Let's talk bullpen
The Seattle bullpen has largely been the strength of the team for the last few seasons, but there's a reason we haven't heard the "Los Bomberos" moniker much this season.
The Seattle Mariners have survived off of close games in the past few seasons, gliding to back-to-back 90-win seasons behind suspect run differentials and one-run victories. The formula hasn’t been the same this season, but the numbers of the bullpen look largely the same. So what’s been the issue and can Seattle fix it?
I want to start off by saying in no way, shape, or form do I think I know how to build a better bullpen than Jerry Dipoto and this front office. They have shown for years that they can build an elite bullpen out of scraps at the drop of a hat.
However, I have had a few criticisms in the past of the way their bullpens are constructed and used. The past few seasons their bullpens have fallen apart at the end of the season, whether in the playoffs or late in the season. Their leverage options seem to get overused and worn down by the late stages of the season.
Seattle had an elite bullpen last season, but Paul Sewald wore down as the season went along and collapsed in October, and Erik Swanson was very banged up and unavailable to pitch to Yordan Alvarez in the postseason.