The bullpen keeps chugging along
For much of the season the Pirate bullpen has been a mess. The past 17 games this has not been the case. Dating back to the team’s June 11th game against the Atlanta Braves, the Pirate bullpen has been strong.
During this 18 game stretch the Pirate bullpen has allowed 16 earned runs in 62 innings pitched. This is good for a 2.32 ERA. Also, of the 16 earned runs allowed by the bullpen during this stretch 4 of them were surrendered by Geoff Hartlieb who has since been optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis.
This weekend the bullpen had to do a lot of work. Chris Archer lasted just 4 innings Friday due to hip soreness, and Steven Brault exited after 4 2/3 innings on Sunday. In 10 1/3 innings of work this weekend the bullpen allowed just 1 run. Unfortunately, this run was a crucial one when Kyle Crick served up a lead off home run to Eric Thames in the 8th inning of a tie game on Sunday.
Since June 11th the Pirate bullpen of 2.32 is the second lowest in the National League. Their 2.94 FIP, 25.7% strikeout rate, and 0.15 HR/9 both lead the NL during this stretch.
Since June 11th the Pirate bullpen has been very good. Getting the bullpen back on track is a necessity if the Pirates are going to get back over .500. As the calendar flips from June to July, the Pirate bullpen is as hot as any in the NL. Hopefully, it is a sign of the ‘pen turning the corner.