With his seventh blown save of the season, Neris reached 26 career blown saves, tying Ryan Madson for most overall in Phranchise history. He’s also tied for second-most blown saves in the National League this season.
The Phillies have led MLB in blown saves for a significant majority of the season, now tied with the Seattle Mariners at 28 apiece. The 2004 Colorado Rockies hold the record for blown saves in a single season (34), something the Phillies still have time to tie or surpass.
Hector Neris tied a Phillies franchise record for blown saves
To say Neris has had an up-and-down season would be an understatement. His ERA month-to-month looks like the reading off a heart monitor:
April: 1.54 ERA (13 games, 11 2/3 innings)
May: 2.38 ERA (11 games, 11 1/3 innings)
June: 8.22 ERA (9 games, 7 2/3 innings)
July: 6.94 ERA (11 games, 11 2/3 innings)
August: 0.61 ERA (15 games, 14 2/3 innings)
By midsummer, Neris was in such a rough spot that Joe Girardi had no choice but to demote him from the closer role.
MLB’s blown save rule is unfair
In fairness to Neris, this particular incident is probably the most unfair way to get a blown save. When he entered the game, there were runners on second and third. He induced a ground-out and got a strikeout, but since the tying run scored, he was charged with a blown save, even though the runs are attributed to the pitcher who actually allowed the runners to reach base, which was not Neris.
Saves became an official MLB stat in 1969, though blown saves were not officially tracked until 1988. Mariano Rivera finished his career with an MLB record 652 saves, and it’s unlikely anyone will ever come close, though former Phillie Jon Papelbon is 10th on the list with 368.
The way Neris has been pitching lately, he might not have tied the franchise record if this rule fairly attributed the blame to the pitcher who actually put the tying run on base in the first place. If the earned runs belong to them, the blown save should, too.
Luckily for Neris, the Phillies still emerged victorious in extra innings. But he’ll now be in the franchise record books forever, even though his pitching is what kept the Phillies in the game long enough to win it.