You can get a blown save for giving up one run in a four-inning relief stint, yet a pitcher who gives up two runs in the ninth inning can get a save.
If you don't know the rule, a blown save is charged to a pitcher who enters a game in a situation that permits him to earn a save if he finishes the game, but who instead allows the tying run to score. As it stands, blown saves don’t discriminate between closers and middle relievers.
When looking at blown saves totals for teams, one must take into consideration that clubs that win many games play more often with the lead in late-game situations than losing teams. In other words, Southern Illinois' relief pitchers had many more opportunities for blown saves than the Greys' bullpen. Also, the smaller the average lead the bullpen has to hold on to, the more often it will give up the lead.
For a team to have a winning record and still be at the bottom of a league's blown saves total is rare. When that happens, it shows that the team has an outstanding bullpen. The Wild Things fell into that category this year. Washington had the fewest blown saves (7) in the league, thanks to the stellar relief pitching closer Jonathan Kountis and setup guys Al Yevoli, Pat Butler and Matt Purnell.
Kountis led the league with a record 32 saves. He blew his first save opportunity of the year in the season-opening series at Florence, then converted 26 consecutive save opportunities, which broke the team record of 18 in a row set in 2002 by Robert Garvin.
Yevoli, who seemed to pitch as often with the lead as Kountis, also had only two blown saves, none after July 19. He also set the team record by pitching in 48 games.
Purnell, a rookie out of an NCAA Division II school, did a better job than anybody could have expected. He had a 3.23 ERA in 42 games and only two blown saves.
Butler had the highest ERA (4.15) of the four guys at the back of the bullpen but he was very good when protecting a lead. He had only one blown save and you had to go all the way back to June 8 at Rockford to find that game.
The Wild Things had a 3-4 record in games in which the bullpen had a blown save.
You will notice that Southern Illinois had a large number of blown saves. Almost all of those were in setup relief as the Miners tried numerous players to bridge the gap between their strong starting rotation and closer Derrick Miramontes.
2014 Blown Saves
19 - Southern Illinois
14 - Lake Erie
12 - Rockford
12 - Schaumburg
11 - River City
10 - Evansville
10 - Gateway
10 - Joliet
10 - Normal
9 - Florence
9 - Greys
9 - Windy City
8 - Traverse City
7 - Washington