As Rangers fans, we forgot how bad their bullpen was. We forgot that no team had ever made the playoff with a bullpen that blew more saves than it converted. We forgot that no team had finished a season any higher than two games over .500 with a bullpen that blew more saves than it converted.
We forgot because for the first two rounds of the playoffs, the bullpen fooled us. It actually, surprisingly, uncharacteristically worked. But there is an adage about baseball that a seven-game series will uncover your flaws. Adages are adages because they are so often true.
Through five games, the Astros bullpen has pitched twenty-two innings. The Rangers, twenty-three.
The Astros bullpen has given up three earned runs. The Rangers, fourteen.
The Astros bullpen ERA is 1.23. The Rangers, 5.48.
The fact that the Rangers have gotten to Game 6 of the American League Championship Series with this putrid bullpen is pretty remarkable. It’s like being in second place in the Indianapolis 500 with ten laps to go driving a Yugo with two tires.
We forgot. Until Jose Altuve reminded us.