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Thread: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

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  1. #1
    Member Captain Hook's Avatar
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    Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Buster Olney just posted what he thinks are the top 10 bullpens in MLB history. Olney has the 1990 Reds coming in at number two on the list with the 2012 Reds just missing the top 10. The article is for insiders only but I'll list his top 10 and let RZ weigh in.

    1. 1998 Yankees

    2. 1990 Reds

    3. 2003 Astros

    4. 2003 Dodgers

    5. 1990 Athletics

    6. 1972 Athletics

    7. 2002 Angels

    8. 2010 Giants

    9. 2012 Rays

    10. 2002 Braves

    Here's the link for those with access.
    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/...lb-history-mlb
    Last edited by Captain Hook; 01-21-2013 at 09:23 PM.

  2. #2
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    I'd take the '75 Reds over the nasty boys. Eastwick, McEnaney, Carroll and Borbon was a deeper unit and all provided over 90 innings with ERAs below 3.00. People forget that Charlton spent half the season in the rotation. After that, the pen wasn't nearly so deep and they didn't give as many dominant innings that the '75 team did.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I'd take the '75 Reds over the nasty boys. Eastwick, McEnaney, Carroll and Borbon was a deeper unit and all provided over 90 innings with ERAs below 3.00. People forget that Charlton spent half the season in the rotation. After that, the pen wasn't nearly so deep and they didn't give as many dominant innings that the '75 team did.
    I disagree.

    Those guys were all 'good', but none of them were 'great' despite their shiny ERAs (which can be misleading for relievers). Borbon in particular was rather 'meh'. He was the Logan Ondrusek of the Big Red Machine. Sure, his ERA looked nice, but as a fan you never felt confident when he entered the game.

  4. #4
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    I would add the 81' yankees to the list. Rich Gossage and Ron Davis had quite the year.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  5. #5
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192 View Post
    I disagree.

    Those guys were all 'good', but none of them were 'great' despite their shiny ERAs (which can be misleading for relievers). Borbon in particular was rather 'meh'. He was the Logan Ondrusek of the Big Red Machine. Sure, his ERA looked nice, but as a fan you never felt confident when he entered the game.
    I was confident with any of those guys. The '90 team was a 2 man show for half the season.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I was confident with any of those guys. The '90 team was a 2 man show for half the season.
    No love for Scott Scudder? The Scud Missile? Really?
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  7. #7
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    No love for Scott Scudder? The Scud Missile? Really?
    And don't forget about Tim "wow, a rule 5 draft pick who kept his job all year" Layana.

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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    No love for Scott Scudder? The Scud Missile? Really?
    I remembered Scudder as the Sam Lecure of the early 90's. Very weak results if he went to the rotation, very impressive results if he had to come out of the pen.

    I remember a puff piece discussing how he had pitched so well in relief that they refused to move him to the rotation even though he was likely next in line.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I was confident with any of those guys. The '90 team was a 2 man show for half the season.
    I was the opposite.

    As a kid growing up watching the Big Red Machine, I always cringed when Borbon came into a close game. Pedro gave up 10.4 H/9 and only delivered 2.1 K/9. He was constantly pitching himself into trouble. He had a real knack for getting out of that trouble, but it was nerve wracking watching him try and protect a lead.

  10. #10
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192 View Post
    I was the opposite.

    As a kid growing up watching the Big Red Machine, I always cringed when Borbon came into a close game. Pedro gave up 10.4 H/9 and only delivered 2.1 K/9. He was constantly pitching himself into trouble. He had a real knack for getting out of that trouble, but it was nerve wracking watching him try and protect a lead.
    Borbon's biggest contribution was 6 consecutive seasons of 120+ innings, all in relief, and with an ERA below 3.35. That's 750 innings over six seasons. How many starters have done that over the last decade, let alone a reliever?
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I'd take the '75 Reds over the nasty boys. Eastwick, McEnaney, Carroll and Borbon was a deeper unit and all provided over 90 innings with ERAs below 3.00. People forget that Charlton spent half the season in the rotation. After that, the pen wasn't nearly so deep and they didn't give as many dominant innings that the '75 team did.
    I agree the BRM pen was underrated, but the game was so different back then it's hard to compare the two pens. Sparky was one of the first managers to rely heavily on his pen, with multiple relievers in specific roles. Still the roles were not as nearly as defined as they are now, and more relievers were needed to finish games. The difference in quality between the end of the game relievers and middle relievers wasn't that great for any team. Very few teams has a single dominant closer back then.

