MLB Bullpen of the Week B Kevin Pillar Women’s Jersey rewers

The Brewers surged to a thrilling finish of the 162-game schedule, forcing a tiebreaker against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday to determine the National League Central champion. Milwaukee’s bullpen has been stellar, and last week was no exception: Brewers relievers combined to post a 2.48 ERA with 46 strikeouts and eight walks over 32 2/3 innings. The performance earned Milwaukee’s relief corps its third consecutive MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford for the week of Sept. 24-30.

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 Brewers surged to a thrilling finish of the 162- Kevin Pillar Jersey game schedule, forcing a tiebreaker against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday to determine the National League Central champion. Milwaukee’s bullpen has been stellar, and last week was no exception: Brewers relievers combined to post a 2.48 ERA with 46 strikeouts and eight walks over 32 2/3 innings. The performance earned Milwaukee’s relief corps its third consecutive MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford for the week of Sept. 24-30.

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

The Brewers’ bullpen finished with a score of 136, edging the Yankees’ bullpen, which finished with a score of 128.5. 

Right-hander Corey Knebel was outstanding, tossing five scoreless frames over five appearances during the week, striking out 14 of the 20 batters he faced, while yielding three hits and walking one. Veteran right-hander Joakim Soria also rose to the occasion, tossing four scoreless, hitless innings with four strikeouts. Right-hander Corbin Burnes also made four appearances, giving up one run on two hits while walking one and fanning five in five innings. And right-hander Jeremy Jeffress turned in 3 1/3 scoreless frames, allowing one hit and striking out five.

The unexpected: Brewers manager Craig Counsell decided to use an “opener” to start last Monday’s game against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, sending left-hander Dan Jennings to the mound to get one out. Jennings got the left-handed-hitting Matt Carpenter to ground out to start the game, and gave way to the bullpen, which would be tasked with going 8 2/3 innings in the thick of a pennant race.

Things were going along smoothly until the sixth inning. With the Brewers leading, 3-1, left-hander Josh Hader went back out for another inning after retiring Carpenter to end the fifth. Hader, who had been overpowering this season to that point, surrendered a home run to Jose Martinez, walked Paul DeJong and then gave up a two-run homer to Marcell Ozuna. Suddenly, St. Louis led, 4-3.

Video: MIL@STL: Knebel K’s Martinez, the side to notch save

How they prevailed: Hader got the next two hitters out, but then Harrison Bader doubled and Yairo Munoz drew a walk. That’s when Counsell summoned right-hander Junior Guerra out of the bullpen. Guerra got Matt Adams to fly out to left, ending the threat. Xavier Cedeno, Burnes, Soria and Knebel combined for three scoreless innings from that point forward, giving Milwaukee’s offense a chance to come from behind, which it did in a 6-4 victory.

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


Milwaukee Brewers

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