Welcome back to the newest edition of our Reliever Ranks series! This will bring you up-to-date bullpen depth charts every morning for the day’s games and makes for an excellent tool for those looking to stream saves or wins. This series runs seven days a week, so check in every morning to get your daily bullpen fix!
Transaction and Schedule Notes
- After three doubleheaders on Tuesday, there were no doubleheaders on Wednesday.
- All games on Wednesday were played as scheduled except for the Cleveland/Cincinnati postponement; the Guardians and Reds will play a single game today.
- The following teams have today off: LAA, OAK, TOR, ATL, MIL, LAD, SF, MIA, WAS, PIT, TB, COL, DET, MIN.
- Cubs closer David Robertson was activated from the COVID-19 IL on Wednesday, throwing 15 pitches in his return (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K).
- Arizona acquired reliever Paul Fry from Baltimore on Wednesday; with a struggling Mark Melancon in the D-Backs’ closer role, Fry could find himself as a dark horse for holds behind Ian Kennedy and Joe Mantiply.
- Milwaukee’s 7-6 victory over Atlanta featured five Brewers relievers each tossing one inning apiece. Starter Corbin Burnes allowed the only earned runs on the afternoon, and all four of them came in the first inning. Setup man Devin Williams tossed a scoreless ninth with three strikeouts, while Josh Hader was not used after a 15-pitch save on Monday. Milwaukee won in walk-off fashion, so no saves or holds were given despite an otherwise great showing by the Brewers’ bullpen (5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). Trevor Gott was a notable performer, striking out two in the seventh inning and lowering his ERA to a 2.77 (13 IP).
- Holds were present on the Atlanta line, however, with Spencer Strider and Will Smith each tossing a scoreless inning. Strider struck out all three hitters he faced, while Smith collected two groundouts, a walk, and a strikeout. The ninth inning turned sour, however, as Kenley Jansen blew his first save of the season courtesy of a triple. After Atlanta scored one run in the top of the 10th, Darren O’Day blew a save of his own despite not allowing an earned run. Jesse Chavez was ultimately credited with the loss, allowing a walk-off home run and lifting his ERA to a 4.40. Atlanta does have a much-needed off day today, and the Marlins offense they will face this weekend could help them build back some momentum.
- Oakland reliever Kirby Snead had the toughest showing of the day for his team, allowing five earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning. The A’s would ultimately tap into position player Chad Pinder to pitch a three-run ninth inning, but the Oakland bullpen was otherwise strong with 3 1/3 innings of shutout work. Adam Kolarek pitched two innings and faced the minimum, lowering his season ERA to a 3.07.
- Minnesota defeated Oakland 14-4 on Wednesday and the lead was already 11-2 once the bullpen was called. Closer Jhoan Duran still pitched, however, having not thrown since Saturday. He pitched a scoreless ninth despite allowing two hits, striking out two, and lowering his ERA to a 3.06. The Twins have today off and Duran was the only A-list reliever used on Wednesday, so their bullpen should return at full strength on Friday.
- Colorado starter Kyle Freeland fought through six innings of three-run work, leaving with a 3-3 tie intact. Robert Stevenson was first in relief, posting a scoreless seventh, while lights-out reliever Tyler Kinley struck out two in the eighth and lowered his ERA to an impeccable 0.83. He was credited with the win but otherwise has eight holds to his name this year. Daniel Bard was able to notch his 10th save of the year after taking consecutive losses on Sunday and Monday; he worked a perfect ninth on Wednesday and the Rockies bullpen showed how it should be done at Coors Field.
- One inning was all the Giants bullpen received on Wednesday, and it was ultimately the deciding frame. With Camilo Doval, Tyler Rogers, John Brebbia, and Dominic Leone all having pitched on back-to-back days, San Francisco entered Wednesday with a taxed bullpen for the ages. It was José Álvarez tasked with preserving a 3-3 tie in the eighth but three hits in 1/3 of an inning would tab two earned runs to his line. He was credited with the loss, but Mauricio Llovera would otherwise clean up the eighth and lower his ERA to a 1.93 on the year. San Francisco has Thursday off, and for their relievers, it’s about as hard-earned of an off day you will find.
- The Dodgers assembled four innings of relief work on Wednesday, and all four relievers earned either a save or hold. David Price was a top performer, striking out three of the four batters he faced. His ERA is now a 1.50, but given his recent return from the IL, his Wednesday outing could have been a short-relief prep into his regained footing as a long reliever. Daniel Hudson earned his second save of the year, while routine closer Craig Kimbrel was unavailable having pitched on consecutive days. The Dodgers do not play today so Kimbrel should be available and well-rested for the weekend set in Philadelphia.
