Angels' bullpen struggles continue
June, 20, 2014
By Buster Olney | ESPN Insider
David Richard/USA TODAY SportsAngels closer Ernesto Frieri allowed a walk-off grand slam to Nick Swisher on Thursday.An evaluator mentioned to me earlier this week that the Angels' bullpen is the worst he has seen on that team in 20 years. I disagree, but his point was that the team lacks relievers who consistently throw strikes and get ahead in the count.
His words could not have been seemed more prophetic. On Thursday, Cam Bedrosian and Ernesto Frieri kept throwing noncompetitive pitches -- so far out of the strike zone that hitters aren't even tempted to swing -- until they were backed into a corner. Then, with a 1-2 count and the bases loaded, Nick Swisher clubbed a walk-off grand slam.
The Angels rank 25th in bullpen ERA, just ahead of the Rockies and the Blue Jays, despite the fact that the team's relatively sturdy rotation has limited the number of bullpen innings.