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We’re Still Looking For The New Goose Gossage

We’ve spent this season using a new statistic, the goose egg, in search of old-school relief pitchers. Specifically, we’ve been looking for pitchers that replicate some of the success of Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, for whom the goose egg is named. The “firemen” of Gossage’s day didn’t care as much about recording saves. Instead, they pitched in as many high-leverage situations as they could get their hands on: for instance, in tied games, or in the seventh or eighth innings when the situation demanded it. Pitchers like these provided a lot more value to their teams than modern closers who are often used exclusively in save situations. (The goose egg credits pitchers for clutch, scoreless relief innings, whether or not they’re save situations.)

From the standpoint of overall bullpen usage patterns, there have been signs of progress around baseball. Major-league teams are placing less emphasis on the save and instead using their best relief pitchers in smarter ways.

But no individual pitchers have come close to replicating the workload and value of Gossage, who accumulated a record 82 goose eggs — in 141.2 innings pitched — in 1975. In fact, no pitcher has yet earned even 40 goose eggs so far this season.

The major-league leaders are the Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen and the Brewers’ Corey Knebel, who each had 38 goose eggs through Thursday night. Seattle’s Edwin Diaz leads the American League with 33 goose eggs, having helped lead the Mariners to a 25-13 record in one-run games.

Knebel has had an outstanding season by any measure, but it’s been a fairly conventional one. The Brewers have dabbled with using him in Gossage-like situations — he’s made seven multi-inning appearances, for instance — but haven’t done so all that consistently.

The Dodgers have gone a little further down the goose-feathered road with Jansen, who has 12 multi-inning appearances. The team has also avoided using Jansen with leads of three runs or more, which are usually a waste of an elite reliever’s talents. (A three-run lead is a save situation but not a goose situation.) And Jansen has been remarkably efficient, having converted all 38 of his goose opportunities. Still, Jansen is on pace for only 70 innings — typical for a modern closer, but only about half as many as Gossage threw at his peak.

And some pitchers who were handling heavier workloads earlier in the season have seen their teams let up on the gas pedal — or have gotten themselves hurt. An early goose-egg favorite, the Astros’ Chris Devenski, has settled into a more conventional usage pattern as the season has worn on instead of routinely pitching two or more innings at a time. The Indians’ Andrew Miller has been on the DL twice in the past month.

So the opportunity to see a truly Gossage-like season won’t happen for at least one more year. In the meantime, you can find complete goose stats for all pitchers this year in the table below.

