When the Orioles bullpen gave up six runs in the second game of the season against Tampa Bay, there were already some observers firing off a certain type of comment:
"I told you so," they said.
They said the Orioles' 2012 bullpen performance could not be duplicated. It was not sustainable. I love that word. Not really.
First of all who are they and why do they talk so much?
I digress. Listen, the Orioles bullpen may well have plenty of struggles yet, but this 'pen looks good again and has come up pretty big since that game at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Over the last three games, the bullpen has not allowed an earned run over 8 2/3 innings. The 'pen ERA is 0.69 over the last eight games and it has allowed just three earned runs outside of that second game. Jim Johnson and Darren O'Day have combined for 12 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run and they are a pretty formidable duo in the last two innings.
Since opening day 2012, the Orioles have not lost one time when they took a lead to the eighth inning. They are 78-0.
The bullpen ERA on the year is 2.38 and they've gone without allowing an earned run in nine of 11 games. In the last 26 innings, bullpen pitchers have combined to issue just three walks against 27 strikeouts.
We debated the bullpen and how it would do this year all through the winter and I wrote this post back in January.
Tommy Hunter has allowed three homers and the 'pen had one meltdown game, but again yesterday, like most days, the Orioles can count on what has become one of the best bullpens in all of baseball.