Ryan Webb and Matt Albers are MLB relief pitchers known to Effectively Wild listeners for their long streaks of games finished without a save. Ryan Webb is the current record holder with 105 career games finished without a save. Webb has not pitched since the 2016 season. Matt Albers recorded his first career save on May 5, 2017 while pitching for the Washington Nationals. Prior to the save he had 102 consecutive games finished without a save.
It all started on Effectively Wild with a Play Index Question in Episode 406 (at 17:00), and then led to frequent updates (3 min). Sam broke down an Albers near-save celebration. After a roundup of status updates on their roles in their respective bullpens in Episode 436, Ben said, "Gosh, I hope someone else cares as much about this story as we do."
The fascination on the podcast gradually departed from simply the save battle, with mentions of everything from Webb’s wedding to Albers’ game-used pants. Listeners took sides, though it was uncertain if it meant one was rooting for a save or the record.
After the 2016 season, Webb had the edge over Albers, 99-91. Each man walked the tightrope of appearing in the late innings as often as possible without ever doing so with the game on the line.
Albers meanwhile got off to a hot start for the White Sox in 2016, including a June 1 game in which he pitched two scoreless innings for the win, and racked up a double and scored the go-ahead run in between. Late-season struggles sank him to a 6.31 ERA and 5.80 FIP in 51.1 IP. Albers has played for eight organizations (with two stints for Houston), and is currently on the Milwaukee Brewers.
Albers recorded two saves during the 2017 season with the Washington Nationals.
The $2.50/month Patreon support level is named after Matt Albers.
The $5/month Patreon support level was named after Ryan Webb until 2021.
Since 2015, Banished to the Pen has organized "what is arguably the most Effectively Wild of all fantasy leagues": The Webb-Albers Championship. The goal is to draft pitchers who will finish as many games as possible without a save.