Don't Expect D'backs Bullpen To Blow This Lead

Kirk Gibson's obviously covering himself in glory after his ill-fated decision to let Ian Kennedy pitch to Prince Fielder in Game 1. Tonight, Collin Cowgill took enough time off from driving that wacky, Mondrian-inspired school bus to deliver a pinch-hit single ... in the third inning! Which pushed the Diamondbacks' lead for 5-3 to 7-3, and their win expectancy from around 75 percent to roughly 90 ...

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That's via FanGraphs, of course.

Now, just one year ago, Gibson might not have been comfortable asking his bullpen to protect a 7-3 (let alone a 5-3) lead in the fourth inning. Just one year ago, the Diamondbacks' bullpen finished the season with a 5.74 ERA, worst in the National League and a full run worse than the next-worst Cubs.

This season? Their bullpen hasn't been great, but at 3.71 the ERA is two full runs lower. And while the biggest reasons for the Diamondbacks' worst-to-first season are better starting pitchers and better hitters, the revamped bullpen has played a big role as well. And that bullpen is probably going to hold this lead.

After four full innings it's Diamondbacks 7, Brewers 3.

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