La Russa using bullpen at near-record pace

La Russa using bullpen at near-record pace

ARLINGTON -- Hardly hesitant to utilize his bullpen during the regular season, Tony La Russa has applied that philosophy to near record usage this postseason.

With two Cardinals relievers pitching in Sunday's 4-0 loss in Game 4 of the World Series, Tony La Russa has now made 61 calls to the bullpen in 15 playoff games this month. That is tops among all teams this postseason and is tied for second on the all-time list.

Only the 2002 Giants (62 relievers in 16 games) used more. The 1997 Indians (61 relievers in 18 games) deployed an identical number to the Cards, who will have at least two more games -- and possibly three -- to surpass the record.

The Rangers are creeping up that leader list as well. Their 54 relief appearances this postseason already ranks fifth. In terms of innings count, the Rangers and Cardinals are separated by a narrow margin. St. Louis' relievers have logged 56 innings, while Texas' bullpen has accounted for 53.

In covering 43 percent of the team's postseason innings entering Sunday, the Cardinals' bullpen has posted a 2.87 ERA. The Rangers went into Game 4 of the World Series with a 3.61 mark.