Continued from page 1

The other guys

There are no weak links here. That’s what makes for the truly elite bullpens. Aaron Barrett has struggled some lately, but his ERA is still 2.64. He is a power arm who can come in for short stints late in games when the big three are unavailable or pitch multiple innings in a pinch.

Craig Stammen, a former starter, can serve as a long man or get out of early jams if that day’s starter struggles. He is 0-4, but has three holds. His ERA was 2.68 before one bad inning against Baltimore last week made it jump almost a full run. Stammen was pressed into duty on Friday when Jordan Zimmermann came up lame early in a start against the Phillies. Still, a 3.78 ERA is acceptable for his role.

Lefty Jerry Blevins is charged with late-inning matchups against left-handed batters, though he showed he could do more than that in Oakland last season. That’s why Washington traded for him last winter. He’s showing signs of being that guy again with an ERA down to 4.73 after struggling the first three months. Blevins has allowed one hit and no runs in his last five appearances.

Lefty Ross Detwiler, another former starter, is also showing signs of turning his season around. His ERA at the end of May was 5.01 and some wondered if his spot on the roster was in jeopardy. That’s down to 3.79 now. Detwiler isn’t overpowering even with his fastball reaching 95. He has 24 strikeouts and 17 walks this season. But he’s versatile and is another pitcher who can save the bullpen on a bad day.