Not even two of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the Majors can slow the A's bullpen.Fortified by the recent acquisition of Jeurys Familia from the Mets, the Oakland relief corps thrived at Globe Life Park in Arlington and Coors Field, posting a 1.42 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 1/3
Not even two of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the Majors can slow the A's bullpen.
Fortified by the recent acquisition of Jeurys Familia from the Mets, the Oakland relief corps thrived at Globe Life Park in Arlington and Coors Field, posting a 1.42 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings to earn MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford for July 23-29.
As part of The Hartford Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2018 season, MLB.com is honoring the MLB 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
Oakland led the way for the second time in three weeks with a score of 112.5, and they were followed by a pair of strong showings from the National League West, with the Dodgers at 103 and Padres at 102.5. Though the A's were swept in Colorado to finish the week 4-3, it certainly wasn't the bullpen's fault: Oakland relievers twirled 8 2/3 shutout innings in Denver with eight strikeouts and didn't allow any inherited runners to score.
The unexpected: Familia had only been called upon for more than an inning four times in his 40 appearances with the Mets prior to the trade, but he was used for two innings in each of his first two outings for the A's. In three outings since joining Oakland, he has five strikeouts and hasn't allowed an earned run in five innings.
Right-hander J.B. Wendelken was also summoned from Triple-A Nashville to ease a tired bullpen after a grueling series in Texas, and he filled in superbly, allowing one earned run and striking out five over 4 1/3 innings during the week in his first stint in the Majors since 2016.
How they prevailed: After Ryan Buchter allowed five runs (two earned) in two-thirds of an inning against the Rangers on Tuesday, Wendelken steadied the ship for 1 1/3 innings before Familia and All-Star closer Blake Treinen took over, combining for three strikeouts in three perfect innings as Oakland came all the way back from a 10-2 deficit to win, 13-10, in extras.
Then, in the series finale in Texas on Thursday, Lou Trivino, Familia and Treinen each pitched an inning to shut the door on a 7-6 victory -- the scenario A's fans were likely dreaming of when Familia was acquired to complete the assembly of the dominant trio at the back end of the bullpen.
Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.