Goose stats through Sept. 7, 2017

PITCHER
TEAM
GOOSE EGGS
BROKEN EGGS
MEHS
GWAR
Kenley Jansen LAD 38 0 1 +5.4
Corey Knebel MIL 38 6 2 +3.4
Felipe Rivero PIT 33 3 2 +3.7
Edwin Diaz SEA 33 7 3 +2.4
Alex Colome TB 32 6 4 +2.7
Andrew Miller CLE 31 5 2 +3.2
Brad Hand SD 30 6 5 +2.1
Brandon Kintzler MIN/WSH 29 4 4 +2.9
Raisel Iglesias CIN 28 1 2 +3.8
Addison Reed NYM/BOS 27 5 6 +2.1
Wade Davis CHC 26 1 1 +3.4
Archie Bradley ARI 26 4 5 +2.5
Brad Brach BAL 26 6 1 +1.9
Joakim Soria KC 26 7 2 +1.5
Roberto Osuna TOR 26 10 1 +0.4
Craig Kimbrel BOS 25 4 0 +2.6
Fernando Rodney ARI 25 4 3 +2.3
David Robertson CHW/NYY 25 5 1 +2.0
Kelvin Herrera KC 25 6 2 +1.7
Trevor Rosenthal STL 25 8 1 +0.6
Tommy Hunter TB 24 4 1 +2.2
Greg Holland COL 24 5 0 +2.0
Michael Lorenzen CIN 24 5 2 +1.7
Hector Neris PHI 24 6 3 +1.3
Jacob Barnes MIL 24 7 4 +0.9
Ryan Tepera TOR 23 3 0 +2.5
Nick Vincent SEA 23 3 6 +2.4
Dellin Betances NYY 23 6 1 +1.5
Tony Watson PIT/LAD 23 8 4 +0.4
Sam Dyson TEX/SF 23 9 2 +0.1
Justin Wilson DET/CHC 22 5 2 +1.5
Bryan Shaw CLE 22 6 4 +1.4
Seung-hwan Oh STL 22 5 6 +1.3
Pat Neshek PHI/COL 21 2 7 +2.4
Ryan Madson OAK/WSH 21 3 1 +2.0
Hunter Strickland SF 21 5 1 +1.2
Arodys Vizcaino ATL 21 6 2 +0.8
Chris Devenski HOU 21 8 6 +0.2
Cody Allen CLE 20 7 5 +0.7
Sean Doolittle OAK/WSH 19 2 6 +2.1
Matt Belisle MIN 19 4 3 +1.5
Mike Minor KC 19 6 3 +0.8
Jim Johnson ATL 19 8 3 -0.2
Brandon Maurer SD/KC 19 8 0 -0.2
Joe Smith TOR/CLE 18 1 1 +2.5
Anthony Swarzak CHW/MIL 18 2 0 +2.0
Alex Claudio TEX 18 3 7 +1.8
Taylor Rogers MIN 18 6 4 +0.6
Carl Edwards CHC 18 8 3 -0.4
Yusmeiro Petit LAA 17 2 2 +1.8
Pedro Strop CHC 17 2 4 +1.7
Mychal Givens BAL 17 3 4 +1.6
Ken Giles HOU 17 4 3 +1.1
Jose Ramirez ATL 17 4 4 +1.0
Kyle Barraclough MIA 17 4 1 +0.9
Matthew Bowman STL 17 5 5 +0.6
Bud Norris LAA 17 7 1 +0.0
Santiago Casilla OAK 17 8 3 -0.4
Will Harris HOU 16 3 0 +1.3
Blake Parker LAA 16 4 1 +1.0
AJ Ramos MIA/NYM 16 4 3 +0.8
Matt Bush TEX 16 6 2 +0.4
Matt Barnes BOS 16 7 3 +0.1
David Phelps MIA/SEA 16 8 3 -0.7
Blake Treinen WSH/OAK 16 9 2 -0.9
Joaquin Benoit PHI/PIT 16 11 0 -1.8
Wandy Peralta CIN 15 3 3 +1.1
Shane Greene DET 15 4 4 +0.8
Jerry Blevins NYM 15 5 7 +0.3
Koji Uehara CHC 15 6 3 -0.1
Tommy Kahnle CHW/NYY 15 8 2 -0.6
Aroldis Chapman NYY 14 3 3 +1.1
Brett Cecil STL 14 4 3 +0.5
Ryan Buchter SD/KC 14 6 3 -0.2
David Hernandez LAA/ARI 13 1 4 +1.6
Mike Montgomery CHC 13 2 1 +1.1
Enny Romero WSH 13 4 6 +0.4
Mark Melancon SF 13 5 0 +0.0
Pedro Baez LAD 13 5 7 -0.0
Adam Ottavino COL 13 7 3 -0.4
Mike Dunn COL 12 0 3 +1.9
James Pazos SEA 12 4 5 +0.4
Jake McGee COL 12 5 2 +0.1
Jorge De La Rosa ARI 12 5 1 -0.0
Alex Wilson DET 12 6 5 -0.4
