Blake Treinen had an outstanding year. You know that, I know that, he knows that, and his 9-2 record, 0.78 ERA, 38 saves, and 100 strikeouts says that. But how exactly did a run-of-the-mill reliever drop more than three runs from his ERA to have one of the best reliever seasons in history? I don’t know about you, but I think that’s what this article is all about.
Let’s start with some comparable seasons. First up, we go to Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. He only had one season in his 24-year career that compares to the brilliance of this Treinen’s 2018 campaign. That was 1990, when Eckersley was 35 years old and compiled a 0.61 ERA in 73.1 innings pitched with, coincidentally, 73 strikeouts, as well as 48 saves in 50 opportunities.
Secondly, Zack Britton’s 2016. I’m sure you remember Britton’s amazing season: 0.54 ERA, 47 saves, 67 IP, 74 strikeouts, and zero blown saves. That season was exceptional, and I must say, better than Treinen’s.
Finally, Jonathan Papelbon’s 2006: 0.92 ERA, 35 saves, 86.1 IP, and 75 strikeouts.
And that’s it. After searching both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs, these three seasons are the ones I can find similar to Treinen’s. None of Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, Trevor Hoffman, or Aroldis Chapman had a season like this.
Enough with those numbers, let’s move on to other numbers. Read the rest of this entry »