There is a reason why there were so many of those Wade Davis memes.
You look at the numbers he put up as a member of the Royals bullpen, first as a set-up man and then as the closer, and it’s astounding. Davis’ statistics seem like they’ve been made up or are part of a video game.
Since the start of 2013, he ranks first among Major League relievers in ERA (1.17) and home runs allowed per nine innings (0.14). He’s second in opponent batting average (.159) and victories (19). His 1.91 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) the third best in the majors in that span, while his WHIP (0.88) is fourth.
Seriously, isn’t that crazy?
Then there was the 2015 season. Wow.
Davis led all major-league relievers with a 0.94 ERA (7 earned runs in 67 1/3 innings pitched). That was the lowest in Royals history by a reliever, which broke his record from the 2014 season (1.00). He led all all relief pitchers in opponents’ batting average (.144) in 2015.
Breaking it down further, Davis allowed one earned run (and one unearned run) in 36 road appearances in 2015, while opponents hit just .089 (11-for-112) in their ballpark against Davis.
Even something bad was amazing. When Toronto’s Jose Bautista hit a home run off Davis on Aug. 1, 2015, it ended a 125 2/3 innings streak without serving up a longball, dating to his last start as a Royal on Aug. 23, 2013 against the Washington Nationals.
Davis allowed six hits and no runs in 10 2/3 innings pitched in the 2015 postseason. The last run he allowed was in Game 1 of the 2014 American League Championship Series.
While the 2016 season wasn’t Davis’ best, the Royals were 39-6 (.867) in the 45 games he appeared in, and he entered with the team already trailing in five of the six losses.
That’s the stuff of legends.