As Braves fans, this season has pretty much been a roller coaster of emotion . Even though we have the 4th best record in baseball and 2nd in the NL, it Fredi feels like we're playing much worse. When our starting pitching has been lights out, our offense is anemic. Or our offense finally starts to hit, but can't drive anyone in. Or our starting pitching decides to eff it and give up a homer every 1st inning. Seems like we have the worst luck in baseball. Yet, somehow we're well positioned to make the playoffs, in large part because O'Ventbrel has be been far and away the best trio of relievers in baseball. So, while bored at work, I decided to look up some numbers to put O'Ventbrel in perspective.
(Not including today) O'Ventbrel has thrown 165.1 innings and given up 26 earned runs, good for a 1.41 ERA. In comparison, the man probably leading in the Cy Young race, the workhorse Roy Halladay, has thrown 162.1 and given up 44 ERs, good for a 2.44 ERA. (Sees hitters multiple times an outing, whatever, shut up). In fact, since O'Ventbrel is on pace to throw a starter's amount of innings, I decided to look up past Cy Young award winners. Turns out only 1 starter who has won the Cy Young in either league since they started giving out the award in 1956 has finished with a lower ERA than O'Ventbrel is on pace to earn, and that's Bob Gibson in 1968. Currently, O'Ventbrel has a 4.9 fWAR, which trails only CC, Halladay, Verlander and Weaver in pitchers. In fact, O'Ventbrel has been the best player(s) in terms of fWAR on the Braves this year (McCann's 2nd at 3.7. Also, can you compare WAR across positions like that? I don't know but I just did).
Maybe O'Ventbrel gets worked too hard, but its hard to argue with the results. It's nice to know as a Braves fan that if the Braves have the lead after 6, you Fredi feel like that game's already over.