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As big of an asset as it is to have a frontline veteran starter or two to lean on in the postseason, having a lights-out bullpen that can shorten games is just as big of a weapon in October. The Orioles have just that in a relatively unsung group of five key guys, and they have helped offset what has been a shaky starting rotation at times this season to put the Orioles in the position they are in today.
The Key Guys
Jim Johnson (60 G, 1-1, 42 Sv, 2.93 ERA, 5.6 K/9)
Luis Ayala (58 G, 4-4, 1 Sv, 2.57 ERA, 5.5 K/9)
Pedro Strop (62 G, 5-2, 3 Sv, 2.23 ERA, 7.9 K/9)
Darren O'Day (59 G, 7-1, 0 Sv, 2.34 ERA, 9.1 K/9)
Troy Patton (50 G, 1-0, 0 Sv, 2.58 ERA, 8.3 K/9)
Those five guys have all been fantastic this season, and have proven more than capable of pitching whenever needed. If the likes of Wei-Yin Chen, Joe Saunders, Chris Tillman, Zack Britton and Jason Hammel can give the team five or six strong innings, the Orioles can close things out from there.