What does Closer mean in Baseball?

A Closer is a baseball term for a relief pitcher who is brought in to finish the game

A ‘Closer’ is basically a relief pitcher who steps in to finish off a ball game. This key player usually pitches the last, or sometimes the penultimate, inning of the game with the goal of securing a win for their team.

One significant measure of a closer’s performance is the number of “saves” they have to their name. This is a stat that counts how many games a pitcher has successfully sealed off.

To notch up a save, a player needs to meet certain conditions. They must successfully pitch their team to victory when they are leading by no more than 3 runs. Alternatively, they can enter the game with the potential tying run on base, at bat, or on deck. Another way to earn a save is by pitching at least 3 innings.

Other rules to earn a save also include: a closer cannot be the winning pitcher, they must finish the game, and they must be credited with at least 1/3 (securing one out) of an inning pitched.

If a closer fails to maintain their team’s lead, they are given a “blown save.” This term is used when a closer is not able to hold onto the lead and ends up costing their team the game.

Example for using ‘Closer’ in a conversation

Hey, did you watch the baseball game last night?

Yeah, it was intense! The closer did an amazing job.

I know, right? He came in and shut down the opposing team in the last inning.

Definitely! He earned another save for the team.