Just like in the month of April, the bullpen continued to be a pleasant surprise in the month of May. Despite Papelbon’s one blown save against Kansas City, the Nats’ closer still had six saves in 11 appearances. That outing on May 3 was his only bad outing of the month as three of the four runs he gave up ultimately came in that game.
While Shawn Kelley finally gave up an earned run this month, he was 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 12 games. However, those three runs came in two of his final three appearances of the month.
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The pitcher with the highest ERA in the month of May was Felipe Rivero(3.65). Despite the high ERA, Rivero had the most strikeouts of any reliever on the team with 18 and he held opponents to a .182 batting average. In the eighth inning this year, Rivero has 22 K’s to just three walks.
As for the rest of the members in that bullpen, long man Yusmeiro Petit continued his consistency and had a 2.08 ERA in the eight appearances he had. When you look at the bullpen as a whole, no one had an ERA of four or higher, which is impressive.
When you look at the bullpen as a whole, their 2.93 ERA right now is the second best in the National League, only behind the Chicago Cubs (2.60). Plus, this is without Matt Belisle, who has been on a rehab assignment. The pitcher who was called up for Belisle (Sammy Solis) had a team-best 1.59 ERA in 11 appearances and hitters only hit a mere .128 against him.