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This Unbelievable Bullpen Of Ours

I have to talk about the bullpen after last night.

Yet again, the Phils pen held together a close game, giving the Phils the victory with 3.2 innings of great pitching. (Okay, Chad Durbin threw a bad pitch to Adam Dunn, but we’ll forgive him.)

We’re more than one-third through the season (59 games) and here are our relief numbers:

Clay Condrey: 23.7 IP, 4.56 ERA (96 ERA+), 14 K, 7 BB
Rudy Seanez: 21 IP, 2.57 ERA (171 ERA+), 11 K, 13 BB
Ryan Madson: 30 IP, 3.60 ERA (122 ERA+), 23 K, 8 BB
Chad Durbin: 35 IP, 1.80 ERA (245 ERA+), 21 K, 14 BB
JC Romero: 20.1 IP, 1.33 ERA (331 ERA+), 17 K, 11 BB
Tom Gordon: 22.2 IP, 3.97 ERA (111 ERA+), 20 K, 10 BB
Brad Lidge: 24 IP, 0.75 ERA (587 ERA+), 30 K, 11 BB, 14/14 SV

Only Condrey (and barely) is below MLB average. From your long reliever it’s no big deal. For the first third of the season I couldn’t be happier with the job this bullpen has done. Condrey’s work comes in mop-up time. Seanez always keeps things relatively close. Madson is improving by the game. Durbin has done a fine job taking on a variety of situations. Romero continues to be a godsend. Gordon has been flat dominant since Opening Day. Then there’s Lidge — could we have asked for anything more?

This is the best Phillies bullpen in years, probably since the 1993 group (Mitch Williams, Larry Andersen, David West, etc,). Moreover, I can’t stress how amazing it is that they’ve used the same 12 pitchers all season. While the rotation has been a little below average, these guys have been tremendous. What can we attribute this turnaround to? Is it stability? Defined roles? Health? Talent? Everything rolled up into one pretty package?

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