Guardians' Bullpen Looking to Accomplishing Not Done in Nearly 60 Years of Baseball History

The Cleveland Guardians' bullpen, anchored by All-Star Emmanuel Clase, is looking to do something that hasn't been done in baseball history since the 1968 Detroit Tigers.
Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Emmanuel Clase (48) reacts after striking out Washington Nationals left fielder Eddie Rosario (not pictured) to end the game at Progressive Field on May 31.
Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Emmanuel Clase (48) reacts after striking out Washington Nationals left fielder Eddie Rosario (not pictured) to end the game at Progressive Field on May 31. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cleveland Guardians are one of the best surprises in baseball this season. After losing future Hall of Fame manager Terry Francona to retirement in the offseason, and coming off a season in which they finished third in the American League Central, the Guardians are now in first place in the division.

At 43-22, they are 5.5 games up on the Kansas City Royals and own the second-most wins in the American League, behind just the New York Yankees.

Part of the reason for the success of the Guardians has been the team's electric bullpen, which is aiming to do something not done in nearly the last 60 years of team history.

@OptaSTATS put out this nugget before the Guardians beat the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night:

The ' bullpen is allowing a .193 batting average this season.

The last MLB team to have their relief pitchers combine to hold their opponents in a season to below a .200 AVG was the 1968 Tigers.

The Guardians' pen only allowed two hits over 3.2 innings on Tuesday night, so those numbers remained historically strong.

The bullpen's dominance is even more impressive when you can consider that Trevor Stephan, the team's set up man, is out for the year because of Tommy John surgery.

Emmanuel Clase though is picking up the slack, registering 20 saves and posting a ludicrous 0.84 ERA on his way to another All-Star Game berth.

The Guardians and Reds will play again on Wednesday night with first pitch coming at 7:10 p.m. ET.

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Brady Farkas

BRADY FARKAS

Brady Farkas is a baseball writer for Fastball on Sports Illustrated/FanNation and the host of 'The Payoff Pitch' podcast which can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Videos on baseball also posted to YouTube. Brady has spent nearly a decade in sports talk radio and is a graduate of Oswego State University. You can follow him on Twitter @WDEVRadioBrady.