Baseball Basics: What Is A Hold in Baseball?

If you want to know what is a hold in baseball, you are at the right place! In baseball, a “hold” is a statistic used to measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers. A hold is credited to a relief pitcher if he enters the game in a save situation, records at least one out, and leaves the game without giving up the lead but also does not get credited with a save.

A save situation is a specific set of circumstances defined by the score and the placement of baserunners when the relief pitcher enters the game. For a hold, the relief pitcher must maintain his team’s lead until another pitcher takes over or the game ends. Holds are not an official Major League Baseball (MLB) statistic, but they are often tracked and used to evaluate the performance of relief pitchers in certain situations.

Let’s look at the hold in baseball in more detail below: 

What Counts as A Hold in Baseball?

The baseball term “hold” refers to the situation in which a relief pitcher with the lead enters the game and records at least one out without surrendering the lead to the opposing team. The ability of a pitcher to “hold” the lead that was given to them by the pitcher who came before them and finished the game with that lead intact is what this word alludes to.

As an illustration of one of the most well-known holds in the annals of baseball, the following is provided for your reference: 

  • San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner joined game 7 of the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals as a relief pitcher in the top of the fifth inning.
  • The game was being played between San Francisco and Kansas City. The Giants had taken the lead in the game at that moment, scoring 3-2. If Bumgarner managed to record an out without surrendering the lead, he would be given a hold on the game. 
  • He went on to finish the game and toss five innings without allowing a run, ultimately leading to the Giants winning their third World Series triumph in the past six years. The fact that he had already won games 1 and 2 as a starting pitcher makes his accomplishment all the more impressive when taken into consideration. 
  • Because of this, the definition of “hold” in baseball refers to middle relievers and setup pitchers rather than closing relievers, as “save” does.

How Does A Pitcher Get A Hold in Baseball?

In baseball, a pitcher must enter the game with their team leading by no more than three runs, record at least one out, and exit the game with their team still in the lead for them to be considered to have a hold. It makes no difference if they are only able to get one hitter out or whether they can get 20 hitters out. 

If the relief pitcher comes into the game with the lead, they are responsible for maintaining it for the necessary number of outs. When he comes into the game, he already has a lead of three runs or fewer, and he manages to keep that lead while getting at least one out.

However, any number of relief pitchers can come into the game between the opening pitcher and the closer. The closer is the final pitcher to throw in a game. It was because of this particular set of pitchers’ need for a statistic that could be used for comparison that the hold statistic came into being.

Can A Pitcher Get A Hold of a Loss?

For a pitcher, it is possible to receive a loss and a hold in the same game should he exit with the lead, only to see the runners he left on base score the tying and go-ahead runs. Every time a pitcher gets at least one out during a save chance, there will be either a save, a blown save, or a hold. 

If a pitcher gets a hold, he can’t get a win or a save. However, there can be more than one substitute pitcher with a hold in a game. A player (or more than one) can get a hold in a game where their team loses, even if the other team wins in the last bit.

The main difference is that a pitcher has to get the last out of the game for the other team to score a save. A hold and a save mean that the replacement pitcher who comes in has the lead and must not give it up. However, a hold turns into a save if it includes the last out of the game.

There must be at least one inning left to play, and the tying run must be on base, at bat, or on deck. Also, the lead must be no more than three runs. The only team that will give a hold is MLB .com Gameday, even if the relief throws three innings or more but doesn’t finish the game.

Conclusion for What Is A Hold in Baseball?

You are now aware of the facts of this unique stat, which is used to recognize relief pitchers and appreciate their efforts in maintaining the team’s lead. When a pitcher has a hold recorded against him, he is not eligible for a win or a save in that game. 

On the other hand, in a single game, more than one relief pitcher has the potential to record a hold. It is also conceivable for a pitcher to obtain a hold while simultaneously suffering a loss in the same game if he leaves the game when his team is ahead but then watches as the runners he left on base score the runs that win.

 As a saver, they make it possible for the finishing pitcher to throw a winning pitch, and as a replacement for the starter, they are great. After getting a hold of a game, it is no longer the holder’s job to finish it and win. That is the closer’s job. The hold is also there to give the new relief pitcher time to replace the old one.

This continues until the closer finally takes over and ends the game with a win. It’s time to give more credit to the middle substitutes; they shouldn’t be forgotten.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are some questions related to What is a hold in baseball are as follows: 

What counts as a hold in baseball?

 To calculate the hold, we need to see the difference between the implied odds (i.e., what the sportsbook gets paid on) and the actual odds (i.e., what can happen). Since the total probability of all possible events always equals 100%, this is just the total of the implied odds minus one. A relief pitcher is usually used in the last few innings of a baseball game or after the starting pitcher has given up a few runs.

What is the difference between a hold and a save?

It is called a “hold” when a relief pitcher comes in during a save situation and keeps the lead for his team until the next relief pitcher comes in and gets at least one out. At least one of the following must happen for a player to record a hold: First, he has to come in with a lead of three runs or less and keep it while getting at least one out. Second, the team he joins has a lead of four runs or less. Third, he comes into the game with the extra base runner on third base or at the plate and gets an out.

Can you get a hold in the 5th inning?

As was mentioned before, pitchers keep track of when a middle or setup reliever comes into the game to replace the starting pitcher between the fifth and eighth innings of a baseball game. In addition, the pitcher needs to enter the game in a safe situation with his team already ahead of the opposing team and maintain that advantage. In addition to this, he is unable to serve a pitch that would win the game.

The requirement that the pitcher must record an out is the subject of continuing discussion; hence, the statistics for this category may vary from one source to the next.

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