Saturday, October 15, 2011

Valverde, Kimbrell are my #1 relievers of 2011

Jose Valverde, the Detroit Tigers closer, is my choice for the Goose Gossage Award, handed out annually by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

Valverde was 49-49 in save situations for the Tigers, who won their first division title in 24 years.

In 75 appearances Valverde struck out 69 batters in 72 1/3 rd innings, allowed just 52 hits in 72 innings, and held opponents to a .198 batting average.

My 2nd place vote goes to Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, who saved 44 games for the Yankees, and in the process, became baseball's All-Time saves leader, with 603 saves.

In 3rd place is the Seattle Mariners Brandon League.

The Mariners were dreadful in 2011, winning just 67 games.

League recorded 37 saves, making him responsible for closing out well lover half of the Mariners wins.

Craig Kimbrell, the rookie closer for the Atlanta Braves, is my choice for the Goose Gossage Award in the National League.

Kimbrell, who also received my vote for the BBA Willie Mays Rookie of the Year Award, set the rookie saves record with 46 this year.

Kimbrell struck out an amazing 127 batters in his 77 innings of work this year, allowing just 48 base hits and a 178 opponents batting average.

The Milwaukee Brewers John Axford receives my 2nd place vote.

The Brewers closer saved 46 games, tying him with Kimbrell for most by a closer in the N.L.

Axford was a huge part of the Brewers winning their first division title since 1982, and he allowed just 57 hits in 73 1/3 rd innings, striking out 86 batters.

The stats between Kimbrell and Axford were pretty close, but I chose Kimbrell because of the 127 strikeouts, and  the fact that he was a rookie, and my rookie of the year.

My 3rd place vote in the N.L. goes to the Washington Nationals Drew Storen.

As the closer for the 3rd place Nationals team, Storen saved 43 games, struck out 74 in 75 1/3 rd innings, and held opponents to a .204 batting average.

The BBA will release the final votes and award the winning pitchers on Monday, October 17th.

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