Last night at PNC Park, Pirates relief pitcher Felipe Vasquez somehow mustered the courage to execute a four-out save.
That term, “four-out save,” is said with great gravitas, like Vazquez inexplicably manufactured superhuman strength to lift an SUV off a small child.
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, a team’s top relief pitcher threw two or three innings to preserve a lead. Nobody called those a “six-out save” or a “nine-out save.”
It was just a save.
Mike Marshall pitched in 106 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974. He finished 83. He had 15 wins, 21 saves and threw 208.1 innings. Marshall won the Cy Young Award, and his arm didn’t fall off.
Marshall had 32 saves for Minnesota in 1979, at age 36. He pitched 142.2 innings that year.
Marshall pitched over 100 innings six times during his 14-year career.
By contrast, Alex Colome of Tampa Bay led MLB with 47 saves last season. He only pitched 66.2 innings. What a candy-ass.