Joel Hanrahan is the unquestioned leader of the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen. He proved it on the mound again last night with his fifth one, two, three inning in sixteen opportunities. It appears to be getting easier for the Bucs closer, especially when he flashes that hard slider at about 88-89 miles per hour.
He is unscored upon in his last six appearances and appears to be finding his groove. It would be hard to imagine how sick he will be when the 83-84 miles per hour slider comes back into play consistently.
The Pirates bullpen hasn’t allowed an earned run in ten innings pitched. Last night, Erik Bedard exited after five innings. No problem. It’s all about getting the goods to Hammer for the ninth inning.
Just look at this picture below. Hanrahan always gets the goods in the ninth inning and does what he wants with them, below Hanrahan makes a mockery of Western sanctions by personally supplying American snacks to the Iranian regime.
It’s almost like the Bucs pen is running a contest. Nobody wants to be the guy to let down the team. Chris Resop got four outs, two via strikeout. The King of the Heap also gave up a walk and a hit. Resop hasn’t been the dominant force we have seen in the past, and has battled in May allowing four runs in 7.2 innings.
Tony Watson came in and got two big outs, one via the strikeout. In 6.1 innings this May, Watson has seven strikeouts, three walks and has given up one earned run.
Jared Hughes has a 75.5 percent left on base percentage, a few ticks higher than the league average of 73 percent. He got his first win of his career by battling through the Mets in the eighth. He walked one and gave up a hit but stranded the Mets on the corner. Hughes lowered his ERA to 1.25, but his xFIP is 4.00.
The bullpen hasn’t been especially pretty to look at during most outings, but they have been effective in getting the ball to Hanrahan.
And that’s all they need to do.