I remember when the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series in 1990, they did it because they had the most dominating bullpen in history. In fact, that team created the blueprint for all bullpens since.
They didn’t have one closer, they had three: Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton and Randy Myers. Manager Lou Pinella didn’t have set roles for them. He let the game dictate when to bring them in. Sound familiar?
That year, the Reds were given no chance to win. Their opponent was the juiced up Oakland Athletics, one of the most dominating teams science could manufacture, with Mark McGwire’s and Jose Canseco’s bats and syringes leading the way.
Oakland was heavily favored, but the Reds had “The Nasty Boys.”
Charlton, Dibble and Myers were so dominating, in thirteen innings, they allowed no earned runs. And no unearned runs.
They were so dominating, Oakland didn’t score a single run in any game in the four games of the World Series after the third inning.
They were so dominating, once the Reds got a lead, the game was over.
Cincinnati swept Oakland. Their bullpen was brilliant.
Last year, Kansas City came into the post-season with a brilliant three-headed monster of its own. It carried them to the World Series.
The Rangers bullpen has been brilliant in the two games of this series against Toronto.
They’ve pitched thirteen innings in three days and given up just one run. That’s an ERA of 0.69.
It’s doubtful any team will ever see a bullpen as good as that 1990 Reds pen. But what the Rangers bullpen is doing so far this post-season is remarkable.
Yesterday, they pitched seven scoreless innings, constantly dodging Toronto’s murder’s row of Donaldson, Bautista and Encarnacion. They were suffocating.
All they did was put up zeros. All they did was put the game on hold until the Rangers offense could finally muster up something. Which it did in the top of the fourteenth.
So now the Rangers are up two games to none over the Blue Jays, heading to Arlington, where they could win the series on Sunday night.
In two games, the Rangers have played a well-rounded variety of baseball.
But the bullpen has been the most impressive of all. The Reds won the World Series with the “Nasty Boys.” Maybe all the Rangers bullpen needs is a nick name.