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2007: The Year of the Middle Reliever

Posted by Raphy on February 19, 2008

In 2007 Mariano Rivera posted an ERA+ of 142. It marked only the 5th time in 13 seasons that the all time leader in ERA+ (500+ innings) posted an ERA+ under 200. Nevertheless, the rest of baseball picked up the slack, as for only the second time in history there were 15 pitchers who posted an ERA+ of over 200 while pitching at least 50 innings. Interestingly enough , 10 out of those 16 (EDIT: For some reason this PI search eliminates JC Romero who pitched for 2 teams, while the search which includes all players counts Romero) were actually middle relievers, while the number of closers was at its lowest in 5 years.

8 Responses to “2007: The Year of the Middle Reliever”

  1. vonhayes Says:

    What relievers have done it the most often, Raphy?

    I would guess one of them would be Mo.

  2. vonhayes Says:

    Nevermind. I didn't click the first report.

  3. mlbfan30 Says:

    This blog seems to be running out of topics. Baseball needs to start.

  4. kingturtle Says:

    Speaking of middle relievers, I see Holds and Blown Saves appearing in box scores, but I've never seen any results for single-season and lifetime leaders on these stats. What are the benchmarks? Is 15 holds in a season good? What's the record for most blown saves in a season? A career?

  5. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Career Holds:
    M. Stanton 267
    J. Orosco 188
    P. Quantrill 185
    D. Plesac 183
    Mi. Jackson 182

    Singe Season Holds:
    S. Linebrink 36 (2006)
    T. Gordon 36 (2004)
    B. Lyon 35 (2007)
    A. Otsuka 34 (2004)
    Mi. Jackson 34 (1993)
    H. Bell 34 (2007)

    Career Blown Saves:
    R. Gossage 119
    R. Fingers 110
    J. Reardon 107
    L. Smith 105
    B. Sutter 101
    J. Franco 101

    Single Season Blown Saves:
    B. Sutter 14 (1978)
    B. Stanley 14 (1983)
    J. Staley 14 (1960)
    M. Marshall 14 (1973)
    R. Fingers 14 (1973)
    R. Davis 14 (1984)

    These are all just since 1957, but it's pretty sure no one before then would have made these lists.

  6. Raphy Says:

    Of course those blown save numbers are all relative. The leaders are clearly reflective of the change in role that closers have had. Here's a quick example:

  7. kingturtle Says:

    I see instances in B-R in which a pitcher is credited with a Blown Save even though it is not a Save Opportunity. For example, in Game One of the 1923 World Series, Rosy Ryan is given a Blown Save - but I don’t think it was a Save Situation. He replaced the starting pitcher in the 3rd inning. The starting pitcher was not qualified to get a Win. If Ryan pitched perfectly to the end of the game, Ryan would have gotten the Win, not the Save. Can someone please explain how and why one can get a blown save in a situation that a save is not possible?

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    That's a mistake. Good pick up. I checked Retrosheet, where B-R gets most of its game data from, and they don't have a blown save in their boxscore. Doesn't look like they list BS in any of their boxes. So it must be some tool Sean Forman wrote to search for BS, and it has an error in it. You should email him and let him know.

    Incidentally, here are the (hopefully mostly accurate) all-time postseason leaders in BS and Holds.