The Bullpen: A place beyond the left-field wall at Nationals Park where Washington Nationals fans go to drink.
The Nationals bullpen: A place beyond the right-field wall at Nationals Park which makes Nats fans want to drink.
Yes, it has only been five games, but it hasn't been pretty. At all.
While the Nationals were able to earn their second win of the season Thursday, they first let a 6-2 lead over the Phillies slip in another poor outing by Washington's relievers.
The numbers tell a depressing tale: In 16 1/3 innings, relievers have allowed 29 hits, nine walks, and 20 runs. Ouch.
The bullpen's ERA in the first five games: 11.02. Yikes, yikes, yikes.
In three appearances, Rosenthal has allowed four hits, issued three walks, and surrendered seven runs. He has thrown 31 pitches and has yet to record an out.
Martinez, who doesn't seem panicked about the 'pen yet, said he plans to sit down with Rosenthal.
“We gotta sit down and just kind of ... I mean, the ball’s coming out good,” Martinez said Thursday. “He’s a high-energy guy. We gotta figure out a way to calm him down a little bit. Every time I go get the ball, he doesn’t want to come out. He wants to keep going and keep going. But I’m not going to give up on him, that’s for sure. We need him. If we’re going to do this, we need Rosenthal.”
Rosenthal thinks his struggles come from trying to be too precise.
“I think I’m just trying to be too perfect,” Rosenthal said. “Just making the perfect pitch at the perfect time in the perfect spot. I think that’s more of the issue."
However, the Nats could change their stance if the bullpen's struggles continue.