The 2014 season held such promise. Fans were excited about about the acquisition of Josh Johnson. Carlos Quentin was healthy. Jedd Gyorko was coming off a 23 homerun season despite missing 37 games. The future was bright. Was.
Now, just 60 games into the season, the Padres sit 12 games out of first and 6 games under .500. Josh Johnson had season ending Tommy John surgery. Carlos Quentin has missed 44 games due to injuries. Jedd Gyorko is hitting just .162 with 5 homeruns and is headed to the DL. There’s not too much to cheer for down at Petco Park. Not much if you haven’t been paying attention to Huston Street, that is.
Huston Street is having a historically great season and has the stats to prove it. He currently leads the majors with 18 Saves (tied) and is putting up numbers comparable to Trevor Hoffman‘s 2006 season, a season in which we nearly saw Trevor walk off with the CY Young award.
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When comparing both closers through June 5th of their respected seasons, Street dominates Hoffman in all measurable categories. Some of you might think the numbers are skewed considering Street has four more innings under his belt, so let’s compare both closers at 24 innings pitched.
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At the moment, Huston Street is unstoppable. If the Padres had a major league offense, Street might have more appearances under his belt. With these additional innings, Street could have easily tabbed a few more saves, but it’s also true that these innings could have lead to fatigue and a decline in his performance. Street’s run may only be historic within the Padres organization for the time being, but how good is his 2014 season in the context of the MLB history?
Since we were on the topic of Trevor nearly winning the Cy Young, let’s compare Street’s numbers to the last closer to take home the award.
That man was Eric Gagne. In 2003 he closed out 55 games in 55 attempts and dominated hitters with 137 strikeouts in 82.1 innings. Gagne finished off the season with a 1.20 ERA, an OBA of .133, and a WHIP of .69. Here are the stats comparing Street’s season so far in 2014, to Gagne’s 2003 run.
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Gagne edges out Street in every category except for ERA in the comparison above. But when you compare both men through 24 innings, things start to get interesting. [table id=7 /] When given an even playing field Street’s numbers edge out Gagne in every category except for strikeouts and WHIP. Street’s chances of catching Gagne’s strikeout and saves totals from 2003 are about as good as the Padres winning the division this year, but he is still on pace for a darn fine season.
There are some excellent starting pitchers in the National League this year, but with a few slip-ups, if Street continues to dominate, he should be considered a dark horse candidate for the NL Cy Young Award.