They used to call the best relievers ‘firemen’ and give them the Rolaids Award for being the best reliever as they would put out the fires. Now they call them ‘stoppers’ and ‘fireballers’ and ‘bullpen aces’ and simply long men, LOOGY, ROOGY, set-up men, and closer.
The Nats relievers don’t really have any nicknames yet, and this crew just wants to be called #1 which they are in perhaps the most impressive statistic which is run prevention. Nationals’ relievers as a group are #1 in the Majors with the fewest runs given up on their record.
Also impressive is that the Nats relievers haven’t been over-used as a group compared to their peers, and only Toronto in the American League has used relievers less per inning.
In a measurement of bullpen ERA, the Nats are 2nd in the league, but they also have been good in Houdini acts when coming in for bases loaded situations. Three times this year they have come in for bases loaded and less than 2 outs and haven’t allowed a run to score.
By ERA, using 2.63 as the average, you can see who is above and below that level for comparison purposes. As you know with relievers, one blow-up appearance can skew the ERA which is why there are other measures such as WHIP that might be more useful.
The K/9 or strikeout per 9 inning measurement is a key to control what a pitcher can control most which is striking out batters versus pitch to contact.