Arizona Diamondbacks: This is the best bullpen you haven't heard anything about. Jose Valverde and Juan Cruz are big-time power guys, both averaging well over 10 strikeouts per nine innings. Brandon Lyon and Tony Pena throw strikes and get outs. There's no lefty-killing lefty, but that never stopped the Angels in recent years, and besides, Valverde and Lyon can get left-handed hitters out.Chicago Cubs: The reputation of the bullpen as the Cubs' weak link is a bit overstated, but this team has had some scary moments. Ryan Dempster has only blown three saves, though, and the right-handed setup relief has been outstanding. Carlos Marmol and Bobby Howry make an excellent late-inning tandem. Scott Eyre is having a decent year but is miscast if he's used as a specialist, but Will Ohman gets lefties out. Oh, and you think Wrigley will go nuts if Kerry Wood gets the call for some big outs in October? Colorado Rockies: Manny Corpas supplanted Brian Fuentes as the guy in the ninth, and it's worked out very well. Corpas has been more reliable in finishing games, and Fuentes has been dominant in the second half -- especially against left-handers. Jorge Julio is a big name but remains somewhat flammable, but Jeremy Affeldt, LaTroy Hawkins and Matt Herges have done solid work. This group is good enough not to hurt the Rockies, but not good enough to change the dynamic of a series. Philadelphia Phillies: The Phils have the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in the National League -- by far the worst of any NL playoff team. It's not just their ballpark that's to blame, either. Brett Myers settled in nicely in the ninth, but beyond that, it was a season-long search for the right guys in the right spots. Some intriguing pieces are here, but Charlie Manuel is going to need to trust the kids rather than going to old hands like Jose Mesa, Antonio Alfonseca and even Tom Gordon.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.