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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Blown Saves, Inc.: Franklin, Thornton and Marshall

As any St. Louis Cardinals fan that watched Sunday afternoon’s road trip-ending 2-1 walkoff loss in Los Angeles already knows, Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin blew his fourth save of the young season.

In the process, the 38-year-old became only the third reliever since the save stat was introduced to blow four save opportunities by his team’s 16th game of the season. The other two were the White Sox’ Matt Thornton, who did it earlier this month, and Montreal’s Mike Marshall in 1973.

It took Franklin six appearances to blow four, while Thornton did it even faster, in five appearances over his team’s first 12 games. Like Franklin, Marshall blew his fourth save in his team’s game #16, but it was already his ninth appearance that year.

Marshall was 30 years old at the time and would recover to win 14 games and save 31 that season. He finished second in the 1973 National League Cy Young Award voting and fifth in the Most Valuable Player balloting. The next season, Marshall became the first reliever ever to win the Cy Young Award.

Like Thornton, Franklin’s career trajectory is in serious question.

Four saves blown in team’s first 16 games, MLB


Franklin-2011















Gtm Date Tm
Opp Rslt Inngs Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF
1 Mar 31 STL SDP L,3-5 9-9 BS(1) 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 9.00 5
5 Apr 5 STL PIT W,3-2 9-GF S(1) 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 4.50 4
7 Apr 8 STL @ SFG L,4-5 9-9 BS(2) 1 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 6.00 6
8 Apr 9 STL @ SFG L,2-3 9-GF BL(0-1) 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 9.82 5
13 Apr 14 STL @ LAD W,9-5 9-GF 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 9.64 4
16 Apr 17 STL @ LAD L,2-1 9-GF BL(0-2) 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 11.57 1

Thornton-2011















Gtm Date Tm
Opp Rslt Inngs Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF
3 Apr 3 CHW @ CLE L,1-7 8-GF(8) 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 4
5 Apr 6 CHW @ KCR W,10-7 9-10 BS(1) 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 3.38 9
7 Apr 8 CHW TBR L,7-9 9=9 BL(0-1) 0 4 5 0 0 1 1 0 2.70 8
10 Apr 11 CHW OAK L,1-2 9-9 BS(3) 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.45 3
12 Apr 13 CHW OAK L,4-7 9-10 BL(0-2) 1 3 3 3 2 1 0 0 7.71 8

Marshall-1973















Gtm Date Tm
Opp Rslt Inngs Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF
1 Apr 6 MON @ CHC L,2-3 9-GF BS(1) 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0.00 4
2 Apr 7 MON @ CHC L,2-3 8-GF(10) L(0-1) 2 3 1 1 2 2 0 0 2.70 11
5 Apr 12 MON @ PHI W,5-3 7-GF S(1) 3 2 1 1 2 2 0 1 2.84 13
7 Apr 15 MON PIT L,3-8 8-GF 2 6 4 4 1 0 1 0 6.48 13
8 Apr 17 MON PHI L,6-9 7-8 BL(0-2) 1 3 3 3 1 1 0 0 8.38 8
12 Apr 22(1) MON @ NYM W,2-1 8-9 BW(1-2) 1 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 8.18 7
13 Apr 22(2) MON @ NYM L,3-13 8-GF(8) 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7.50 3
15 Apr 25 MON @ CIN L,4-7 6-7 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 6.59 6
16 Apr 27 MON @ HOU L,5-6 8-8 BS(4) 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.43 1

Special thanks to researcher Tom Orf for supplying the above table.

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