Locking down the late innings
During the month of May we talked about how James Karinchak, Emmanuel Clase and Bryan Shaw might be the best bullpen trio in baseball. If the case wasn’t strong enough already, looking back on May has only helped their case.
During the month of May, the Cleveland Indians recorded nine saves, tied for the fifth-most over the course of the month. However, what was more impressive was that the Tribe was 9-for-9 in save opportunities, being the only team in baseball to be perfect in save opportunities in May. In total this season, the Tribe have 18 saves in 20 opportunities, failing to record the save just twice. No other team with 20 or more save opportunities has failed to get the save fewer than four times. In fact, no other team in the sport has fewer than three failed save opportunities.
In addition to be lights out in save opportunities, the Cleveland bullpen has a whole has been one of the best in the game. With an ERA of 2.92 for relievers, the Tribe ranks fourth in the MLB for the season. The unit is also seventh for strikeouts despite being in the bottom third of the league for innings pitched by relievers.
Needless to say, the late innings are locked down for the Cleveland Indians, but the game as a whole is in good hands once it turns over to the bullpen.