A while back, I posted about how irritated I was that our broadcasters keep talking about how Bulger's ERA keeps going down, when he still lets a lot of the previous pitcher's runners come across. I also asked people to submit a request to bb-ref to add that stat to their site (which they haven't done yet). Well, I came across this cool article where Jesse Spector of the NY Daily has been keeping track of IRS for us, as well as some other good relief pitcher stats.
The numbers show that Bulger is the 8th worst relief pitcher in baseball at stranding inherrited runners, allowing 8 of 16 to score so far this season. For you saberheads out there, that's half! If we could add those 8 runs to Bulger's current 9 earned runs, instead of charging them to the pitchers who he screwed over, his ERA would be 8.41 rather than his already unimpressive 4.34.
I have never liked that the pitcher who left the runner/s on base is the one who gets charged with the runs, if the reilef pitcher gives up a scoring hit, walk, etc. I understand the logic, but it's cold. There have been many times this season (it seems to happen to Saunders most, am I right?) when the SP is pulled, only to see the RP give up a crucial walk, hit, wild pitch, whatever. I always think, "The starting pitcher could have done that himself!" I know the stat will not change, but wouldn't it be more fair if the SP and RP split the ER when an inherited runner scores?
So, the bottom line is that Bulger sucks, and is also making other pitchers appear even more sucky than they really are. Long gone are the days when the Angels had a guy that we could trust to just come in and shut down the opposition. (Actually, not too far gone - Oliver.) When it used to be Good Shields and K-Rod setting up Percy, we played 6 inning baseball. We desperately need to get back to that. I, for one, hope we don't screw up our priorities and make a brash move to replace Morales before we figure out this bullpen problem. (Frankie2.0 has looked promising, but is he enough?) We need to see how Mathis does swinging the bat before we worry about the offense. The pen has been and remains the biggest problem, and the primary issue to address.