    By 1990, you had a closer and a set up guy who got nearly all the key outs late in the game. Middle relievers were mostly used in mop up situations, so they didn't have to be as dominant. Most teams by then would only have one dominant reliever, so the Reds having three (four if you count the underrated Tim Layana) was a rarity, and a seperated their pen from everyone else's in the league.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  12. #12
    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    I remember attending a Reds-Astros game in Cincinnati in 2003 and watching the parade of Lidge, Dotel, and Wagner pitch the 7th-8th-9th and thinking it was the most dominant pitching I had ever seen in my young baseball fanhood. It made quite the impact on me.

    FanGraphs had a good article about Brad Lidge's 2004 season last week...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    The 75 bullpen is a bit underrated. They got the job done most of the time but did without really being dominant. The 90 team had three relievers who could blow people away. The 75 one didn't really do that except for Eastwick. I kinda equate Borbon with Cordero. He would put a lot of people on base but could riggle out of the jam without any or much damage most of the time. He truly had a rubber arm also. It seemed like he could pitcher everyday and not lose anything off his pitches.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  14. #14
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Pedro was great and good, not elite

    Code:
    CAREER
    1970-1977
    
    GAMES STARTED <= 5
    RSAA displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    INNINGS PITCHED >= 300
    
    ERA                             DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE     GS      RSAA      IP     
    1    Sparky Lyle                1.24     2.41     3.65        0       98    753.2   
    2    Gary Lavelle               1.19     2.50     3.69        0       49    327.2   
    3    Jim Brewer                 1.13     2.54     3.67        0       43    447     
    4    Ramon Hernandez            0.89     2.72     3.61        0       35    370.2   
    5    Rawly Eastwick             0.88     2.80     3.68        1       31    312.1   
    6    Steve Mingori              0.82     2.81     3.63        1       52    468     
    7    Ken Sanders                0.76     2.76     3.52        0       39    505.1   
    8    Al Hrabosky                0.75     2.93     3.68        1       39    451.1   
    9    Dave Giusti                0.64     3.06     3.70        3       42    704     
    10   Charlie Hough              0.63     3.05     3.68        1       27    522.2   
    11   Bob Locker                 0.56     2.96     3.52        0       24    377     
    12   Jack Aker                  0.55     3.03     3.58        0       22    321     
    13   Pedro Borbon               0.54     3.11     3.64        4       40    776.2   
    14   Steve Foucault             0.53     3.21     3.74        0       26    457     
    15   Danny Frisella             0.42     3.20     3.62        2       22    481     
    16   Horacio Pina               0.40     3.14     3.55        0        7    352     
    17   Dave LaRoche               0.30     3.31     3.61        4       20    642     
    18   Randy Moffitt              0.29     3.35     3.64        1       27    537.2   
    19   Wayne Granger              0.23     3.33     3.56        0        9    451     
    20   Dave Tomlin                0.22     3.47     3.69        1       -4    347.1   
    21   Frank Linzy                0.18     3.44     3.62        1        6    311     
    22   Dale Murray                0.17     3.50     3.67        1       13    396.1   
    23   Tom Burgmeier              0.17     3.47     3.64        0       16    602     
    24   Elias Sosa                 0.16     3.49     3.65        2       15    446     
    25   Tom Buskey                 0.13     3.56     3.69        0        4    320.2   
    26   Jim Ray                    0.10     3.57     3.67        3        1    414     
    27   Joe Hoerner                -.01     3.66     3.65        0        4    305
    Code:
    ALL LEAGUES & TEAMS
    ALL YEARS
    ALL POSITIONS
    GAMES STARTED < 2
    INNINGS PITCHED >= 120
    GAMES >= 50
    
