Torrez won more than 15 games six seasons in a row (1974-79) for five different teams. The 6’5″ Kansan first achieved consistency with the Expos in 1972, winning 16 games. In 1975 with Baltimore, he went 20-9 with a league-leading .690 winning percentage. He was sent to Oakland in the 1976 seven-player trade that brought Reggie Jackson to the Orioles. Torrez won 16 that year (including three straight shutouts) and 17 in 1977 for the A’s and Yankees. He helped New York to a pennant with seven straight wins in July and August. He threw two complete-game victories in the ’77 World Series against the Dodgers and was the beneficiary of Jackson’s three home runs in the sixth and final game.
Torrez signed as a free agent with the Red Sox after the 1977 season, and in 1978 became Boston’s Ralph Branca. In the tension-filled playoff game between the Yankees and Red Sox on October 2, he allowed Bucky Dent‘s short and dramatic game-winning three-run homer.
Torrez was traded to the Mets in 1983 and lost a league-high 17 games. Typically wild, he led his league in walks for the third time in his career. On April 8, 1984, in his final season, he threw a pitch that struck Houston all-star shortstop Dickie Thon above the eye.