Juan Nicasio PIT/PHI 12 7 8 -0.9
Zach Britton BAL 11 0 0 +1.7
Matt Albers WSH 11 2 4 +0.9
Tyler Duffey MIN 11 3 3 +0.6
Derek Law SF 11 3 1 +0.5
Sam Freeman ATL 10 2 4 +0.7
Chris Rusin COL 10 3 3 +0.5
Cam Bedrosian LAA 10 3 4 +0.4
Marc Rzepczynski SEA 10 3 9 +0.4
Hector Rondon CHC 10 3 2 +0.3
Adam Warren NYY 10 4 1 +0.1
Heath Hembree BOS 10 5 5 -0.2
Neftali Feliz MIL/KC 10 6 0 -0.7
Peter Moylan KC 9 0 3 +1.4
Darren O’Day BAL 9 3 2 +0.3
Joe Biagini TOR 9 3 2 +0.3
Danny Farquhar TB/CHW 9 3 2 +0.3
Cory Gearrin SF 9 3 2 +0.2
Brad Ziegler MIA 9 3 2 +0.2
Jared Hughes MIL 9 4 2 -0.2
Luis Garcia PHI 9 4 3 -0.2
Luke Gregerson HOU 9 5 2 -0.5
Kirby Yates LAA/SD 9 5 1 -0.6
Hansel Robles NYM 9 5 2 -0.6
Liam Hendriks OAK 9 6 1 -0.9
Ross Stripling LAD 9 6 1 -1.0
George Kontos SF/PIT 9 7 3 -1.3
Tyler Clippard CHW/NYY 9 9 7 -1.9
Kevin Siegrist STL 8 1 2 +0.8
Koda Glover WSH 8 2 2 +0.4
Keone Kela TEX 8 3 2 +0.2
Danny Barnes TOR 8 5 3 -0.6
Tony Zych SEA 8 5 3 -0.6
Junichi Tazawa MIA 8 6 0 -1.1
Craig Stammen SD 7 0 1 +1.0
Brandon Workman BOS 7 1 0 +0.8
Erasmo Ramirez TB 7 1 2 +0.7
Phil Maton SD 7 1 1 +0.6
Deolis Guerra LAA 7 2 0 +0.3
Steve Cishek SEA/TB 7 2 3 +0.3
Jeanmar Gomez PHI 7 2 1 +0.3
Josh Smoker NYM 7 2 3 +0.3
Jose Leclerc TEX 7 3 3 +0.0
Tony Barnette TEX 7 3 0 +0.0
Dominic Leone TOR 7 3 6 +0.0
Joe Kelly BOS 7 4 4 -0.3
Jose Alvarado TB 7 4 3 -0.4
Brandon Morrow LAD 7 4 0 -0.5
Daniel Hudson PIT 7 5 4 -0.8
Paul Sewald NYM 7 5 2 -0.9
Fernando Salas NYM/LAA 7 6 4 -1.2
Blaine Boyer BOS 6 1 1 +0.6
Jonathan Holder NYY 6 1 1 +0.6
Nick Wittgren MIA 6 1 1 +0.5
Drew Steckenrider MIA 6 1 0 +0.5
Scott Oberg COL 6 2 3 +0.2
Chasen Shreve NYY 6 2 3 +0.2
Kenyan Middleton LAA 6 2 1 +0.2
T. J. McFarland ARI 6 2 1 +0.2
Ryan Dull OAK 6 2 3 +0.2
Ian Krol ATL 6 2 3 +0.1
Shawn Kelley WSH 6 2 0 +0.1
Tyler Lyons STL 6 2 2 +0.1
J. J. Hoover ARI 6 3 2 -0.2
Chase Whitley TB 6 4 1 -0.6
Carlos Torres MIL 6 4 3 -0.6
Steven Okert SF 6 4 9 -0.6
Jumbo Diaz TB 6 5 3 -0.9
Hector Velazquez BOS 5 0 0 +0.8
Fernando Abad BOS 5 0 1 +0.8
Randall Delgado ARI 5 0 0 +0.8
Adam Morgan PHI 5 0 0 +0.7
Trevor Hildenberger MIN 5 1 2 +0.4
Oliver Perez WSH 5 1 4 +0.4
Ryan Pressly MIN 5 2 1 +0.0
Tony Cingrani CIN/LAD 5 2 3 -0.0
Jacob Turner WSH 5 2 0 -0.0
Joely Rodriguez PHI 5 2 4 -0.0
Josh Edgin NYM 5 2 5 -0.0
Brian Duensing CHC 5 2 1 -0.0
Scott Alexander KC 5 3 3 -0.3
Aaron Loup TOR 5 3 10 -0.3
Josh Hader MIL 5 3 2 -0.4
Luis Avilan LAD 5 3 4 -0.4
Jose Torres SD 5 4 2 -0.8
Josh Fields LAD 5 4 2 -0.8
Jose Alvarez LAA 5 5 4 -1.1
Logan Verrett BAL 4 0 0 +0.6
Carlos Ramirez TOR 4 0 0 +0.6
Austin Brice CIN 4 0 0 +0.6
Nate Jones CHW 4 1 0 +0.2
Jeurys Familia NYM 4 1 2 +0.2
