I Like This Bullpen | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

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I Like This Bullpen

By on September 15, 2010

Today, against the Astros, the Brewers bullpen pitched 5.2 innings, allowing only an inherited runner on third base to score. That included 1.2 innings from Kameron Loe, an inning each from Mike McClendon and Mark Rogers, and two innings from closer extraordinaire John Axford. Overall, the group struck out three batters, walked only one, and induced an insane 11 ground balls against four fly balls and, most remarkably, not a single line drive.

After putting up 6 runs on Dave Bush in the 5th inning, the Brewers bullpen was effectively unhittable after receiving the call. This just more of what we’ve been seeing over the last 30 days: the Brewers bullpen has a 2.65 ERA over that stretch, and that’s supported by a solid 3.45 FIP and 3.55 xFIP. As a unit, they have struck out over a batter per inning. They’re still walking batters – 4 per nine innings, but they more than make up for it with what is by far the highest ground ball to fly ball rate among bullpens in the league.

Brewers relievers have allowed only 28% of balls in play as fly balls this month while inducing over 56.7% ground balls. The second best GB/FB ratio is the Braves at 1.64; the second best ground ball rate is also the Braves at 50.7%. The Brewers have just been utterly superior at inducing ground balls, and although we certainly can’t be sure that it will continue, it’s a fantastic sign for both the Brewers and pitching coach Rick Peterson.

I’m very excited for the 2011 bullpen. John Axford, Kameron Loe, Zach Braddock, Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey, Mike McClendon, Manny Parra, Brandon Kintzler, and more make this Brewers pen one of the highest-potential bullpens and, for at least the past month, one of the most effective bullpens in the league.

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. Rob says: September 15, 2010

    The makeup of the bullpen is also why the talk of Jeffress moving to the pen to get to Milwaukee next year makes little sense. You didn’t even mention Hawkins who could return to form or Stetter who still makes left handers look foolish but might be moved due to lack of room in Milwaukee.

  2. Jason says: September 16, 2010

    “…it’s a fantastic sign for both the Brewers and pitching coach Rick Peterson. ”

    Let’s be honest. Don Money, Chris Bosio and Rich Gale are the ones currently responsible for the strength and depth of the Brewers’ bullpen. Peterson was brought in by Macha, and once Macha is gone I don’t see him staying much longer.

    I’m a firm believer in the idea that numbers don’t lie, and the numbers that stick out to me are the ERAs of the pitchers that have played at least part of each of the last 3 seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers (Suppan, Bush, Villanueva, Gallardo, Coffey and Parra). All six of them had their best year in 2008 when Maddox was the pitching coach.

    I wish I knew what the answer is for the Brewers, but I know Peterson isn’t it.


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