3. 1990 Cincinnatti Reds

The “Nasty Boys” known as the 1990 Cincinnati Reds‘ bullpen consisted of swingman Norm Charlton, reliever Rob Dibble, and closer Randy Meyers. Notice how these trios keep appearing? It goes to show you the importance of having three closer-caliber arms in the bullpen.

Charlton was used as a starter and reliever before being moved to the ‘pen on a full time basis. He totaled 154 innings, tossing 2.74 ERA ball. Dibble, was dominant, posting an 8-3 record and a sparkling 1.74 ERA. Meyers, whose 31 saves led the team, finished with 2.08 ERA.

What made this bunch special was their postseason success. They allowed just one run in 24 total innings, en route to a World Series victory over the heavily favored Oakland Athletics.

While trios have become the core success stories of dominant bullpens, we shouldn’t forget other contributors, as bullpens are made of just more than three members. Tim Layana tossed 80 innings of sub 4.00 ERA baseball while Rick Mahler contributed also as swingman.


The “Nasty Boys” may not have had the overpowering stuff the ’03 Dodgers or 2014 Royals had, but their success speaks for itself, taking the #3 spot on our list.