Metzger was 11-4 with 16 saves (fifth in the NL) and a 2.92 ERA for the Padres in 1976 to win NL Rookie of the Year honors. His 77 appearances (tied for second in the NL) set a ML rookie record, and his 10 straight wins tied the ML mark for a rookie reliever. Coming as it did at the start of the season, the streak combined with his 1-0 records in 1974 and 1975 to set another ML relief record: 12 straight wins at the beginning of a career. Metzger was traded to St. Louis in May 1977 for John D’Acquisto and Pat Scanlon (the Padres had signed free agent Rollie Fingers in December 1976), and was 4-2 with seven saves for the Cardinals. His meteoric career was ended by arm trouble after he was sold to the Mets for 1978.