2022 MLB Blown Saves

by Grant White, SportsGrid

Not to put too fine of a point on it, but teams struggle without reliable bullpen arms and a proficient closer. Year after year, teams fall by the wayside as late-inning relievers turn over leads and cost their club valuable ground in the standings. With that in mind, we’re keeping weekly tabs on blown saves, noting which teams have the least effective bullpens.

Tampa Bay Rays – 32 Blown Saves

The playoff-hopeful Tampa Bay Rays added three more blown saves to their MLB-leading total. Worse, all three came against the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing the Jays to leapfrog the Rays in the Wild Card standings. 

The silver lining is that two blown saves came in one game. Jalen Beeks came on with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on third, giving up a fielder’s choice grounder that allowed Vladdy to score. Beeks wasn’t charged with the run. Still, he was on the hook for the blown save. Tampa Bay re-staked themselves to a lead in the seventh, only for Colin Poche to implode and cost the Rays the win. 

Tampa’s bullpen remains their strength; however, their timing could be better. With a group of relievers that throw that many innings, runs will be given up. Still, timing is everything, and blowing leads late in games doesn’t afford the offense time to mount a comeback. 

Chicago Cubs – 29 Blown Saves

It was a perfect week for the Chicago Cubs, who finished 2-for-2 in save opportunities. However, their ineffective pitching over the past month has left them near the top of the blown saves leaderboard.

Mark Leiter and Manuel Rodriguez each recorded saves, allowing no runs and combined baserunners across 5.0 innings pitched. Those were just the second saves for each pitcher this season, highlighting the absence of a closer on the team moving forward.

Nevertheless, the Cubs continue to deploy Brandon Hughes in high-leverage scenarios, with the southpaw holding things together late in games. All three pitchers should remain in the mix for saves towards the end of the season, although wins remain at a premium.

Milwaukee Brewers – 27 Blown Saves

Things have come unglued for the Milwaukee Brewers. A few weeks ago, the Brewers were on top of the NL Central standings, coasting towards a playoff berth. Now, they are 2.0 games back of the final wild card spot in National League and have some ground to make up if they hope to be included in the postseason. Unfortunately, their bullpen did them no favors, blowing three saves this week. 

Closer Devin Williams made just one appearance for the Brew Crew this week, shutting the New York Yankees down on Saturday night. Otherwise, Luis Perdomo, Taylor Rogers, and Justin Topa were on the hook for missed opportunities throughout the week. Perdomo was the worst of the bunch, allowing four earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched, while Rogers and Topa combined for three runs allowed, only two of which were earned. 

Williams will need to be at his best down the stretch. The Brewers have series against the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins, and Arizona Diamondbacks to end the season. That leaves them an advantage over some of the teams they are chasing in the standings; however, they can’t afford any more blown saves from their relievers.

2022 Blown Saves by Team: 

Team

Blown Saves

Save Opportunities

Rays

32

75

Cubs

29

65

Brewers

27

76

Twins

27

54

Red Sox

26

60

Braves

26

74

Angels

26

57

Marlins

26

60

Pirates

25

55

Rangers

25

59

Athletics

23

54

Blue Jays

23

65

Diamondbacks

22

51

Reds

21

49

Giants

20

53

White Sox

20

64

Yankees

18

61

Padres

18

63

Rockies

18

58

Royals

18

46

Dodgers

18

56

Phillies

17

56

Tigers

16

47

Cardinals

16

51

Guardians

16

59

Nationals

16

43

Mets

15

54

Astros

14

61

Mariners

13

50

Orioles

11

53