FG on Fox: Divergent Strategies, Dominant Bullpens

Not all bullpens are created equal. This postseason, the Kansas City Royals are putting on a show with their backend arms, blowing the doors off any and all competition with their unsubtle charms. What they lack in nuance they make up for in pure, unadulterated filth.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the Giants feature a bullpen that couldn’t be more different than the high-powered Royals relief corps. Where the Royals are young, the Giants are old. Where Kansas City is cheap, the Giants relievers are lavishly paid.

It’s a study in contrasts, right up until the moment when you get around to studying their results. Because this October, the way the Giants pen racks up outs is second to none. Consider the postseason results of these two groups, both forced to run the full Wild Card gauntlet.

2014 postseason IP H R HR K% BB% K-BB% AVG ERA
Kansas City Royals 35 22 7 1 25.7% 9.3% 16.4% .179 1.80
San Francisco Giants 35.1 20 7 7 22.6% 8.3% 14.3% .164 1.78

The manner in which they conduct their business might be different but they are getting spotless results. The Giants benefit from their wizened manager deploying them expertly, eschewing set inning roles and instead using whichever of his four main guys is better suited to the situation at hand.

Read the rest on Just a Bit Outside.

Drew used to write about baseball and other things at theScore but now he writes here. Follow him on twitter @DrewGROF

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7 years ago

Of the Royals 7 ER, 4 of them came in the Wild Card game, 3 of those came in one inning, and 2 of those were off a starter in spot relief. In the 7 games since the ALWC, the Royals bullpen has allowed 3 ER, 8 H and 9 W in 28 IP (one run was off Davis with a 6 run lead and one was off Holland in a save situation up 3).