Bullpen of the Week: Relievers are bright spot

Back end of Angels' staff shines despite club's losing streak

Bullpen of the Week: Relievers are bright spot

The Angels had a week they would like to forget, losing five of six games against the Brewers and Rays.

But while the starters struggled, the bullpen kept the Angels in nearly every game, as each of Los Angeles' five losses was by a margin of three runs or fewer. The efforts cemented the Angels' status as Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford.

Week Team
April 3-10 A's
April 11-17 Twins
April 18-24 Nationals
April 25-May 1 Phillies
May 2-8 Angels
May 9-15 Yankees
May 16-22 Cubs
May 23-29 Astros
May 30-June 5 Dodgers
June 6-12 Yankees
June 13-19 Marlins
June 20-26 Tigers
June 27-July 3 Pirates
July 4-10 Dodgers
July 18-24 Yankees
July 25-31 Brewers
Aug. 1-7 Blue Jays
Aug. 8-14 Mariners
Aug. 15-21 Royals
Aug. 22-28 Pirates
Aug. 29-Sept. 4 Cubs
Sept. 5-11 Astros
Sept. 12-18 Pirates
Sept. 19-25 Dodgers
Sept. 28-Oct. 2 Mariners

As part of the MLB Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2016 season, MLB.com is honoring the "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford." An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.

Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:

• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save

The Angels' bullpen scored 99.5 points by allowing just three earned runs and 14 hits in 23 innings. Relievers struck out 26 batters compared to eight walks, and Joe Smith earned the save in the club's lone win of the week.

The relievers displayed an ability to withstand adversity and succeed despite unexpected circumstances. Here's a look at their biggest obstacle:

The unexpected: After Angels starter Cory Rasmus -- filling in for injured right-hander Garrett Richards -- exited Friday's game against the Rays after just 2 1/3 innings, the bullpen was tasked to finish the game with the team already down, 5-0, in the third inning.

How they prevailed: Five Los Angeles relievers -- Jose Alvarez, Javy Guerra, Cam Bedrosian, A.J. Achter and Mike Morin -- combined to shut the door on the Rays, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings to keep the game within reach in the Angels' eventual 5-2 defeat.

The Angels were a full 10 points ahead of the second-place Padres in BRS score in last week's standings. San Diego closer Fernando Rodney's eight saves are the most of any National League closer who has yet to allow an earned run this season.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.