A blown save occurs when a relief pitcher enters a game in a save situation, but allows the tying run to score. The run does not have to be charged to that pitcher. If a reliever enters with a man already on third base, and he allows that runner to score the tying run, he is charged with a blown save.
Although many blown saves occur in the ninth inning or later, they aren't limited to the ninth inning. If a pitcher enters in the eighth inning and surrenders the tying run in a save situation, he is given a blown save -- regardless of whether he pitches the ninth. A pitcher can still receive either a win or a loss (or a no-decision) after recording a blown save, depending on the ensuing results.
Blown saves are used as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of a closer. However, not all blown saves are created equal -- after all, entering with a three-run lead in the ninth and entering with a one-run lead and a man on third in the eighth are both considered save situations. It's important to remember this when assessing closers based on their blown saves.
Blown saves were introduced as a statistic in 1988 as a counterbalance for the statistic "saves."
In A Call
"saves blown," "saves lost," "blown leads in save situations"