Tremendous ‘pen

Remember the days when every close game the York Revolution played seemed to be followed by the phrase “came up just short?”

Those days are certainly in the past now.

With a thrilling 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Southern Maryland Tuesday night the Revs locked down another one-run victory. That gave York six wins in its last seven one-run decisions after starting 7-17 in those situations this year. So why the sudden success in close games?

It all comes down to the bullpen.

Even though York lost two very effective closers — Nick McCurdy and Dave Veres — in a matter of weeks, the Revs’ bullpen is arguably the club’s biggest strength right now. Manager Chris Hoiles has four dependable right-handed options (Travis Phelps, Juan Padilla (pictured), Jason Olson and Franklin Nunez). And if lefty Wayne Franklin stays in the bullpen, where he is clearly more effective, Hoiles finally has the luxury of playing the matchups at the end of games.

Also, consider this evidence on how good the ‘pen has been lately: Over the last 21 games, York’s relievers have only allowed 21 earned runs in 68 2/3 innings. That is good for a collective 2.75 ERA and that’s not even the sexy statistic here. Over the last 10 games, York’s relief corps have stranded 17 of 19 inherited runners (12 in scoring position). Phelps leads the way there, stranding a perfect 7-for-7. It’s like Nunez and Phelps have suddenly morphed into Lee Smith and Trevor Hoffman.

The only things that could halt York’s terrific bullpen at this point are obvious: 1) Affiliated signings or 2) Injuries. Padilla was hit in the lower leg with a line drive in the finale against Somerset the other day and hasn’t made an appearance since. And remember the tale of last season — both Jeff Farnsworth and Nunez were picked up in the closing weeks of the season to fill in for affiliated clubs in need of short-term pitching help.

But for the time being, York has arguably the most dependable bullpen in the entire league. That will undoubtedly be a huge help in the playoff race.


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