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Great Moments in Pitching Statistics: Jim Johnson with the hold, Joe Nathan with the win

Apr 10, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

Joe Nathan Adrian Gonzalez Getty Images

Gotta love the arbitrariness of the pitching decision stats. There are wins, losses, holds and saves, and all of them are subject to silliness. Two great examples happened yesterday.

In the A’s-Twins game, Jim Johnson came into the game with a two-run lead in the ninth, loaded the bases with a single and a couple of walks, then allowed the Twins to single in a run, leaving the bases loaded. Dan Otero comes in and allows a sac fly and retires the rest of the guys he faces. Johnson gets the hold — considered a positive decision for a relief pitcher — and Otero gets the blown save, even though he did almost everything he could to limit the damage done by Johnson.

In the Tigers-Dodgers game, closer Joe Nathan came into the ninth inning with a three-run lead. He have up a homer, two walks and a single to load the bases, then allowed two of those three base runners to score, blowing the lead and sending the game to extra innings. Though he wouldn’t throw another pitch in the game, he was still the pitcher of record when Victor Martinez hit the go-ahead home run in the 10th, so Nathan got the win.

Just remember that the next time someone cites saves, holds, wins or blown saves to explain why a given pitcher is good or bad.

  1. chacochicken - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    Jim Johnson, put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Jim Johnson reminds me of novel “Fahrenheit 451” in which it was the firemen who started fires.

    • renaado - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      I might need that coffee,If it’s cappuccino? Absolutely!

      • aresachaela - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Stop drinking cappuccino Ren! Look what happened to you at school today :-(… You look like a zombie back there.

      • renaado - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM

        Dunno don’t care, You have no idea how psyched I am for Santana’s first debut as a Brave.

      • dluxxx - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        “Glengarry Glen Ross” reference. Following link is NSFW.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      For anyone who didn’t get the reference, I highly recommend this movie.

      • renaado - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Is this watchable in google? I saw the ratings in Google though and judging from that i think it might pretty good.

  2. nymets4ever - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    “Just remember that the next time someone cites saves, holds, wins or blown saves to explain why a given pitcher is good or bad.”

    Uhh…no one “cites” holds. Like, ever.

    • clydeserra - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      haven’t watched a game with the sound on? or listened to one on the radio?

  3. sdelmonte - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Who got the GWRBI? Hey, if we have holds, we might as well bring back GWRBIs.

  4. clydeserra - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Jim Johnson got one out. A failed sac bunt that the batter popped up back to the pitcher.

  5. jeffchadwick - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Funny how Joe Nathan has continued his role as Tiger killer since donning the Olde English “D.”

  6. josemartez - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    I have both of these closers on one of my fantasy teams. They’re driving me crazy.

  7. dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Nathan just knows how to win.

  8. grumpyoleman - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    We have always known that as well as the RBI thing.

  9. schlom - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    No one has ever cited holds when they are talking about closers.

  10. bravojawja - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Can’t the official scorer give the W to another pitcher who was more effective?

  11. rangermania - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    This is one JD got right for the Rangers not offering Nathan a return. The Rangers have other closers who can blow saves at a more reasonable price! Martinez et al had better keep practicing those home runs.

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