Colorado Rockies: An In-Depth Look at Bud Black and Bullpen Management

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Bud Black of the Colorado Rockies

Apr 7, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black (10) during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

During the Colorado Rockies’ recent homestand, the bullpen was taxed by short outings and the loss of Mike Dunn to the disabled list. All of that happened in a perfect storm type of scenario against the Washington Nationals, a team that came to Denver red hot at the plate and took three of four games from Colorado.

It may seem like ancient history now, but we can learn some lessons from what happened against the Nationals.

Take Thursday’s 16-5 Washington rout, for example. Colorado’s bullpen lineup of Carlos Estevez and Jordan Lyles gave up 11 runs in two innings. Scott Oberg allowed another run in his one inning of work. That day, the box score reveals three unproductive innings by the bullpen.

Washington touched Colorado’s bullpen for five runs in four innings on Wednesday and five runs in five innings on Tuesday. In all, that’s 23 runs in 12 innings for the Colorado bullpen. In years past, that might be considered normal. This year, it’s an aberration.

It’s not exactly how Colorado wanted to hit the road and head to Arizona, but it’s the hand that was dealt to Bud Black. How the Colorado manager has handled it and some of the key points he looks for when moving forward toward the Diamondbacks is pretty interesting insight into his bullpen philosophy.

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