Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » June 2005 Game CommentsJune 2005 » Quintuple


Game 66: June 17, 2005
Pirates (30-35), 5
Red Sox (37-29), 6
L: Rick White (2-3)
H: Matt Mantei (6)
BS: Mike Myers (1)
W: Keith Foulke (4-3)

The hold is perhaps one of the most useless indicators of pitching performance devised. In the game thread at Royal Rooters, gerky asked why Mantei earned a hold and Myers got the blown save despite the fact that Mantei was responsible for Matt Lawton getting on base in the 7th inning. I didn’t know the answer myself and wanted to know why. I found the definitions for holds and saves:

A hold is credited any time a relief pitcher enters a game in a save situation, records at least one out, and leaves the game never having relinquished the lead. Note: a pitcher cannot finish the game and receive credit for a hold, nor can he earn a hold and a save.

A relief pitcher is in a save situation when upon entering the game with his club leading, he has the opportunity to be the finishing pitcher (and is not the winning pitcher of record at the time), and meets any one of the three following conditions:

  1. He has a lead of no more than three runs and has the opportunity to pitch for at least one inning.
  2. He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat, or on deck.
  3. He pitches three or more innings regardless of the lead and the official scorer credits him with a save.

When Mantei entered the game it was a save situation, but he himself did not relinquish the lead and since he did get Freddy Sanchez to pop out, he met the criteria for a hold. However, his ERA was still impacted by Lawton scoring on Daryle Ward’s ground out. Myers entered the game before the score was tied, so it was still a save situation. The lefty got Ward to ground out, but Lawton scored while Myers was on the mound, so it was the southpaw that blew the save. Since there is no correlation between earned runs and earning a hold, the utility and value of a hold is largely illusory.

Transitioning from insignificant things that are memorialized in the box score to events of significance that don’t appear in the game summaries, in the 8th inning Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek executed a put out of Jack Wilson at home plate to perfection. MLB Gameday said of the play: “Freddy Sanchez singles on a line drive to left fielder Manny Ramirez. Jack Wilson out at home on the throw, left fielder Manny Ramirez to catcher Jason Varitek.” How evocative is that?

With the score tied in the 8th, Mike Timlin replaced Mantei and got 2 outs, but also had runners at first and second. Sanchez lined a single to Ramirez and it looked as if Wilson would easily score the go-ahead run. He didn’t count on the Wall of Varitek barricading his path. This sequence was shown repeatedly, and its magnificence warrants it, unlike the Jeter poaching Cano play in shallow right center.

After a 1-2-3 top of the 9th for Foulke, Kevin Millar hit a ground-rule double to right field, and I didn’t dyslexically state the incorrect part of the field; Millar actually went opposite field. With Kevin Youkilis pinch-running, Varitek executed a bunt that was mishandled by Rick White, yielding runners on first and third. Bill Mueller is intentionally walked to load the bases, and when Mark Bellhorn ground into a force out with Youkilis out at the plate, the Pirate’s strategy looked as if it might be successful. They brought out a left-handed pitcher, Mike Gonzalez, to take care of Johnny Damon. These by the book decisions don’t always pan out, and Damon proved you can’t keep a good hitter down with conventional wisdom. His single up the middle pushed the winning run in the form of Varitek across the plate.

The Pirates, like the Reds, are another lackluster National League team we should beat. Their team stats after last night’s game:

  • 22nd in batting average (.259)
  • 18th in strikeouts (415)
  • 24th in hits (572)
  • 21st in on-base percentage (.325)
  • 13th in earned run average (4.06)
  • 19th in earned runs against (262)
  • 24th in strikeouts against (376)

The foundering Yankees were able to sweep this team, although they required the aid of umpire Tony Randazzo in the second game of the series. The Red Sox are on track for similar success.

« Top « Home » Category ListingMonthly Archive


RSS Feed



  • Visitors to EE since November 2004
  • Boston Phoenix Best of ’06
    Phoenix Best
  • Blog contents, images, and design
    © 2004-2015 by Joanna J.M. Hicks.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.