Brian Wilson, closer for the Giants, is my choice for the 2010 Goose Gossage Award given by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) to the best relief pitcher in the National League.
As a voter for the award, I gave Wilson the edge over Heath Bell of the Padres and Carlos Marmol of the Cubs.
Wilson and Bell had nearly identical consistently productive seasons, and Marmol was the most spectacular of the three. But only Wilson’s team qualified for the postseason, and that was a decisive factor in my vote.
The Goose Gossage Award will be announced Oct. 21 on the official Web site, www.baseballbloggersalliance.com. Gossage gave permission to the Baseball Bloggers Alliance to use his name for the honor. Awards
Here, in order, are my top 3 picks for the award and reasons why I ranked them as a I did:
FIRST PLACE, Brian Wilson, Giants
_ Led the National League in saves, with 48
_ Tied the franchise’s single-season saves record established by Rod Beck.
_ Struck out 93 in 74.2 innings
_ Opponents batted just .220 against him.
_ Carried the Giants to the West Division title with 11 saves in September/October.
_ Held opponents to a .120 batting average with two outs and runners in scoring position.
_ Opponents had just a .288 onbase percentage against him.
SECOND PLACE, Heath Bell, Padres
_ His 47 saves are only one behind Wilson.
_ Struck out 86 in 70 innings.
_ Opponents batted just .221 against him.
THIRD PLACE, Carlos Marmol, Cubs
_ A stunning total of 138 strikeouts in 77.2 innings.
_ In September/October, he appeared in 16 games, saved 14, and yielded just 2 hits and 0 runs while striking out 27 in 15.2 dominant innings.
_ His 38 saves were the fourth highest total in the NL.
_ Allowed just 1 home run all season.
For yearlong consistency and for delivering a division winner, Wilson should win the Gossage Award. But Marmol appears to be the early favorite for 2011.