Chicago Cubs: Bullpen has shouldered the load for the Cubs all season

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Bullpen offers some serious relief

While the Cubs starters have not been nearly as good as expected, they have been picked up by the bullpen. As a unit the bullpen has posted a 3.22 ERA which is the fourth-lowest in baseball.  While that’s impressive on its own, it’s even more so due to how many innings they’ve eaten.

Due to the starters not lasting deep into games, Joe Maddon is riding his relievers hard. On the year they’ve already pitched 455 1/3 innings. Again, among teams that are contending for the playoffs, that’s the most innings pitched by any bullpen.

Even in Sunday’s loss, the Cubs bullpen was at it again. Quintana only managed to get through five innings before turning it over to the bullpen. The pen ended up pitching 5 2/3 innings of shutout baseball before Brandon Kintzler gave up a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.