Miller: How the dominant Brewers bullpen came together

From Sam Miller at on October 11, 2018:

The big story of the National League Division Series — and what could soon be the big story of the National League Championship Series — was the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen. Their starting rotation contributed just 29 outs over three games; the other 55 outs were converted by six members of the bullpen, including Brandon Woodruff, who started a pre-planned “bullpen day” in Game 1 against the Colorado Rockies.

Only one of the six (closer Jeremy Jeffress) allowed any runs, and collectively they had an 0.98 ERA, with 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings and an 0.65 WHIP — basically, Eric Gagne’s Cy Young 2003 season. The Rockies had one of the worst offensive performances in postseason history; the fight was so one-sided, it’s hard to imagine any team scoring against that bullpen.

But the story of the Brewers’ bullpen is, like most bullpen stories, a lot wilder than what they did over the course of one week. More than any other part of baseball — or any other part of a baseball team — the construction of a bullpen over the course of a season is filled with twists, of good pitchers disappearing and bad pitchers becoming unhittable, of near-constant churn in the high-leverage innings and, ultimately, a great big leap of faith when the games count the most.

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Originally published: October 11, 2018. Last Updated: October 11, 2018.