I was combing through box scores recently, seeking out the blown saves of the last few days, and this particular box score caught my eye, and prompted me to take a closer look at just what exactly happened:
|Jeremy Affeldt, H (1), L (0-1)||0.1||1||2||1||1||0||13|
|Javier Lopez, BS (1)||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||1|
What caught my attention was the fact that three pitchers combined for all of literally one out, and a lead completely blown in the process. If I’m Matt Cain, I’m aware that I didn’t pitch that great on this particular day, but at least my team has knocked out Josh Collmenter in three innings, and I’m leaving the game ahead, which is something to be grateful for.
First, Jeremy Affeldt simply melts down, retiring just one of three batters faced, prompting Bruce Bochy to remove him with runners on first and second. Santiago Casilla is brought in to play the matchups against the right-handed Justin Upton, but since Justin Upton is very good at baseball, Casilla is a little too careful and ultimately walks him, loading the bases. Bochy has no choice but to remove Casilla, and put in the side-arming, groundball pitching Javier Lopez, and play for the Jose Vidro/Ivan Rodriguez special.
In one pitch, Javier Lopez gets Miguel Montero to hit the desired groundball, but Brandon Crawford tried to be too perfect, bobbled the ball, and ended up committing an error. Nobody is out and the score is now tied. Blown save, to Javier Lopez.
Three pitchers, only one out created, lead lost, save blown.
Sergio Romo ultimately coughed up the lead on a questionable call, deeming Buster Posey’s foot off home plate, on a play at home, charged yet another error, but he’s slightly off the hook for this debacle. But it’s one of those stories where box scores don’t tell the whole story, and how it’s not always just the relievers fault when a save is blown.