Having glanced over the blog regarding the best Tiger reliever...I respectfully disagree. Hernandez did have a good year on a good team in 1984. However, John Hiller was a good reliever on bad teams. I remember in the final game of 1984 when Aurelio Lopez pitched fantastic in relief only to be rewarded by Sparky with a yank in favor of Mr. Hernandez. I do remember numerous games in the following years where we were winning going into the nineth only to loose those games at the hands of Hernandez. John Hiller still ranks among our best relievers despite the fact his supporting cast was sub-par. Imagine how he would have ranked had he had the fortune of being on a quality ball club.


  1. Welcome to the Corner, Tony! A valid point. IMHOP, we all suffer from short term memories/long term memory loss. That's the only way a Hall of Famer like Mickey Cochrane can be outvoted by Bill Freehan.

  2. Yeah I'm still mad at Sparky for yanking Senor Smoke in favor of Hernandez in Game 5 of the '84 WS.

    Hiller is my favorite reliever, but I voted for Hernandez. Was I wrong? Let's look at some numbers, even if they fail to tell the whole story.

    Hiller pitched for Detroit from 1965 to 1980. He had 125 saves, pitched 1242 innings (he made 43 starts) a career ERA of 2.83, and gave up 535 walks, 1040 hits and struck out 1036.

    Hernanzez started in the majors in 1977 and hurled for the Tigers from 1984-89. With Detroit he pitched 481 innings, had 120 saves, walked 138, struck out 384 and yielded 404 hits.

    Hiller pitched the early part of his career in an era that favored pitchers, while Hernandez played in more of a hitter's era.