcome of a game and understanding the criteria for a win or a save can help players and fans alike to better understand the game.

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What is a Win?

A win is the most common form of recognition for a starting pitcher. A win is awarded to a pitcher whenever they are the pitcher of record when their team takes the lead for good. In other words, if a team is trailing when the pitcher leaves the game, but then takes the lead at some point after the pitcher has been replaced, the pitcher will not receive a win for the game.

In order to receive a win, the pitcher must stay in the game for at least five innings (or four and two-thirds innings if the home team is ahead). If the pitcher leaves the game after pitching fewer than five innings, but their team still takes the lead for good, their relief pitcher will usually receive the win.

What is a Save?

A save is awarded to relief pitchers who come into a game in a save situation. A save situation is defined as any game in which a relief pitcher enters with a lead of three runs or fewer and pitches at least one inning without giving up the lead.

In order to receive a save, the relief pitcher must stay in the game long enough to be the pitcher of record when the team wins. If the relief pitcher leaves the game before the team takes the lead, the pitcher who replaces them will usually receive the save.

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What is a Hold?

A hold is a statistic that is used to reward relief pitchers who enter a game and maintain their team’s lead without earning a save. A hold is awarded to a relief pitcher whenever they come into the game with a lead of three runs or fewer and pitch at least one inning without giving up the lead, but do not qualify for a save.

For example, if a relief pitcher enters a game with a two-run lead and pitches one inning without giving up the lead, but is then replaced by another relief pitcher who earns the save, the first relief pitcher will be credited with a hold for the game.

Conclusion

Pitching performance is one of the most important factors in the outcome of a game of baseball, and understanding how pitchers can get a win or a save is an important part of understanding the sport. A win is awarded to a starting pitcher when they are the pitcher of record when their team takes the lead for good, while a save is awarded to a relief pitcher who comes into a game in a save situation and stays in the game long enough to be the pitcher of record when the team wins. A hold is awarded to a relief pitcher who enters a game with a lead of three runs or fewer and pitches at least one inning without giving up the lead, but does not qualify for a save.