The Kansas City Royals had one of the best bullpens in baseball last year. This year they might be even better. The playoffs are showcasing just how good Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and company are. They remind me of the “Nasty Boys” from the 1990 Cincinnati Reds and they might achieve the same result. Similar to that Reds team the Royals don’t have a dominant, ace starting pitcher. But what they do have is a group of starters that can provide 5 or 6 quality innings before turning the game over to the relievers. All teams in the post season have quality closers. This year we’re seeing what a difference relief pitchers who enter in the 6th or 7th inning make in the outcome of games.

The other day Giants manager, Bruce Bochy brought in a rookie Hunter Strickland, in the 6th inning of game two in the World Series. Strickland gave up a double to Salvador Perez and a home run to Omar Infante and the game was essentially over.

Rookie pitchers, especially ones brought up late in a season are a gamble. Back in 2002 the Anaheim Angels brought up Francicsco Rodriguez late in the year and he played a big role in the success of the Angels during their run to a Championship. Last year rookie Michael Wacha won NLCS MVP for the Cardinals. But Strickland has surrendered 5 home runs during this post season. Fortunately for the Giants, the rest of their bullpen has been much more effective.

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