FanPost

Joe Nathan: Best Closer Since Bullpen Specialization?

I read an article a few days ago, comparing Joe Nathan's 6 years as a closer to any six year stretch of The Great Rivera's. To quite an amazing statistical discovery. Joe Nathan is the greatest relief pitcher of all time. Greater than Rivera, or Trevor Hoffman. To prove this, I went to the invaluable website, baseball-reference.com, which I have bookmarked and quite frankly, everyone should. To be fair, I used two six year spans for both Hoffman and Rivera. And since both have only had 2 straight 6 year spans of closing, I didn't miss anything.

Mariano Rivera between 1997 and 2002

ERA SV ER BB K WHIP

2.25 238 101 103 338 1.021

All, very impressive numbers.

Mariano Rivera 2003-2008

ERA SV ER BB K WHIP

1.88 239 93 77 415 .0951

Trevor Hoffman between 1995 and 2000

ERA SV ER BB K WHIP

2.50 246 121 116 518 0.972

Trevor Hoffman between 2004-2009

ERA SV ER BB K WHIP

2.63 239 97 71 295 1.009

And finally, Joe Nathan. 2004-2009

ERA SV ER BB K WHIP

1.87 246 87 120 518 0.934

As we can see, Joe has the lowest ERA, most K's, fewest earned runs allowed, and the lowest WHIP. In addition to tying with Hoffman circa 95-2000 for the most saves. He also leads in a bunch of stats that I didn't include in this comparison. Joe Nathan's only issue is walks, but when you lead in every other category, does it really matter? Joe Nathan: Greatest Closer of All Time.