The Cleveland Guardians had a chance to complete a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday, but it was not meant to be. Cleveland's bullpen gave up seven runs from the 5th inning on as Philadelphia handed the Guardians an 8-5 loss.
Sam Hentges and Tim Herrin gave up the most runs in the loss (2), but a third unearned run did come across to score while Herrin was on the mound to begin the 10th inning. Trevor Stephan and Nick Sandlin also were tagged for a run each in their appearances.
Unfortunately this is not a new phenomenon for the bullpen of the Cleveland Guardians. This is the fourth instance since returning to play after the All-Star break that Cleveland's relief arms have been roughed up. This is very concerning for a team that is looking to remain relevant in the American League Central division. It is hard to imagine that the Guardians are going to be able to cut into the lead of the Minnesota Twins enough to genuinely challenge for a playoff spot with the current state of their bullpen.
A report on Sunday stated that President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti stated that the team was looking to add a starting pitcher and a complimentary bat. Perhaps Cleveland's front office can add bullpen help to their list of areas they are looking to make additions in considering the recent performances of their relievers.
Even though Cleveland's bullpen has impressive numbers over the course of this season it appears that they are starting to wear down. Overuse due to shorter outings from their starters seems to have compounded into the results that are currently being seen on the field. While not every arm has been affected and it is not necessarily something that happens in every outing, the fact that these blowups have occured in this span of time this short is alarming. A move one way or the other to help alleviate what is very quickly becoming a problem area should be making its way up their list of priorities to address ahead of the deadline.