What is a Blown Save in Baseball?

Baseball closers are responsible for completing a team’s victory at the end of the game. In general, teams have their best relief pitcher pitch the most stressful innings as the closer. Sometimes, however, a pitcher cannot get the job done with a win and suffers a blown save.

What does a blown save mean in baseball? What is the best way for a pitcher to get that unofficial stat? Baseball’s most blown saves: who are they? The complete guide to baseball blown saves!

What is a Save Opportunity Situation?

A baseball save occurs when a new pitcher enters a game with a three-run lead or less and completes the victory. It could be as little as a third of an inning or as long as three consecutive innings. A pitcher gets the save if they secure the final out between 1/3 and 3 innings of pitching.

Even if the pitcher entered the game with a three-run or less lead and then got additional runs, they would still earn the save record. Let’s say the closer entered the eighth inning with one out and bases loaded and a one-run lead. The pitcher can still record a save if they pitch the ninth and secure the win even if they get a double play to end the inning.

What is a Blown Save in Baseball?A blown save (BS) occurs when a relief pitcher fails to secure the save by allowing the tying run or winning run to score. When a reliever comes in with a two-run lead and gives up two or more runs, it is called a blown save. As with the HOLD stat, blowing a save is not an official MLB stat, but teams value it. 

Can a Blown Save in Baseball Occur Before the Ninth Inning?

Before the ninth inning of a baseball game, a save can be blown. For instance, suppose the New York Yankees closer pitched in the 8th inning with a two-run lead against the Houston Astros. The pitcher would be considered to have blown a save if they gave up a home run to the hitter, tying the game.

Can you Blow a Save and Record the Win?

It is still possible for a relief pitcher to win a baseball game even if he blows a save. For example, let’s say the Los Angeles Dodgers closer came in with a one-run lead against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning. A wild pitch by the Red Sox in the ninth led to one run, forcing the Dodgers to bat in the bottom of the ninth. If the Dodgers score one (or more) runs in the ninth inning to break the tie, and the previous Dodger pitcher finishes the top of the ninth pitching, they become the winning pitcher.

When Was the Blown Save Introduced in Baseball?

Blown saves became part of the baseball discussion in 1988. Since its inception, the Rolaids Relief Man Award has been given to pitchers who come out of the bullpen during a regular season. The blown save was only one part of the analysis to measure a pitcher’s performance. When a relief pitcher enters a game with a tying run on the bases and a batter at bat and allows the tying run to score, the pitcher is considered to have blown a save. 

How is a Blown Save Different from a Blown Hold?

A blown save differs from a blown hold primarily because a save situation exists or not. Imagine, for example, that the Texas Rangers starter pitches only five innings against the Baltimore Orioles and leaves with a one-run lead. A pitcher who gives up two runs in the bullpen receives a blown hold stat, but not a blown save. They would get a blown save, however, if the starting pitcher went eight innings and the relief pitcher blew the save in the ninth.

Who has the Most Blown Saves in Major League Baseball History?

A blown save might not be recorded by an official scorer, but some famous pitchers hold the record for most blown saves in baseball history. The following is a list of pitchers with the most blown saves as of July 2021. In the table below, two of the top pitchers are Hall of Fame pitchers, which illustrates how difficult it can be to save games. In addition, you can view the entire list of pitchers with blown saves by clicking on this link.

  • (Hall of Fame) 112 Goose Gossage
  • (Hall of Fame) 109 Rollie Fingers
  • Reardon, Jeff: 106
  • (Hall of Fame) 103 Lee Smith


It is important to measure a pitcher’s blown saves. The Minnesota Twins might evaluate their closer during the offseason based on how many blown saves they made. Changing a closer can benefit the team if the team feels the blown stats justify the change.

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