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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|