Deep bullpen proves untouchable in April
The Sports Xchange ST. LOUIS -- Want to know why the Milwaukee Brewers are leading the major leagues with a 20-7 record after Tuesday night's 5-4, 11-inning win over the St. Louis Cardinals? Look no further than the bullpen, which is thriving und...
The Sports Xchange
ST. LOUIS - Want to know why the Milwaukee Brewers are leading the major leagues with a 20-7 record after Tuesday night’s 5-4, 11-inning win over the St. Louis Cardinals?
Look no further than the bullpen, which is thriving under the radar. With closer Francisco Rodriguez pitching as if it were 2008, when he set the big-league record with 62 saves, Brewer relievers have held opponents to an major-league-low .195 average.
Only San Diego (1.94) and San Francisco (2.13) boast lower ERAs than Milwaukee’s 2.18 mark. With power arms that run four-deep and a left-hander in Will Smith who can get both lefties and righties out, the Brewers are tough to beat with a lead.
The one caveat? Manager Ron Roenicke has had to call on the bullpen for 83 1/3 innings in 27 games. Rodriguez, Smith and Tyler Thornburg have pitched in more than half the team’s games so far.
“The bullpen’s been worked a lot,” Roenicke said. “We probably need to score some more runs, take the pressure off them a little bit.”
For now, Milwaukee’s bullpen is proving it can not only handle pressure, but it also can thrive on it.