MLB: Relief Pitchers with the Most Wins, All-Time
Here’s a tricky statistic: wins by a relief pitcher. These are the top 20 ever.
The more wins doesn’t necessarily mean the better reliever. For example, some of the greatest relievers of all time – Trevor Hoffman, Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, Dennis Eckersley – including the greatest, Mariano Rivera – don’t make the cut here.
So, what’s the difference?
Well, era, longevity and blown saves. This list is a mixture of relief pitchers who are servants to those parameters.
On the one hand, you have RPs pre-mid-80s when the standard outing was usually two innings or more, which provided more opportunity to notch a victory. These pitchers also frequently entered games with the score tied, or even their teams down a run or two.
Secondarily, it appears length of service and blown saves are factors. Most of these guys played at least 14 years out of the bullpen, and many more than 18 years.
They’re also some of the all-time leaders in blown saves, which, in a statistical paradox, gives the pitcher a chance to enhance his line and pick up the win.
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