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Jonathan Papelbon’s 30-save streak stands alone

Aug 30, 2012, 4:28 PM EDT

Jonathan Papelbon Getty Images

Jonathan Papelbon protected a one-run lead Thursday against the Mets to earn his 30th save of the season. It’s the seventh year in a row he’s reached the milestone, a streak that is going to be by far the longest in baseball once the season ends.

Besides Papelbon, only Mariano Rivera had saved 30 games every season from 2006-11. In fact, he had done it a major league-record nine straight years. However, that streak is over now due to injury. The same goes for Brian Wilson‘s streak of four straight seasons.

Incredibly, by the time 2012 ends, no major league pitcher besides Papelbon will be working on a streak of even three 30-save seasons. Along with Papelbon, Rivera and Wilson, only five pitchers had 30 saves in both 2010 and ’11:

Heath Bell – 19 saves in 2012
Carlos Marmol – 16 saves in 2012
Francisco Cordero – 2 saves in 2012
Neftali Feliz – 0 saves in 2012
Juan Carlos Oviedo – 0 saves in 2012

So, entering next year, the second longest streak of 30-save seasons will be shared by several guys with two: Craig Kimbrel, Joel Hanrahan, Jose Valverde, Chris Perez, J.J. Putz and maybe John Axford (he has 22 at the moment).

  1. Francisco (FC) - Aug 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Impressive, but I still think $50MM was overpay, of course if it ends up with four more seasons of fantastic relief work that would dull the edge. And who knows how much money “closers” will be making four years from now thanks to the newfangled market money due to pour in soon. Amaro might end up looking like some sort of genius IF (big IF) it all pans out.

    • chadjones27 - Aug 31, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      Closers will be making a lot of money 4 years from now because GM’s like RAJ are overpaying for them now.

  2. spudatx - Aug 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    What the what?! Heath Bell and his near-6.00 ERA has 19 saves?

  3. Glenn - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    The save is a useless statistic that has done more harm that good. It defies logic. Perhaps some day we will return to an optimal use of the bullpen and its best reliever.

    • Glenn - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM

      Your downward thumbs are clearly not opposable. Pay attention.

  4. phillyphann83 - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    I knew there was no way this was a Calcaterra posting.

  5. pinkfloydprism - Aug 30, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    It could have been 31… damn September 28, 2011. Thanks for nothing Pap!

  6. kneedeepinpujols - Aug 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Hahaha phillyphann83, I thought the same thing.

  7. jboyxl73 - Aug 30, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Another mistake by Boston letting him go

    • bigharold - Aug 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      He was the smart one. He saw the writing on the wall and knew blowing that save in Baltimore wasn’t going to be forgotten anytime soon.

      Oh, .. and there was the 50 mil, .. that Boston was NEVER going to match.

      • wolfwrack - Aug 31, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        Right now, about the only thing Boston can match is the smell of da’ feet stinky

      • pisano - Aug 31, 2012 at 6:38 PM

        Timing is everything, and this guy’s timing was perfect. Boston is going to be in rebuild mode and he goes to Philly, collects his 50mil and didn’t look back. All that being said, his mouth still looks like an asshole when he looks to the catcher for his sign.

  8. eaglebobby - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:28 AM


  9. eaglebobby - Aug 31, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    The thing is, Amaro gets slammed for overpaying everyone, except if you look a what players are making now, he’s going to look smart.

    Ryan Howard–yeah, he got his 25M a year extension two years before his contract was up, but people forget that he won the highest arbitration award ever at the time, when he was given 10M–and he had 2 years of arb left. So Amaro signed him to a 5 year deal–now long–Prince Fielder has signed a 9 year deal well worth over 200M total-which will take him into his late 30s–where Howard’s contract ends–and Pujols signed a 10 year 260M deal that takes him into his 40s. Now who looks smarter.

    Papelbon–yep, he paid him 50M for 4 years–but as a poster just said, who knows what the FA market is and what kind of pay you’re going to be looking at even next season. Madson will be cheap by comparison, but also coming off TJ surgery; Bell already looks like a massive waste of 9M a year; and a lot of the other premier closers are not even close to where they were in the past.

    The only signing I’d slam Amaro over is the Rollins deal–had they known Galvis was going to be a whiz defensively and handle the bat pretty well (minus the PEDS) he would have never re-signed Rollins.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      Umm… I disagree on the handle the bat pretty well. Sure he had a flurry of RBIs early on (that’s more of an accident of timely hitting, you can’t tell me he was hitting on purpose ONLY with guys in scoring position) but generally speaking his hitting sucked really bad.

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