With a power bullpen, the Reds are looking for a long October run
- Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesTo beat the Reds in the postseason, hitters will have to stare down Aroldis Chapman.
RYAN MADSON. Nick Masset. Bill Bray. After those three fell to injury this spring, it would've been easy to write off the Reds. After all, the Rangers and Cards showed the importance of bullpens last October. And here was a team without its closer and two of its other top relievers.
That narrative was wrong. Led by Aroldis Chapman -- who, with 35 saves, a 1.61 ERA and 118 strikeouts, might be having the best relief season ever -- the 2012 Reds bullpen (2.73 ERA) isn't just better than the Rob Dibble and Randy Myers-led Nasty Boys from the 1990 Series-winning Reds (2.91 ERA), it's also one of the best pens in the modern-reliever era. Its ERA is 33
percent below the league average; only seven teams in the past 30 years have posted a better mark over a season. Zero bullpens have struck out batters at a higher rate.
Sign up for ESPN Insider to read the full story and get a subscription to ESPN The Magazine.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Braves' Medlen leaves with strained forearm
- Dodgers' Kershaw, Ryu to start in Australia
- Cardinals sign star Cuban shortstop Diaz
- Reds hopeful Latos can return in first week
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Antigua Men's Cincinnati Reds Pullover Red Discover Jacket
- MLB Home
- AL East
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Toronto Blue Jays
- AL Central
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Minnesota Twins
- AL West
- Houston Astros
- Los Angeles Angels
- Oakland Athletics
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Fantasy: Sign up!
- Spring blog