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Bullpens Were Gas in Game One

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Across all four of the WC games, there were 22 runs scored. Only three of these 22 were charged to bullpens, with two of the three coming off of Devin Williams doing his best Rex Brothers impression. All four game one winners had their bullpens pitch shutouts, and overall, the bullpens pitched as well as the could have against some of the top lineups in the game.

Texas: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K from two relievers

Tampa Bay: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K from three relievers **Two of the runs charged to Glasnow came with a reliever on the mound**

Minnesota: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K from four relievers **Stranded two runners**

Blue Jays: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K from five relievers

Arizona: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K from six relievers **Stranded two runners**

Milwaukee: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 5 K from seven relievers **Stranded two runners**

Philadelphia: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K from three relievers **Stranded two runners**

Miami: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K from four relievers

Overall, relievers combined for 31.0 IP, 20 H, 3 R, 15 BB, 34 K (80% strand rate), while the starting pitchers combined for a not-so-great 39.0 IP, 45 H, 19 R, 13 BB, 43 K. I know there have been some people decrying the quick hooks that managers tend to have in postseason play, but the sheer dominance that 34 different pitchers participated in on Tuesday night helps illustrate why this is the case. Heck, the D-Backs basically got a quality start from their 'pen.

All of these guys had at least one full day of rest, so I definitely do not expect this to be sustainable, but relief pitching is often a thankless task, especially in the postseason. Someone needs to give some love to the bullpens before (inevitably) someone, hopefully not wearing a Twins uniform, throws a backup slider over the heart of the plate in the eighth inning of an elimination game, and we have an entire fanbase calling for the head of someone who probably makes less in a year than Carlos Correa makes in two weeks. If we are going to be harsh on relievers when they fail, we need to recognize when they succeed, and relief pitching in every game one was a success.

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I was excited about our BP coming into the playoffs and they passed their first test.  I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought "oh crap - here comes the game tying HR" after Duran walked Merrifield to bring up Springer.  These games come down to somebody just making a play.  Fortunately,  we had several guys step up including Solano grabbing that last line shot to end it.  Let's keep it rolling!

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