While Nolan Arenado has been carrying the load offensively for the Cardinals, the bullpen has contributed a tremendous amount.
The St. Louis Cardinals have gotten off to a terrific start in the 2022 season. Backed by a 7-3 record, they have yet to lose a series. While Nolan Arenado has been carrying the load on the offensive side of the plate, the bullpen has contributed a tremendous amount to the Cards’ early success.
With 11 pitchers totaling 41 innings pitched out of the pen, the Cardinals have put teams away once their starter exits the game. In those 41 innings, their relievers have allowed eight earned runs, which translates to a 1.76 ERA. Adding to their dominant start, the bullpen has also yet to lose a game.
Although that won’t last for the remainder of the season, four different relievers have registered holds and Giovanny Gallegos is 3-for-3 in save opportunities.
Part of this success could be attributed to the Cardinals’ four-man starting rotation through the first 10 games. Due to multiple weather-related postponements, they have only started four pitchers instead of the usual five. These added days off have not only kept the starters rested, but they have also kept the bullpen healthy.
The only thing keeping the bullpen back at the moment is their high walk total. Despite allowing 27 hits in their 41 combined innings, the relievers have issued 17 walks, which is abnormally high. Although that is the only blemish on their resume so far, it can turn into a serious problem if it persists into the summer months.
As the Cardinals play more games, the bullpen’s numbers are bound to inflate over time. That is the nature of the game. If they can keep their strikeout numbers high – the relievers currently have 40 strikeouts in 41 innings – they should be able to continue this impressive run for a little while longer.