Dustin McGowan MIA 4 1 2 +0.2
Doug Fister BOS 4 2 0 -0.1
Richard Bleier BAL 4 2 1 -0.1
Drew Storen CIN 4 2 3 -0.2
Albert Suarez SF 4 2 0 -0.2
Josh Osich SF 4 2 6 -0.2
Bruce Rondon DET 4 3 0 -0.5
Blake Wood CIN 4 3 2 -0.5
Oliver Drake MIL 4 3 1 -0.5
Jason Grilli TOR/TEX 4 4 3 -0.8
Carlos Estevez COL 3 0 0 +0.5
Jimmy Yacabonis BAL 3 0 0 +0.5
Tom Koehler TOR 3 0 1 +0.5
Matt Dermody TOR 3 0 1 +0.5
Miguel Castro BAL 3 0 1 +0.5
Austin Pruitt TB 3 0 0 +0.5
Joe Musgrove HOU 3 0 0 +0.4
Dovydas Neverauskas PIT 3 0 0 +0.4
Bryan Morris SF 3 0 0 +0.4
Alex Wood LAD 3 0 1 +0.4
Chris Rowley TOR 3 1 0 +0.1
Alec Asher BAL 3 1 1 +0.1
Donnie Hart BAL 3 1 3 +0.1
Mike Bolsinger TOR 3 1 0 +0.1
Francis Martes HOU 3 1 2 +0.1
Justin Grimm CHC 3 1 1 +0.1
Robby Scott BOS 3 2 10 -0.2
Casey Fien SEA/PHI 3 2 0 -0.3
Jhan Marinez MIL/PIT 3 2 0 -0.3
Joe Blanton WSH 3 2 0 -0.3
Sam Tuivailala STL 3 2 1 -0.3
Travis Wood KC 3 3 1 -0.6
Dan Altavilla SEA 3 3 1 -0.6
Emilio Pagan SEA 3 3 0 -0.6
Chris Hatcher LAD/OAK 3 3 2 -0.7
Rex Brothers ATL 3 3 1 -0.7
Sergio Romo LAD/TB 3 3 0 -0.7
Daniel Coulombe OAK 3 4 5 -1.0
Andrew Chafin ARI 3 6 6 -1.8
Francisco Rodriguez DET 3 8 2 -2.5
Edubray Ramos PHI 3 11 1 -3.7
Tyler Olson CLE 2 0 0 +0.3
Dan Otero CLE 2 0 0 +0.3
Austin Maddox BOS 2 0 0 +0.3
Dario Alvarez TEX 2 0 1 +0.3
Jake Junis KC 2 0 0 +0.3
Luis Santos TOR 2 0 0 +0.3
Juan Minaya CHW 2 0 2 +0.3
Eduardo Paredes LAA 2 0 0 +0.3
Zach Putnam CHW 2 0 0 +0.3
Jake Barrett ARI 2 0 3 +0.3
Asher Wojciechowski CIN 2 0 0 +0.3
A. J. Schugel PIT 2 0 0 +0.3
Brock Stewart LAD 2 0 0 +0.3
Jordan Lyles COL 2 1 0 -0.0
Chad Qualls COL 2 1 0 -0.0
Drew VerHagen DET 2 1 0 -0.1
Daniel Stumpf DET 2 1 4 -0.1
Kyle Ryan DET 2 1 0 -0.1
Josh Smith OAK 2 1 0 -0.1
Eric O’Flaherty ATL 2 1 1 -0.1
Jason Motte ATL 2 1 2 -0.1
Robert Gsellman NYM 2 1 0 -0.1
Ryan Sherriff STL 2 1 0 -0.1
Brian Ellington MIA 2 1 0 -0.1
Jake Petricka CHW 2 2 3 -0.4
Robert Stephenson CIN 2 2 0 -0.5
Sammy Solis WSH 2 2 1 -0.5
Matt Strahm KC 2 3 1 -0.8
Jeremy Jeffress TEX/MIL 2 3 1 -0.8
Brad Boxberger TB 2 3 1 -0.8
Wade LeBlanc PIT 2 3 2 -0.8
Dan Jennings CHW/TB 2 4 8 -1.2
Aaron Bummer CHW 2 5 1 -1.5
Boone Logan CLE 1 0 4 +0.2
Ben Taylor BOS 1 0 1 +0.2
Carson Smith BOS 1 0 0 +0.2
Robbie Ross BOS 1 0 0 +0.2
Tyler Chatwood COL 1 0 0 +0.2
Jake Diekman TEX 1 0 1 +0.2
Tanner Scheppers TEX 1 0 1 +0.2
Ben Heller NYY 1 0 1 +0.2
Kevin McCarthy KC 1 0 0 +0.2
Chris Young KC 1 0 0 +0.2
Jean Machi SEA 1 0 1 +0.2
Brooks Pounders LAA 1 0 0 +0.2
Yovani Gallardo SEA 1 0 0 +0.2
Mike Morin LAA 1 0 1 +0.2
Brad Peacock HOU 1 0 1 +0.1
Kevin Schackelford CIN 1 0 0 +0.1
Luke Jackson ATL 1 0 0 +0.1
Kyle Crick SF 1 0 0 +0.1
