Here are the thoughts of Marlins fans [OK me] after Heath Bell’s blown save on Tuesday:
Good teams don’t lose games when they rally from 7 runs down. Good teams don’t blow these many save opportunities. I mean it’s probably happened before, in the way that everything has probably happened before in MLB, but you probably gotta go way back.
So I set out to find a National League [the DH league is dead to me] playoff team who were at the bottom of the league in terms of blown saves. I had to go all the way back to the 2011 World Champion St Louis Cardinals.
- 2011 Cardinals blown saves – 26
- 2011 NL average blown saves – 20
- 2011 Marlins blown saves – 19
- 2012 Marlins blown saves – 12
- 2012 NL average – 10
But surely those Cardinals didn’t have a game were they were down 7, came back and blew the game in extra innings? No they had one where they were down 8, came back and blew the game in extra innings. It happened against the Reds, it happened at home and it happened almost one year to the date of the Marlins loss, on July 6th 2011.
Alright, alright, but before those Cardinals, what other playoff teams …
- 2010 – Cincinnati & Philadelphia were above the league average in blown saves, but not significantly
- 2009 – LA Dodgers made the playoffs and led the league in blown saves
I could go on, but its a sunny day. Turns out that blown saves may be a better indicator of a team that has a lot of late leads, more than it is an indicator of whether a team can make the playoffs. So ask not for whom the Bell trolls, Oviedo and Bonifacio will soon be back.