FanPost

Milwaukee's Most Mistrusted Relievers

One week ago, I posted a table of pitchers who had the most relief appearances for the Brewers before picking up their first save for the team.  It is an interesting list, but it doesn't really say much about how the pitchers involved were used.  A reliever used predominantly in the seventh and eighth innings, occasionally faced with save opportunities, may blow a couple chances and find himself climbing ever higher on the list.  Left-handed specialists (LOOGYs) have it even worse.

The pitchers I am most interested in are the pitchers who aren't even given chances to protect a small lead at any time.  To track down these mistrusted arms, I looked up the longest streaks without a save, hold, or blown save to begin a Brewers career.

Saves and blown saves are well known, but holds are a little more obscure.  They were invented as a way to reward middle relievers who do not get the same save opportunities closers get.  Generally, a pitcher who enters a game in a save situation and preserves the lead until the next reliever enters is rewarded with a hold.  From there, the definition gets a little ambiguous, as some sources credit relievers who fail to record an out with a save, while others demand pitchers retire at least one batter.  STATS, LLC and Baseball-Reference.com both require pitchers to record an out to earn a hold.  With that requirement and the way blown saves are handed out, it is possible for a pitcher to protect a lead with an ineffective outing without a hold or blown save.  It is possible some of the pitchers on the below list had such outings (the top pitcher on the list did not), but I will take my chances the numbers are not too heavily skewed.

With that in mind, below is the table of pitchers who made the most relief appearances for Milwaukee before picking up their first save, hold, or blown save.  The pitchers in question, used in a variety of roles, were not given the opportunity to protect a lead for quite a while after joining the team.  As in my last post, the games listed ignore appearances outside of each pitcher's Brewers career and starts that occurred during the streak.  However, I have included a separate Starts column on the right side of the table that lists how many games each pitcher started during his relief streak.  Clearly, a few pitchers on the list were predominantly starters who made occasional mop-up or long relief appearances.  Also, the TmRec column shows the team's record in the games during each pitcher's streak.  Poor Gus Gandarillas (I still wish there had been a Gandarillas vs. Clapp showdown) never pitched in a Brewers victory.  The final column indicates how each pitcher's streak ended.  There is a good mixture of guys who left the club, guys whose careers ended, and of course saves, holds, and blown saves.

Rk Name Streak Start End Games W L SHO GF IP ERA H R ER BB SO HR TmRec Starts Ended
1 Chris Smith 6/10/2009 10/1/2009 34 0 0 0 12 45.0 3.80 39 19 19 18 35 11 5-29 0 Blown Save
2 Jerry Bell 9/6/1971 10/1/1972 30 4 2 0 11 64.0 2.11 46 15 15 32 23 1 4-26 3 Blown Save
3 John Morris 4/9/1969 6/27/1971 30 3 0 0 9 61.2 3.06 56 23 21 24 31 4 4-26 10 Hold
4 Bronswell Patrick 5/18/1998 9/22/1998 29 3 0 0 8 58.2 4.76 57 32 31 24 41 7 5-24 3 Left Team
5 Skip Lockwood 8/27/1969 9/22/1973 29 3 3 0 16 84.0 3.21 80 32 30 20 46 8 8-21 102 Left Team
6 Jim Colborn 4/19/1972 4/14/1973 28 2 0 0 7 63.2 2.83 59 21 20 24 45 3 3-25 13 Save
7 Steve Woodard 4/3/1998 7/22/2000 26 2 1 0 8 51.2 2.96 42 20 17 17 37 3 5-21 66 Left Team
8 Seth McClung 8/21/2007 5/17/2008 24 1 2 0 5 31.0 3.77 26 17 13 18 31 2 8-16 0 Hold
9 Valerio de los Santos 7/31/1998 4/18/2000 23 0 1 0 8 32.2 3.86 25 14 14 11 28 5 3-20 2 Hold
10 Lew Krausse 4/20/1970 9/30/1971 23 1 3 0 6 46.1 2.14 33 15 11 16 21 4 2-21 54 Left Team
11 Bill Travers 5/19/1974 9/20/1974 22 2 3 0 9 52.0 4.33 55 25 25 29 30 5 5-17 1 Save
12 Wes Obermueller 8/19/2003 9/28/2005 21 0 1 0 5 43.2 5.56 61 29 27 18 28 6 6-15 35 Left Team
13 Paul Mirabella 4/19/1987 7/18/1987 19 2 1 0 6 18.0 7.50 20 16 15 9 7 0 5-14 0 Blown Save
14 Tom Edens 5/26/1990 7/17/1990 17 2 1 0 4 35.0 3.86 32 19 15 15 13 1 3-14 0 Hold
15 Rickey Keeton 4/30/1981 8/25/1981 17 1 0 0 8 35.1 4.84 47 20 19 11 9 4 4-13 0 Career Ended
16 Dave Burba 7/10/2003 4/5/2004 16 2 0 0 2 35.1 2.80 29 13 11 16 31 3 2-14 0 Save
17 Gus Gandarillas 7/17/2001 10/5/2001 16 0 0 0 6 19.2 5.49 25 13 12 10 7 2 0-16 0 Career Ended
18 Allen Levrault 6/13/2000 9/30/2001 16 1 1 0 2 32.1 5.85 31 21 21 14 22 6 4-12 20 Left Team
19 Everett Stull 4/9/2000 9/30/2000 16 1 0 0 3 26.2 4.39 29 13 13 12 22 3 2-14 6 Career Ended
20 Randy Stein 4/20/1978 7/4/1978 16 2 1 0 5 43.1 4.15 36 21 20 20 29 3 4-12 0 Save

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/20/2010.

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