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Los Angeles Angels Won't Catch Texas Unless Their Bullpen Improves

Eric DentonContributor IJuly 3, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 01:  Brian Fuentes #40 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning at Anaheim Stadium on July 1, 2010 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Rangers 2-1.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Angel fans have been spoiled. From 1996 to 2008 it was just about automatic, the game was over in the 9th inning. Between Troy Percival and Francisco Rodriguez , Angel fans saw the two relievers combine for an amazing 524 saves. Rodriguez lead the league in saves three times including a Major league record 62 in his final season with the club in 2008.

It wasn't just the closers who got the job done. Brendan Donnelly was an All Star as a set up man in 2003. Scot Shields was one of the most reliable middle relievers in the game up for the majority of his career. Darren Oliver joined the pen and had three big seasons for the club. From 2000-2009 the Angels bullpen lead the American League in ERA (3.71) and was second in the Majors.

However, that is all ancient history as the 2010 Angels bullpen ranks last in ERA in the American League. According to Baseball-Reference , the Angels have no relievers with a WHIP under 1.20 (min 20 games) on their roster. The Angels bullpen lost another one last night wasting a gem from Joe Saunders when the Angels offense was not at its best. Jered Weaver should have at least 11 wins this season, but the pen has blow three of his wins.

"We didn't lose this game because of anything that happened on the mound ." Scioscia said in his July 2nd post game comments.

I have to respectfully disagree with the skipper on this one. It doesn't matter if the score is 1-0 or 10-9. Winning teams protect 1 run leads.

Texas-Unless-Their-Bullpen-Gets-Right.">Article continues at LA Angels Insider.com

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