Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Bullpen of the Week: Rays

Relievers post 2.14 ERA to help Tampa go 4-2
MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

The Rays went 4-2 last week to improve to 60-58 this season, continuing to defy the odds in large part thanks to a unique bullpen strategy and a solid performance from the relief corps. That continued with Tampa Bay's bullpen posting a 2.14 ERA over 33 2/3 innings from Aug. 6-12 to earn the MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford honors.

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.

The Rays went 4-2 last week to improve to 60-58 this season, continuing to defy the odds in large part thanks to a unique bullpen strategy and a solid performance from the relief corps. That continued with Tampa Bay's bullpen posting a 2.14 ERA over 33 2/3 innings from Aug. 6-12 to earn the MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford honors.

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

With a score of 107.0, the Rays edged the Angels (106.5) by the slimmest of margins. Led by 23-year-old left-hander Jose Alvarado, who despite a hiccup Sunday posted a 2.70 ERA with six strikeouts and no walks in 3 1/3 innings, Rays relievers struck out 27 and walked seven, holding opposing hitters to a .198 batting average during the week.

The unexpected: Rookie right-hander Yonny Chirinos was called upon to enter a game in relief as early as the third inning for the first time in his career last Thursday, with the Rays trailing the Orioles, 3-0, at Tropicana Field. It was just the third relief appearance (seven starts) of the 24-year-old's career.

How they prevailed: Chirinos rose to the occasion, yielding one run on three hits, walking none and striking out four over five innings to keep Tampa Bay in the game long enough for the Rays to chip away at the deficit and come back to win the contest, 5-4. Chirinos turned the baseball over to Alvarado for a scoreless eighth inning, and veteran right-hander Sergio Romo came on to close the game with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Tampa Bay Rays