Colorado Rockies: the importance of a good bullpen in the postseason
In 2010, only two of the eight playoff teams were not in the top eight in baseball in bullpen ERA (the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds).
The San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers made it to the Fall Classic and they were 2nd and 6th in bullpen ERA at 2.99 and 3.38. The MLB average bullpen ERA was 3.94, respectively.
In 2011, it was a great pitching year. The league average bullpen ERA was 3.69 and 25 of the 30 teams had bullpen ERA’s that were less than 4.00.
Of the playoff teams, the American League Champion Texas Rangers had the highest bullpen ERA at 4.11, which was 26th in baseball. The World Champion St. Louis Cardinals bullpen ERA was tied for 16th in baseball but it is still very good as it was 3.73.
The great pitching environment from 2011 carried over to 2012 as the average bullpen ERA was 3.66. Only one American League team (the Toronto Blue Jays) had a bullpen with an ERA higher than 4.00.
This was the first year of the second Wild Card so instead of eight teams making the playoffs, there were ten. For the teams who qualified for the playoffs, their bullpen had ERA’s ranging from the Cincinnati Reds’ 2.65 to 3.90 (St. Louis Cardinals). The World Series teams (the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants) were 18th and 15th in bullpen ERA. They were 3.79 and 3.56, respectively.
In 2013, the average bullpen ERA decreased for the third straight season as it was 3.59. None of the playoff teams had a bullpen with an ERA of 4.01 (the Detroit Tigers).
The teams who played in the Fall Classic (the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals) had bullpen ERA’s of 3.70 and 3.45, which were 21st and 12th in baseball.