Phillies vs. Pirates series preview: Three things to watch
By Sean Resch
# 3: Suddenly Improved Bullpen
While nobody is going to come out and say that the bullpen is no longer a worry, it is a welcoming development that they have not just thrown away games over the last four outings. They are currently on an 11 scoreless innings streak since Tommy Hunter allowed a run on two hits on June 30 in a game where Vince Velasquez went down after taking a liner off the elbow in the bottom of the third.
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The help has come from a variety of relievers, which is always an encouraging sign. Seranthony has continued to be awesome, and Victor Arano has really stepped up.
Arano pitched five of those eleven scoreless innings going into this weekend’s series in Pittsburgh. Really, the entire bullpen has chipped in with the addition of Nick Pivetta pitching the 13th inning against Washington on Sunday.
On Saturday and Sunday against Washington, the bullpen covered 15 innings and allowed just one run.
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None of this is saying that the Phillies should not continue to pursue relievers before the trade deadline, because they should absolutely keep those conversations moving. It is just something to pay attention to in this series. It would be a very encouraging sign to see the bullpen put together some more scoreless innings.