With Goose Gossage getting into the Hall of Fame, I’ve been looking at relief pitchers of the ’70s and ’80s. Dan Quisenberry didn’t have enough peak years to reach the HOF, but he had a tremendous six-year run from 1980 through 1985.
His saves by season were 33, 18, 35, 45, 44, 37.
His innings pitched by season were 128.1, 62.1, 136.2, 139, 129.1, 129. (He never started a game, either).
His adjusted ERA+ were 131, 207, 159, 210, 153, 185.
This is what I found most interesting during that six-year span – Five times he finished in the top 5 for the Cy Young Award and four times in the top 10 for MVP. Twice he was runner-up for Cy Young (losing to LaMarr Hoyt in 1983 and Willie Hernandez in 1984) and twice he finished third for Cy Young.
He probably should have gotten the 1983 Cy Young; he was sixth in the voting for MVP while Hoyt was 13th. Hoyt’s ERA+ was 115, not too far above average.
Quisenberry’s career adjusted ERA+ is 146, good for 4th best in MLB history, behind Pedro Martinez, Lefty Grove and Walter Johnson.