- Arizona starter Zach Davies had a tough afternoon on Wednesday, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and failing to record an out in the fifth inning. The top of the Arizona bullpen was on in relief; red-hot Joe Mantiply entered in a 2-5 contest and struck out two in the fifth, lowering his ERA to a head-turning 0.61. Ian Kennedy and Noé Ramirez would follow with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless work, while Kennedy recorded two strikeouts. Mark Melancon entered in a non-save situation and chipped away at a tough ERA to this point, now reading 8.03. Mantiply could be earning a lot of faith for higher-leverage work, while recent acquisition Paul Fry could be in the mix as well.
- There were no saves or holds at the Trop on Wednesday but there was a great relief showing by the Rays. Three relievers combined to toss four innings, allowing a single hit. J.P. Feyereisen pitched a scoreless ninth (despite a five-run lead) and made his 15th-consecutive scoreless appearances to being the year, retaining the perfect 0.00 ERA and an unbelievable 0.38 WHIP so far. Andrew Kittredge had thrown in three of the previous four days and Tampa Bay has today off, so they should return ready with top arms for a weekend set with Baltimore.
- Detroit used six different relievers on Wednesday after starter Eduardo Rodriguez was unable to complete the first inning. This was extremely untimely with Gregory Soto, Michael Fulmer Andrew Chafin, and Alex Lange all having pitched on Tuesday. Fulmer and Lange would return on Wednesday — Lange tossed a scoreless seventh while Fulmer allowed three hits in the eighth — and the Tigers were able to make a good relief showing out of a tough start. Wily Peralta pitched the ninth and allowed one run on one hit, but his ERA remains at a strong 1.10 (16 1/3 IP).
- The Red Sox got the job done on Wednesday courtesy of a Nick Pivetta complete game. Boston opens a new series with Seattle today, and after the Red Sox relievers had seen plenty of work on Monday and Tuesday, they are far better equipped to open their next set.
- Houston tapped a lot deeper into their relief core on Wednesday but all of them got the job done. Bryan Abreu, Ryne Stanek, and Rafael Montero combined for four innings of no-hit work, while Abreu tossed two innings with two strikeouts. Stanek’s ERA now sits at a 1.32 (13 2/3 IP), while Montero holds a 0.57 (15 2/3). The Astros open a series with the Rangers today and closer Ryan Pressly hasn’t thrown since Friday.
- A 10-inning affair in Miami was ultimately claimed by the road team. Washington used closer Tanner Rainey for the first time since Saturday but his outing did not go well, as the Marins tied the game in the ninth on a hit and two walks. Víctor Arano was a remaining arm that ultimately earned the save, pitching a perfect 10th. Kyle Finnegan earned his fifth hold of the year before Rainey’s blown save; it was Finnegan’s fifth hold and he faced three hitters, striking out one and stranding the tiebreaker runner at second.
- Miami fell victim to a tiebreaker runner and Daniel Castano was tasked with closing the door; he otherwise pitched a scoreless two innings to close out the Marlins’ pitching ledger. Castano has yet to allow a run in four innings this year (1.25 WHIP) and was called largely by necessity with top Marlins relievers used Tuesday and earlier Wednesday. Top reliever Anthony Bender did not look like a top reliever, facing four batters in the eighth and not recording an out (2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB). Tanner Scott threw 20 pitches on Tuesday and came back for 16 more on Wednesday, tossing a scoreless seventh.
- Seven innings from Zack Wheeler allowed the Phillies to stack the deck for the final two frames; it was José Alvarado getting the eighth-inning now and collecting hold number five with two strikeouts. He has a 6.75 ERA on the year and hadn’t thrown since last Thursday, so this could have been a big momentum swing of an outing for him. Closer Corey Knebel shut it down in the ninth with a perfect frame, collecting save number eight. Philadelphia ends their series with San Diego today and Knebel only threw four pitches, so he could easily be in line for another appearance today.
- San Diego worked a very unconventional bullpen strategy on Wednesday; starter Blake Snell tossed 3 2/3 innings in his return from the injured list and Craig Stammen finished the fourth with a strikeout. It was then long reliever Nick Martinez pitching the final four innings, collecting six strikeouts. This move allowed the Padres to preserve their relievers for Thursday, as many of their top options haven’t thrown since Sunday. Closer Taylor Rogers pitched a 12-pitch save on Tuesday and should be ready for today.
