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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #56: 5/31 vs. Rockies

The last of May - is it sweep day?

Durham Bulls vs Jacksonville Jumbo Shirmp Set Number: X163612 TK1

Today's Lineups

Randal Grichuk - RF Pavin Smith - DH
Ezequiel Tovar - SS Ketel Marte - 2B
Ryan McMahon - 3B Corbin Carroll - CF
Elias Diaz - DH Christian Walker - 1B
Elehuris Montero - 1B Lourdes Gurriel - LF
Nolan Jones - LF Josh Rojas - 3B
Brenton Doyle - CF Gabriel Moreno - C
Alan Trejo - 2B Jake McCarthy - RF
Austin Wynns - C Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Dinelson Lamet - RHP Tommy Henry - LHP

In the series opener on Monday, Drey Jameson came within one out of joining an elite club in D-backs history: those who have achieved a 12-out save. There have been only four such by a D-backs pitcher. In almost every case, it’s the longest possible save opportunity, because if the starter is replaced before going five innings, they cannot be the pitcher of record. The reliever who takes over for the rest of the game would qualify for the win, not a save. We saw exactly this the most famous “non-save save” by Arizona. Randy Johnson replaced Curt Schilling with a 1-0 lead after the lights failed in San Diego, and pitched seven innings to finish the game - but got the W instead.

That said, there have been some edge cases after the save was adopted as an official statistic in 1969. Fifteen pitchers since have got a save while recording more than twelve outs, most recently Austin Pruitt for the Rays against the Orioles in 2018. That game was actually started by Sergio Romo. He was the Rays “opener” and made five starts for Tampa, as well as saving 25 games, a combo achieved in a season by three players in baseball history. He could retire only one batter that day, before being replaced by former D-back Vidal Nuño, who pitched three scoreless innings (though allowed all three inherited runners to score!) and was awarded the W. Pruitt then took over and got a seventeen-out save.

The same thing happened in 2002, when Joaquin Benoit got a seven-inning save for the Rangers. That’s the longest in the modern save era. But Jameson’s near-save on Monday would have been memorable in another way. If he’d got the final out, the score would have been 7-5. It’s very rare for long saves to take place in games with such a small margin. As we saw, a “genuine” closer will typically take over if a save situation manifests itself. Since the end of 2014, there’s only been one 12-out save where the margin of victory was less than three. There’s a D-backs connection too, as it was by Trevor Bauer for Cleveland in the last game of the 2018 season. He came in with a 2-1 lead and made it stand the rest of the way.