Texas Rangers and their dominant bullpen
The bullpen since the break has been lights out in every game. They have now in 12 2/3 innings since the break and have only given up two runs. Both runs were allowed by Cody Bradford on Sunday when he gave up a 2-run home run to David Fry. Bochy has been expertly using both Will Smith and Aroldis Chapman in late-inning roles. Jose Leclerc has also pitched very well lately.
Monday night Will Smith was unavailable after pitching in all three games against the Guardians. Dunning pitched seven innings and then Bochy turned to Leclerc first for the eighth in a tie game and he pitched a scoreless eighth with one strikeout. Then in the ninth it was Chapman's turn and he was electric. That was the best outing for Chapman since being traded to Texas. Chapman struck out the side on 14 pitches and had nine strikes. The Rays only made contact on two of Chapman's 14 pitches and they were both foul balls. This was the the 103mph fastball that struck out Jose Siri
This bullpen after having a rough go in late April and early May and then struggling again in July is back on the right track and that is even after Josh Sborz was placed on the IL last Friday prior to the start of the series against the Guardians.
The bullpen is in a much more solid place with Chapman than they were before he arrived. He has been as advertised for this team and will be a game-changer as this team moves into the pennant race in August and September. This team would not be in this position, but for one more factor