After 12 years and 102 games finished, Matt Albers finally recorded his very first save
It's an odd record -- if you can even call it that -- requiring skill and longevity, with teams trusting the pitcher in the late innings over multiple seasons, but never putting them in the game to close it out. Esoteric baseball fans have fallen in love with the chase thanks to the Effectively Wild podcast's quasi-movement around the mark.
Coming in to finish his 103rd career game, things looked shaky at first for the veteran reliever.
After the victory, Albers told MLB.com's Jamal Collier, "I'm kind of glad it's over with. It's just one, so it's not really moving me up the charts too much.
"Couple years ago they did a little story, I can't remember who, but obviously they knew I hadn't got [one save]," Albers added about his placement on the leaderboard. "I didn't really think anything of it ... so it's nice to get this one. It's not fun, but it's not the end of the world."
Manager Dusty Baker recognized the feat by giving the game ball and lineup card to Albers. "He's done about everything," the skipper said. "They just informed me that was his first career save, and he was only a few away from the most appearances or games finished without a save, or something. Every day I'm giving these guys different lineup cards for different personal achievements or career achievements. These guys are giving me all they've got."
Now that Albers' streak is over, and Webb is in Triple-A, it's unlikely we'll see a challenge to the record anytime, soon. The next active pitcher behind Webb is
Here's the current top 10:
Though he waited 12 seasons for his first career save, the wait may not be that long for Albers' second. The right-hander has yet to allow a run in 11 1/3 innings this season, thanks in part to his command around the strike zone.
"I think just being able to work on throwing my four-seamer at the top of the zone to lefties and righties a little bit has helped, because it seems like guys are kind of low-ball hitters more so now than maybe before," the right-hander noted. "I think just making that adjustment and sharpening up my slider and changeup and throwing that more. All that together, and then just confidence. ... We've got a rotation that goes deep every night I think that helps the bullpen."