ESPN’s Jim Bowden: Detroit Tigers Have Worst Bullpen Among All MLB Postseason Teams


Nothing like adding more uncertainly to the Detroit Tigers bullpen as the MLB postseason gets underway on Thursday.

The lack of consistency and talent is something that us Tigers fans have witnessed for the entirety of this season. So when a national baseball writer ranks the team’s bullpen dead last among the other clubs that will be competing in the month of October, it doesn’t come as a surprise.

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According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, former general manager for the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals, Detroit is ranked tenth, just below the Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 9) and the Oakland Athletics (No. 8), who were eliminated last night by the Kansas City Royals.

"The Tigers enter the postseason with one of the best starting rotations and lineups in baseball, but their bullpen is a huge question mark. Joe Nathan somehow has kept the closer’s job all season despite having a 4.81 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.The Tigers’ entire bullpen finished the regular season 27th in the majors in ERA and 29th in WHIP. The unit was much better this month, but Tigers fans still might want to keep a defibrillator handy."

The Baltimore Orioles, the American League East division champions, is currently ranked second behind the Royals.

Baltimore, who’ll host the Tigers in game 1 at Camden Yards tomorrow night, are led by closer Zach Britton and setup man Tommy Hunter.

Britton comes into this series with 37 saves, two more than Tigers close Joe Nathan. In 71 plate appearances, Birtton has won three games this season to go along with his 1.65 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 62 strikeouts.

"Britton took over the closer’s role after Hunter’s early-season struggles and ran with it, becoming the best left-handed closer in the A.L. He converted 37 of 41 saves with a 0.90 WHIP, utilizing his nasty sinker and ability to pound the strike zone.The rest of the Orioles’ bullpen has a good blend of pitchers, including a power arm in Hunter, a low-arm-angle guy in O’Day and a dominant lefty in Andrew Miller, who was one of the best trade-deadline pickups in baseball this year. Terrific balance and different looks make the Orioles bullpen a tough unit to hit against."