The Cincinnati Reds won their third game in a row on Tuesday afternoon in our nation's capital after dispensing of the Washington Nationals by a final of 8-4.
Reds reliever Lucas Sims earned his first save of the season and the ninth of his big league career. However, he earned it in a rather odd manner.
The Reds were leading the Nats 8-4 headed into the ninth inning, and won the game by that same four-run margin. So how was Sims able to earn the save?
Reds reliever Lucas Sims records 1st save of 2023 in unconventional manner.
Lucas Sims didn't start the ninth inning, but he sure as heck finished. The right-hander, who surely had a bad taste in his mouth after surrendering a home run to Fernando Tatis Jr. during his last outing, came on for Daniel Duarte after the second-year hurler issued walks to both CJ Abrams and Derek Hill.
In typical Sims fashion, the 29-year-old sat down Lane Thomas after the Nationals' outfielder swung and missed on a slider. The next batter, Luis Garcia, flied out to right field. Finally, Sims punched his second ticket of the ballgame and struck out Jamier Candelario on four pitches.
Sims spun in a circle, let out a roar, and walked off the mound with his first save of the 2023 season. But how? The Reds won by four runs. Well, for those of you who don't know, there's more than one way to record a save.
The first, and most common way to earn a save is for a reliever to preserve his team's lead if he enters with a three-run lead or fewer and pitches at least one inning (typically the ninth inning). A pitcher can also go three innings in relief, and while he won't receive the win, that pitcher will be credited with the save.
The third, and less traditional way, according to MLB.com, is to enter the game with the tying run in the on-deck circle, at the plate, or on the bases. That is how Lucas Sims earned a save on Tuesday afternoon. Since Daniel Duarte walked the first two batters he faced, Sims entered the game with the tying run (Luis Garcia) on deck.
Nope, it's certainly not the most traditional way to earn a save, but it counts just the same. Honestly, one could make the case that with two inherited runners and no outs, the fact that Sims escaped without allowing a single run to cross the plate is quite impressive. Bravo, Lucas!