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Bullpen of the Week: Brewers

Hader converts pair of multi-inning saves during win streak
MLB.com

After stumbling in Monday's opener against the Reds -- reliever Oliver Drake gave up six runs in the sixth inning -- the Brewers' pitching staff rebounded to help Milwaukee wrap the week with six consecutive wins against Cincinnati and Miami, including three shutouts.

The Brewers' relief unit was a major part of that success, yielding just one unearned run during the winning streak and cementing its status as MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford.

After stumbling in Monday's opener against the Reds -- reliever Oliver Drake gave up six runs in the sixth inning -- the Brewers' pitching staff rebounded to help Milwaukee wrap the week with six consecutive wins against Cincinnati and Miami, including three shutouts.

The Brewers' relief unit was a major part of that success, yielding just one unearned run during the winning streak and cementing its status as MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford.

As part of the Hartford Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2018 season, MLB.com is honoring the "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford." An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.

Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:

• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save

Milwaukee won the week with 103.5 points, totaling 74 outs, 29 strikeouts, 14 hits, eight runs (seven earned), eight walks and three saves. Seven of the eight runs allowed came in Monday's defeat vs. the Reds.

Although he was in the mix for a rotation spot, Josh Hader, who entered last season as the Brewers' top pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, has excelled in his relief role. He tossed five innings over the last week, converting two multi-inning saves and allowing just one unearned run. He struck out seven batters against one walk.

Video: CIN@MIL: Hader retires Peraza for two-inning save

The unexpected: The Brewers fell into an early deficit against the Marlins on Saturday as starter Brent Suter gave up a season-high five runs -- including a three-run homer by Miami's Lewis Brinson -- in five innings of work. They trailed, 5-4, when Jacob Barnes took over in the sixth inning.

How they prevailed: After the Marlins notched eight hits and a walk against Suter, the Brewers' bullpen shut down Miami's momentum as Barnes, Hader, Matt Albers and Jeremy Jeffress combined to pitch four scoreless frames. The quartet yielded just one hit and struck out four batters.

"It was really effective work by the bullpen," Suter said. "They're just continuing to be a unit out there. Those are guys who pitch for each other. There's a lot of love out there in the bullpen. What a great win to be a part of."

Milwaukee won the week by a 17-point margin over the Yankees (86.5) in the Bullpen Rating System. The Phillies weren't far behind with 84 points.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Milwaukee Brewers