The Padres' bullpen was called upon often over the past week and it rose to the occasion, posting a 1.55 ERA with 35 strikeouts and nine walks in 29 innings. The impressive performance translated into a 5-2 record for San Diego over that span, and the club's relief corps earned "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford" honors for the week of April 9-15.
As part of the MLB 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
The Padres' bullpen finished the week with a score of 120, far outdistancing the second-place Rockies, whose relievers finished with a score of 79. Right-hander Craig Stammen led the way, tossing four scoreless frames during the week against the Rockies and Giants to preserve his 0.00 ERA on the season. Closer Brad Hand was also strong, tossing four scoreless innings and recording four saves, while striking out seven and walking none. Rookie Adam Cimber (1.69 ERA), submariner Kazuhisa Makita (1 1/3 scoreless innings), Robbie Erlin (four scoreless) and Phil Maton (3 1/3 scoreless) were also stellar, helping fuel San Diego's strong week.
The unexpected: Since giving up a Trevor Story home run in the first inning, rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi had settled in and retired 13 of 15 Rockies entering the bottom of the seventh inning at Coors Field last Tuesday. That's when Nolan Arenado led things off with a triple, which was followed by a Story walk. Padres manager Andy Green summoned Makita.
How they prevailed: Makita proceeded to get Ian Desmond to fly out, struck out Gerardo Parra, and induced a foul popout from Pat Valaika to end the threat without surrendering a run. Erlin then pitched a spotless eighth inning to get the ball to Hand, who picked up the save by shutting the door on Colorado in the ninth.