It’s hard to think of a more thankless job in baseball than reliever who doesn’t get to close games. The inherent nature of that role will place even the most effective relievers in a bunch of snoozers, mopping up the middle innings or pitching out the string in blowouts that only people in Kitsap County who lost their remote are watching.
Hilariously, almost every team has three or four of these pitchers at any given time. I know all of you are brain geniuses, and understand that closer is an arbitrary role designed to appease a stat that MLB created itself, but at the very least it typically attracts the best reliever in the bullpen. Not so for these guys, who were mostly fine, but never good enough to infiltrate the ninth inning.
Three times in their bulletproof history, the Seattle Mariners have sent a reliever out for 100 innings without a save. I guess it’s possible that some of these guys were in save situations and blew them, but when you see the list, you’ll see that it’s mostly sixth-inning dwellers anyway. I was a bit surprised to see that there’s only one repeat offender on here, but delighted to learn it was one of my favorite Sporcle darlings.