- Gerrit Cole had one of his finest starts of the year on Wednesday, leaving just two innings for the Yankees bullpen. Clay Holmes took them both, earning his third save of the year. Aroldis Chapman had pitched in three of the previous four days, so the shutdown outing by Holmes helped the Yankees even further with another game today. He now has an outstanding 0.44 ERA (20 1/3 IP) alongside a 0.74 WHIP.
- Baltimore collected seven strong innings from starter Jordan Lyles, but an unearned run on his line would prove to be the deficit in a 2-3 defeat. Orioles closer Jorge López would still pitch the ninth, lowering his season ERA to an even 1.00 despite walking one. Baltimore enters today with one of the most taxed bullpens in the league and no off day; they won’t have a day off until next Thursday.
- A three-run lead was preserved by Andrés Muñoz and Paul Sewald on Wednesday; each allowed one hit in one inning apiece, but otherwise posted zeros and earned a hold. Diego Castillo would also make an appearance for the ninth, and the three top relievers in Seattle’s mix would cap off three innings of scoreless work. They open a potentially tough set with Boston today, but any of those three could be called upon today thanks to manageable pitch counts.
- One run by Toronto bats wasn’t enough to cover the two runs by starter Kevin Gausman (5 IP, 7 H), but the deficit would quickly worsen with first reliever Trevor Richards allowing two runs in 1 1/3 innings. The Blue Jays were without top relievers Jordan Romano (non-COVID illness) and Adam Cimber (back-to-back appearances), so the Thursday off-day should bode them well.
- An 11-run outburst by the Mets did more than enough to cover the four runs they allowed. Two of them would come from their bullpen, each credited to Seth Lugo, now holding a 4.80 ERA after his three-hit eighth inning. Adam Ottavino would help starter Max Scherzer out of a jam in the sixth and stick around for a scoreless seventh, tossing two strikeouts and lowering his ERA to a 4.30. Colin Holderman made his second-career appearances and struck out two, which played especially well after the Mets used Ottavino, Edwin Díaz, Seth Lugo, and Drew Smith the day prior.
- Jake Walsh made his third-career appearance on Wednesday and it proved to be the toughest; he allowed four earned runs on two hits and did not record an out. Walsh was tasked with the fifth inning but departed with a 6-2 ballgame with four more innings of relief work to go. Drew VerHagen was a notable performer with two shutout innings, while virtually the entire top half of the Cardinals bullpen was used on Tuesday.
- Pittsburgh sealed themselves a one-run victory over the Cubs on Wednesday, and none of the Pirates’ four pitchers on the day pitched three innings or more. Mitch Keller scored the win after opener Wil Crowe allowed one run in the first two innings. David Bednar earned save number eight courtesy of a two-inning, two-strikeout appearance; he now holds a 0.90 ERA, a 0.60 WHIP, and a bunch of job security at the moment as the closer.
- The Cubs were also forced to tap heavily into their bullpen, but not by similar design to Pittsburgh. Drew Smyly allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings and was unable to complete the fifth. It was then Scott Effross finishing off that frame, allowing one hit but otherwise lowering his season ERA to a 1.15. Rowan Wick would work around a hit and walk in a scoreless eighth inning, and in his return from the COVID-IL, David Robertson would pitch a scoreless, two-strikeout ninth and regain some momentum in a non-save situation.
- A 10-inning showdown in Texas ended in walk-off fashion, but damage was done to some top Rangers relievers. A home run off Matt Bush would turn a 6-4 game into a 6-6; it was Bush’s second blown save of the year and his ERA is now 4.40 (14 1/3 IP). Dennis Santana closed the door in the 10th with a strikeout, lowering his ERA to a 2.45 but allowing the unearned tiebreaker runner on second to score.
- Six innings from Shohei Ohtani kept the Angels in a 2-2 ballgame, but the day would quickly sour with Mike Mayers and Jimmy Herget each allowing one run in one inning of work. Closer Raisel Iglesias was tasked with shutting down the 11th but allowed a walk-off home run to the first batter he saw that inning. His ERA is now 4.61, while Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup could soon find themselves in the biggest situations of relief work possible.
- Josh Staumont pitched on back-to-back days and collected hold number two, lowering his ERA to a 3.45. Staumont’s one strikeout was the only one by Royals relievers on Wednesday, but Scott Barlow worked an otherwise low-stress ninth with a groundout and two flyouts. This wasn’t ideal for saves and holds, but Staumont and Taylor Clarke were each credited with holds while Clarke’s ERA sits at a cool 2.45.
- The White Sox would need just two relievers; one pitched the sixth and seventh while one pitched the ninth. Reynaldo López worked a two-run, two-inning appearance for the sixth and seventh, but it was mainly Ryan Burr looking to chip away with an ERA of 6.
Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)