Robb Nen

Last updated
1+23 innings of scoreless relief in the 9th and 10th innings of Game 7 while the Marlins came back in the last inning, and subsequently won the World Series in the bottom of the 11th. Throughout the 1997 playoffs, Florida didn't lose a single game in which Nen made an appearance.

In a controversial move, the Marlins held a "fire sale" in which they traded away most of their high-caliber players in favor of gaining prospects and utilizing many of their minor league players, all while keeping their team payroll low. On November 18, 1997, Nen was traded to the Giants for Mike Villano, Joe Fontenot and Mick Pageler.

Nen was expected to fill in the closer role, a role recently vacated by Rod Beck, who left via free agency to the Chicago Cubs. If Beck had set the bar high for a San Francisco closer (199 saves in his 7-year tenure with the Giants), Nen would raise the bar. His first year yielded 40 saves with a 1.52 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 88+23 innings. As a Giant, Nen was selected to three All-Star Games (1998, 1999, 2002) and finished 4th in voting for the 2000 National League Cy Young Award and 12th in the NL MVP voting (the award went to teammate Jeff Kent), both high honors for a closer. The following year, Nen led the National League with 45 saves. The 9th inning was affectionately renamed the "Nenth" by fans.

Nen's career reached its climax in the 2002 World Series. He earned saves in Games 1 and 4 of the series despite noticing pain in his shoulder prior to the All-Star break. As fate would have it, his last professional game would be on October 26, 2002 at Edison International Field (now known as Angel Stadium of Anaheim). It was Game 6 of the 2002 World Series, with the Giants leading the series three games to two.

The Giants, the National League wild card team, and the Anaheim Angels, the American League wild card team, played a seven-game series in which Nen earned two saves. Behind the pitching of starter Russ Ortiz, the Giants appeared to be cruising to an easy 5–0 victory and their first World Series title since 1954 (when they were still the New York Giants). In the seventh inning, however, Ortiz ran into trouble and was relieved by Felix Rodríguez. Rodriguez then gave up a three-run home run to the Angels' Scott Spiezio.

The Angels tacked on another run in the eighth with a lead-off home run by Darin Erstad. After two more runners reached base safely in the eighth, Nen came in to relieve Tim Worrell and try to protect what was now a shaky one-run Giants lead. But Nen was unable to shut down the Angels' surge and gave up a two-run double to eventual series MVP Troy Glaus, which put the Angels ahead by one run. They hung on to win the game, and won the series following a win the next day. Nen pitched with full awareness that he was likely jeopardizing his career and remains admired by Giants' fans for his self-sacrifice. It was, in fact, his final appearance. The eight save opportunities (with seven saved) in one postseason is a record, tied in 2015 by Jeurys Familia; the seven saves ties the mark with five other pitchers (John Wetteland, Troy Percival, Brad Lidge, Koji Uehara and Greg Holland).

During the next two seasons, Nen spent time rehabilitating from three surgeries for a torn rotator cuff that he had aggravated during the middle of the 2002 season. The tear went through 40 to 75% of his right shoulder. When his contract with the Giants ended after the 2004 season, Nen filed for free agency but was not picked up by any team. [3]

On February 20, 2005, Nen formally announced his retirement. [4] He is the all-time saves leader for the Giants with 206 saves. [5] His locker was maintained throughout the 2003 and 2004 seasons as he last left it and was formally retired in 2005, but his jersey continued to hang in the locker room both at home and on the road. He would have a day dedicated to him in San Francisco at their home park (known at the time as SBC Park) on July 9 of that year; he noted at the time of his retirement that he had no regrets for how his career ended.

Pitching style

Nen was known for an unusual delivery in which he tapped his toe on the ground before releasing the ball. His signature pitch, a slider, was nicknamed "The Terminator." It looked like a fastball until it broke straight down at the plate at a velocity of up to 92 mph. In addition to the slider, Nen had a fastball that reached the upper 90s. A splitter rounded out Nen's pitching arsenal.

Post MLB career

Nen joined the Giants' baseball operations department as an instructor on both the major and minor league levels, while also advising general manager Brian Sabean on an as-needed basis.

Honors

Plaque commemorating Nen's 300th career save. Nen300.JPG
Plaque commemorating Nen's 300th career save.

In a ceremony before their July 9, 2005 game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants honored Nen with a plaque commemorating his 300th career save. The plaque is now located on the public walkway behind the right-field wall of Oracle Park, not far from McCovey Cove.

