Smoltz, 3-2,3.25 in 80.1 innings, 55 saves

Hammond, 7-2, 0.95 in 76 innings

Remlinger, 7-3, 1.99 in 68 innings

Holmes, 2-2, 1.81, in 54.2 innings

Gryboski, 2-1, 3.48, in 51.2 innings

Lightenberg, 3-4, 2.97 in 66.2 innings

Spooneybarger, 1-0, 2.63 in 51.1 innings

Total for the 7: 25-14, 2.41 in 448.2 innings

I don't think any other team has ever had that many effective bullpen pitchers with at least 50 innings.

]]>-- I searched for 50+ games relieved, 50+ IP and an ERA+ of at least 150, with no K filter. Two teams had 4 such pitchers, the 2008 Angels & 2004 Braves, each a division winner. Of the last 20 teams with at least 3 such pitchers, 15 made the playoffs, and 3 of the last 6 WS winners have had 3 such pitchers.

-- A 50-K floor seems modest at first blush, but it weeds out a surprising number of star relievers, even from the not-so-distant past. Dan Quisenberry had just 1 season with 50+ Ks, but he ranked in the top 3 in the Cy Young vote 4 straight years, and won 4 AL Fireman of the Year Awards with less than 50 Ks. There have been 63 seasons of at least 30 games in relief, 50 IP and an ERA+ over 200, but with less than 50 Ks -- 2 each by Mariano Rivera, John Franco, Mark Eichhorn, Quiz, Frank Linzy and Terry Fox. Just 2 years ago, Brad Ziegler had a 1.06 ERA (394 ERA+) in 59.2 IP, with only 30 Ks.

-- Any historical comparison with a K floor will skew towards teams of the current era. The MLB K rate in 2010 (7.1 K/9) was 25% higher than in 1990 (5.7), almost 50% higher than 1980 (4.8), and more than twice the 1930 rate (3.3). Unfortunately, the Play Index does not let us filter on K rate relative to the player's league.

]]>How many of the above teams made the playoffs?

What's the percentage?

And how many won at least one playoff round?

Quick now... just wondering if it is true that you need good bullpen to make the post season and a really strong bullpen to do well once you get there.

Go go go!

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