The Red Sox and Dodgers both lost brutal games on Thursday. The Red Sox were up 5-1 going into the ninth and Papelbon came in to close. He gave up four runs. Ballgame. The Dodgers were up 9-2 going into the bottom of the eighth inning against the Phillies. Belisario gave up four runs in the bottom of the eighth and Broxton gave up four runs in the bottom of the ninth. Ballgame. Belisario and Broxton give new meaning to the term, "The Killer B's." Neither team can afford many more losses to keep their faint hopes alive and these two games were ball-busters. That being the case, it seemed fitting to run down some stats of relievers that are excelling this year. The figures do not take Thursday into account.
Value (determined by Wins Over Replacement or WAR):
NL - Carlos Marmol 2.1; Matt Belisle 2.1; Brian Wilson 2.1; Leo Nunez 1.9; Sean Marshall 1.8
AL - Matt Thornton 1.8; Mariano Rivera and Darren Oliver 1.4; J. J. Putz, Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour and Neftali Feliz 1.2.
Comments: Matt Belisle?? Marmol has had an unbelievable season in a losing cause.
WHIP (Walks plus Hits per innings pitched)
NL - Luke Gregerson 0.74; Hong-Chi Kuo 0.83; Arthur Rhodes 0.88; Billy Wagner 0.89; Mike Adams 0.92.
AL - Joaquin Benoit 0.62; Mariano Rivera 0.71; J. J. Putz 0.85; Daniel Bard, Darren O'Day and Rafael Soriano 0.87
Comments: Benoit has had a fabulous season as we will continue to see. The Mets should have kept Putz.
NL - Brian Wilson 1.90; Carlos Marmol 1.92; Mike Adams 1.96
AL - Matt Thornton 1.83; Joaquin Benoit 2.17; Grant Balfour 2.08
Comments: Forget the All Star Game, Thornton has been super. Where would the Giants be without Wilson?
LOB Percentage (the percentage of runners left on base, only including those over 90%)
NL - Hong-Chi Kuo 92%
AL - Joaquin Benoit 98% Wow!; Andrew Bailey 92.2%.
Some other notes of interest:
- Both Joaquin Benoit and Matt Thornton have struck out more than 12 batters per nine innings.
- Carlos Marmol has struck out an amazing 16.51 batters per nine innings.
- Wilton Lopez of the Astros has only walked 0.96 batters per nine innings. No one else is even close. Rivera leads the AL with 1.49.
- Joaquin Benoit has struck out eight batters for every one walk he has given up. Rafael Betancourt leads the majors with 11.45 K/BB. Wow!
- The only two relievers with enough innings to qualify have not allowed a single homer this season, Drew Storen and Sergio Santos of the White Sox.
Final notes: Broxton has now blown five saves this season. A few at least have been spectacular blown saves. Jonathan Papelbon now has six blown saves. People say that closers and relievers in general are not as important as starters. Statistics prove that as has been shared here in the past (that's why a reliever should never win the Cy Young Award), but when relievers fail, it sure points out how important they are.