In Winnipeg, the Pen is Mightier Than the Sword: Goldeyes Gazette
In 1839, the English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote in his play Richelieu, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Little did he know that 175 years later his phrase would be used about a baseball team. Well, the Winnipeg Goldeyes are showing that the pen is truly mightier than the sword, in this case their bullpen is mightier than opposing bats.
With about two weeks left in the season, the Winnipeg Goldeyes are making their move to be the kings of the North Division in the American Association, and it is their bullpen’s five-headed monster that is one of the primary reasons that they have opened a nine-game lead on the St. Paul Saints, and are riding high with an 8-2 record over their last 10 games and a four-game winning streak.
The five-headed monster of LHPs Taylor Bratton, Gabe Aguilar and Brendan Lafferty and RHPs Taylor Sewitt and Chris Kissock have ended many an opponent rally, and have established themselves as quite possibly the best bullpen group in the league. They make it so that opponents better have the lead in the first six innings, because they are not getting a chance afterward. The group is dominant.
Lafferty has been the key lefty out of the bullpen. He has made 50 appearances this season, after making 53 for Winnipeg last season. He has pitched 44 innings, given up 33 hits and 21 walks, while striking out 45. He is 0-2, with four saves, and an outstanding 2.25 ERA. Lafferty is the main setup guy brought in for lefties late in the game.
Aguilar has spent a little time in the starting rotation, making two starts, but he has made 32 appearances out of the bullpen, and gives them a dominant lefty in the sixth and seventh innings. He is 7-2 this season with an ERA of 3.02. He has shown great command of his stuff, pitching in 41.2 innings with 30 hits allowed, 13 walks and he has struck out 32. He has not given up a run in his last six appearances, and has not allowed a hit in five of those six appearances.
The newest lefty in their bullpen is Bratton. He joined the team in late June and has sporadically appeared for the Goldeyes since. He has made nine appearances so far, posting a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 innings of work. The lefty has not seen a lot of work, but adds some depth, and could make some great situational appearances to help down the stretch and in the playoffs. He has been scored upon in only two of his nine appearances.
Sewitt is the big right-handed setup guy in the bullpen. He has made 25 appearances this season, with a 1-0 record and a 2.62 ERA. In 37.2 innings of work he has given up 36 hits, walked 12 and struck out 24. In his last 17 appearances he has only been scored upon in two of those appearances. What makes his numbers even more impressive is that on August 3 he gave up five runs in 2.1 innings against Sioux City. If that is taken away he has allowed just six earned runs in 35.1 innings pitched, an ERA of 1.54. He is the perfect guy to get to their closer.
Amazingly, the weakest link in their bullpen may be closer Chris Kissock. The 6-4, 195 pound right-hander has a 3.15 ERA and 15 saves, but he is 0-4 and has yielded 54 runners (44 hits and 10 walks) in 40 innings pitched. Kissock has saved games in his last three appearances, but he has also given up runs in nine of his last 18 appearances. He has lowered his ERA by half a run in the last month, and has allowed just two earned runs in his last 8.1 innings pitched. It may not always be pretty, but the righty gets the job done.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes bullpen is proving to be mightier than the bats of their opponents. They are shutting down the opposition each night, making this team very dangerous once the playoffs come around. Bulwer-Lytton may not have been talking about baseball when he wrote this line for his play, but this ‘pen truly is mighty and formidable, and if they keep playing like this, many pens will be documenting the glory of the group leading their team to the championship.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA