Twins' Swarzak just misses rare four-inning save

  • Article by: KEN CHIA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 18, 2013 - 8:03 AM

The reliever was two outs away from a four-inning save.

The four-inning save.

Obviously, it is not the kind of performance that draws attention to itself in baseball the way a diving catch does. But it does say that a relief pitcher was able to preserve a lead over the final four innings of a game, presumably after a starter was lifted following the first five.

In Tuesday’s case, Anthony Swarzak was given the ball in the sixth inning with a one-run lead after Mike Pelfrey had thrown 96 pitches and given up four runs over five innings. Swarzak promptly struck out the side on 12 pitches in the sixth inning. He made the seventh and eighth innings look easy, too.

He came out for the ninth inning with a four-run lead and retired the first batter, but a Trevor Plouffe throwing error, followed by a single, ended Swarzak’s night.

“No, we won the game. Nothing to be disappointed about,” Swarzak said Wednesday when asked if he was disappointed he didn’t earn a save. “That’s the important thing. … It would have meant a lot to me. But I just wasn’t aware it was a save opportunity.”

Thus, according to Baseball-Reference.com, Swarzak failed to become the first Twins pitcher to earn a four-inning save since Brian Bass did it in April 2008 against the White Sox, the only time in Ron Gardenhire’s tenure that a reliever has gone four innings for a save. There have been only 38 four-inning saves in the major leagues since Gardenhire’s first season of 2002, compared to 71 one-hitters and 109 three- or four-homer games.

A save for Swarzak would have been the first of his career. He didn’t get it, although he did achieve what he is paid to do as a long reliever — eat up innings. Tuesday’s outing was his 14th relief appearance of at least three innings, all since 2011.

“I didn’t know the rule [for earning a save],” Swarzak said. “I thought it was three runs, and we were up by four. … But I’m OK. Pitching well, helping us win, was more important.”

 

Staff writer Phil Miller contributed to this report.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - WP: M. Lorenzen 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 1
Miami - WP: M. Latos 2 FINAL
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 1
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Estrada 3
Philadelphia - LP: C. Billingsley 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: S. Miller 9
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 3
Tampa Bay - LP: D. Smyly 0 FINAL
Boston - WP: R. Porcello 2
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Garza 2
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Vargas 5
Detroit - LP: S. Greene 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Samardzija 5
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 2 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1
Texas - WP: W. Rodriguez 7 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Feldman 1
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Harris 7
Arizona 0 Postponed
Colorado 0
Seattle 1 Bottom 5th Inning
LA Angels 2
San Diego 0 Bottom 5th Inning
San Francisco 6
Washington 90 FINAL
Atlanta 106
Memphis 36 2nd Qtr 5:24
Golden State 32
Chicago 1 FINAL
Minnesota 0
Anaheim 3 3rd Prd 18:01
Calgary 2
San Jose 1 FINAL
Houston 0
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What are your plans for the Twins' home opener?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close