See also

Related Research Articles

Save (baseball) Credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain prescribed circumstances

In baseball, a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain prescribed circumstances. Most commonly a pitcher earns a save by entering in the ninth inning of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and finishing the game by pitching one inning without losing the lead. The number of saves or percentage of save opportunities successfully converted are oft-cited statistics of relief pitchers, particularly those in the closer role. The save statistic was created by journalist Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an official MLB statistic in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for pitchers before that date. Mariano Rivera is MLB's all-time leader in regular-season saves with 652, while Francisco Rodríguez earned the most saves in a single season with 62 in 2008.

2002 World Series

The 2002 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB)'s 2002 season. The 98th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the American League (AL) champion Anaheim Angels and the National League (NL) champion San Francisco Giants; the Angels defeated the Giants, four games to three, to win their first, and, to date, only World Series championship. The series was played from October 19–27, 2002, at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco and Edison International Field of Anaheim in Anaheim.

The following are the baseball events of the year 2005 throughout the world.

The following are the baseball events of the year 2002 throughout the world.

Guillermo Mota Dominican baseball pitcher

Guillermo Reynoso Mota is a Dominican former professional baseball relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. In his career, he pitched for the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants. Mota is 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and weighs 240 pounds (110 kg). He throws and bats right-handed. He throws three pitches: a fastball, a slider and a circle changeup.

Brad Penny American baseball pitcher

Bradley Wayne Penny is an American former professional baseball pitcher. Penny played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida / Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and Detroit Tigers, and in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He was an All Star in 2006 and 2007.

Bobby Witt American baseball player

Robert Andrew Witt Sr. is a former professional baseball pitcher, who played all or part of sixteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Florida Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Cleveland Indians, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Brian Wilson (baseball) American baseball player

Brian Patrick Wilson, nicknamed "The Beard" and "B-Weezy", is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. He stands 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighs 205 pounds (93 kg). Wilson is known for his large black beard, which he began growing during the 2010 pennant race. Wilson's entrance at home games accompanied by the song "Jump Around" was popular with fans. Wilson also portrayed Peterson, a pitcher in the 2019 film Bottom of the 9th.

Yusmeiro Petit Venezuelan baseball player

Yusmeiro Alberto Petit is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics. In 2014, Petit retired 46 consecutive batters to set a new Major League record. He throws right-handed. As of 2019, he is the only person ever to play on winning teams in both the Little League World Series and the Major League World Series.

Jason Grilli American baseball player

Jason Michael Grilli is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers. Taken as the fourth overall selection of the 1997 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants, Grilli was one of the top starting pitcher prospects in all of Minor League Baseball, ranked 54th in 1998 and 44th in 1999. The Giants traded him to the Florida Marlins in 1999, for whom he debuted on May 11, 2000.

Tim Lincecum American baseball player

Timothy Leroy Lincecum, nicknamed "The Freak", "The Franchise", "The Freaky Franchise" and "Big Time Timmy Jim", is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels (2016). A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Lincecum helped the Giants win three World Series championships from 2010 through 2014.

Santiago Casilla Dominican baseball player

Santiago Casilla is a Dominican former professional baseball relief pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 2004 to 2018 for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. Casilla threw four pitches: a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup.

The following are the baseball events of the year 2008 throughout the world.

The 2002 San Francisco Giants season was the 120th in franchise history, the franchise's 45th season in San Francisco, and their third in Pacific Bell Park. The season ended with the Giants winning the National League pennant but losing to the Anaheim Angels in the 2002 World Series.

Sergio Romo American baseball player

Sergio Francisco Romo is an American professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, and Oakland Athletics. A right-hander who has served as a closer during his career, his main pitch is his slider.

The following are the baseball events of the year 2009 throughout the world.

2010 World Series

The 2010 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2010 season. The 106th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League (AL) champion Texas Rangers and the National League (NL) champion San Francisco Giants; the Giants won the series, four games to one, to secure their first World Series championship since 1954 and their first since relocating to San Francisco from New York City in 1958. The series began on Wednesday, October 27, and ended on Monday, November 1.

Sam Dyson American baseball player

Samuel Isaac Dyson is an American professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, and Minnesota Twins. He played college baseball at South Carolina. Dyson is one of the few people to have won both a College World Series and a World Baseball Classic.

The following are the baseball events of the year 2014 throughout the world.

The following are the baseball events of the year 2016 throughout the world.

References

  1. MLB career leaders in saves
  2. Brousseau, Dave (December 24, 1996). "Marlins Re-sign Closer Nen". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  3. https://www.espn.com/espn/eticket/print?page=nen [ bare URL ]
  4. "End Of The Line For Nen, Greer". Reading Eagle . 21 February 2005. p. D4. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  5. "San Francisco Giants Top 10 Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
Robb Nen
Pitcher
Born: (1969-11-28) November 28, 1969 (age 51)
San Pedro, California
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 10, 1993, for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2002, for the San Francisco Giants