Miguel Socolovich STL 1 0 1 +0.1
John Brebbia STL 1 0 3 +0.1
Ty Blach SF 1 0 1 +0.1
Felix Pena CHC 1 0 0 +0.1
Odrisamer Despaigne MIA 1 0 0 +0.1
Caleb Smith NYY 1 1 0 -0.2
Tyler Wilson BAL 1 1 1 -0.2
Jeff Beliveau TOR 1 1 1 -0.2
Justin Haley MIN 1 1 0 -0.2
Warwick Saupold DET 1 1 3 -0.2
Andrew Kittredge TB 1 1 0 -0.2
Greg Infante CHW 1 1 3 -0.2
Jesse Chavez LAA 1 1 1 -0.2
Tom Wilhelmsen ARI 1 1 2 -0.2
Frankie Montas OAK 1 1 0 -0.2
Michael Feliz HOU 1 1 0 -0.2
Tony Sipp HOU 1 1 0 -0.2
James Hoyt HOU 1 1 0 -0.2
Rob Scahill MIL 1 1 0 -0.2
Ricardo Pinto PHI 1 1 1 -0.2
Matt Grace WSH 1 1 2 -0.2
Zach Duke STL 1 1 1 -0.2
Buddy Baumann SD 1 1 1 -0.2
Erik Goeddel NYM 1 1 1 -0.2
Grant Dayton LAD 1 1 2 -0.2
Zach McAllister CLE 1 2 1 -0.6
Chad Green NYY 1 2 2 -0.6
Blaine Hardy DET 1 2 1 -0.6
John Axford OAK 1 2 0 -0.6
Francisco Liriano HOU 1 2 0 -0.6
Wily Peralta MIL 1 2 0 -0.6
Jonathan Broxton STL 1 2 0 -0.6
Kevin Quackenbush SD 1 2 0 -0.6
Rafael Montero NYM 1 3 1 -1.0
Akeel Morris ATL 0 0 1 +0.0
Brent Suter MIL 0 0 1 +0.0
Hoby Milner PHI 0 0 2 +0.0
Brad Goldberg CHW 0 0 1 +0.0
Chad Bell DET 0 0 1 +0.0
Lucas Harrell TOR 0 0 1 +0.0
Sam Moll OAK 0 0 1 +0.0
Mike Pelfrey CHW 0 0 1 +0.0
Parker Bridwell LAA 0 0 1 +0.0
Troy Scribner LAA 0 0 1 +0.0
Gabriel Ynoa BAL 0 0 1 +0.0
Austin Bibens-Dirkx TEX 0 0 1 +0.0
Nick Goody CLE 0 1 1 -0.4
Mike Clevinger CLE 0 1 0 -0.4
Ernesto Frieri TEX 0 1 0 -0.4
Domingo German NYY 0 1 0 -0.4
Ronald Herrera NYY 0 1 0 -0.4
Bryan Mitchell NYY 0 1 0 -0.4
Giovanny Gallegos NYY 0 1 0 -0.4
Al Alburquerque KC 0 1 0 -0.4
Stefan Chrichton BAL 0 1 0 -0.4
Jayson Aquino BAL 0 1 0 -0.4
J. P. Howell TOR 0 1 0 -0.4
Vidal Nuno BAL 0 1 0 -0.4
Buddy Boshers MIN 0 1 0 -0.4
Craig Breslow MIN 0 1 0 -0.4
Hector Santiago MIN 0 1 0 -0.4
Joe Jimenez DET 0 1 0 -0.4
Ryne Stanek TB 0 1 3 -0.4
Diego Moreno TB 0 1 0 -0.4
Xavier Cedeno TB 0 1 3 -0.4
Chase De Jong SEA 0 1 0 -0.4
Rubby De La Rosa ARI 0 1 1 -0.4
Simon Castro OAK 0 1 1 -0.4
Jandel Gustave HOU 0 1 0 -0.4
Tim Adleman CIN 0 1 1 -0.4
Johnny Barbato PIT 0 1 0 -0.4
Antonio Bastardo PIT 0 1 0 -0.4
Mark Leiter PHI 0 1 0 -0.4
Miguel Diaz SD 0 1 0 -0.4
Tyler Pill NYM 0 1 0 -0.4
Neil Ramirez NYM 0 1 2 -0.4
Jarlin Garcia MIA 0 1 4 -0.4
Josh Ravin LAD 0 1 0 -0.4
Adam Conley MIA 0 1 0 -0.4
Ricardo Rodriguez TEX 0 2 0 -0.7
Casey Lawrence TOR/SEA 0 2 0 -0.7
Evan Scribner SEA 0 2 0 -0.7
Chris Beck CHW 0 2 2 -0.7
J. C. Ramirez LAA 0 2 0 -0.7
Adam Kolarek TB 0 2 1 -0.7
Josh Collmenter ATL 0 2 0 -0.7
Ryan Garton TB 0 3 0 -1.1

SOURCE: SEAMHEADS.COM

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

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