    
    1    Pedro Borbon             1973-77    5   
    T2   Dick Radatz              1962-65    4   
    T2   Dan Quisenberry          1982-85    4   
    4    Rollie Fingers           1975-77    3   
    T5   Hoyt Wilhelm             1952-53    2   
    T5   Ron Perranoski           1963-64    2   
    T5   Hoyt Wilhelm             1964-65    2   
    T5   Lindy McDaniel           1965-66    2   
    T5   Wilbur Wood              1969-70    2   
    T5   John Hiller              1973-74    2   
    T5   Mike Marshall            1973-74    2   
    T5   Bill Campbell            1976-77    2   
    T5   Charlie Hough            1976-77    2   
    T5   Goose Gossage            1977-78    2   
    T5   Kent Tekulve             1978-79    2   
    T5   Enrique Romo             1979-80    2   
    T5   Aurelio Lopez            1979-80    2   
    T5   Mark Eichhorn            1986-87    2   
    T5   Jeff Robinson            1987-88    2

  15. #15
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Top 10 bullpens in MLB history

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Pedro was great and good, not elite

    Code:
    CAREER
    1970-1977
    
    GAMES STARTED <= 5
    RSAA displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    INNINGS PITCHED >= 300
    
    ERA                             DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE     GS      RSAA      IP     
    1    Sparky Lyle                1.24     2.41     3.65        0       98    753.2   
    2    Gary Lavelle               1.19     2.50     3.69        0       49    327.2   
    3    Jim Brewer                 1.13     2.54     3.67        0       43    447     
    4    Ramon Hernandez            0.89     2.72     3.61        0       35    370.2   
    5    Rawly Eastwick             0.88     2.80     3.68        1       31    312.1   
    6    Steve Mingori              0.82     2.81     3.63        1       52    468     
    7    Ken Sanders                0.76     2.76     3.52        0       39    505.1   
    8    Al Hrabosky                0.75     2.93     3.68        1       39    451.1   
    9    Dave Giusti                0.64     3.06     3.70        3       42    704     
    10   Charlie Hough              0.63     3.05     3.68        1       27    522.2   
    11   Bob Locker                 0.56     2.96     3.52        0       24    377     
    12   Jack Aker                  0.55     3.03     3.58        0       22    321     
    13   Pedro Borbon               0.54     3.11     3.64        4       40    776.2   
    14   Steve Foucault             0.53     3.21     3.74        0       26    457     
    15   Danny Frisella             0.42     3.20     3.62        2       22    481     
    16   Horacio Pina               0.40     3.14     3.55        0        7    352     
    17   Dave LaRoche               0.30     3.31     3.61        4       20    642     
    18   Randy Moffitt              0.29     3.35     3.64        1       27    537.2   
    19   Wayne Granger              0.23     3.33     3.56        0        9    451     
    20   Dave Tomlin                0.22     3.47     3.69        1       -4    347.1   
    21   Frank Linzy                0.18     3.44     3.62        1        6    311     
    22   Dale Murray                0.17     3.50     3.67        1       13    396.1   
    23   Tom Burgmeier              0.17     3.47     3.64        0       16    602     
    24   Elias Sosa                 0.16     3.49     3.65        2       15    446     
    25   Tom Buskey                 0.13     3.56     3.69        0        4    320.2   
    26   Jim Ray                    0.10     3.57     3.67        3        1    414     
    27   Joe Hoerner                -.01     3.66     3.65        0        4    305
    Code:
    ALL LEAGUES & TEAMS
    ALL YEARS
    ALL POSITIONS
    GAMES STARTED < 2
    INNINGS PITCHED >= 120
    GAMES >= 50
    
    
    1    Pedro Borbon             1973-77    5   
    T2   Dick Radatz              1962-65    4   
    T2   Dan Quisenberry          1982-85    4   
    4    Rollie Fingers           1975-77    3   
    T5   Hoyt Wilhelm             1952-53    2   
    T5   Ron Perranoski           1963-64    2   
    T5   Hoyt Wilhelm             1964-65    2   
    T5   Lindy McDaniel           1965-66    2   
    T5   Wilbur Wood              1969-70    2   
    T5   John Hiller              1973-74    2   
    T5   Mike Marshall            1973-74    2   
    T5   Bill Campbell            1976-77    2   
    T5   Charlie Hough            1976-77    2   
    T5   Goose Gossage            1977-78    2   
    T5   Kent Tekulve             1978-79    2   
    T5   Enrique Romo             1979-80    2   
    T5   Aurelio Lopez            1979-80    2   
    T5   Mark Eichhorn            1986-87    2   
    T5   Jeff Robinson            1987-88    2
    Borbon lead everyone on that list in innings pitched. He wasn't an elite pitcher but he was an elite innings eater which probably helped the other members of the staff remain effective.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."


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