Since I touched on it in the recap and loyal commenters Matt, A-Train, and Jason furthered the discussion in the comment section, I thought I'd take a look at Brian Bruney's recent performance.
This month, Bruney has quietly appeared in four games, covering 5.2 IP. Over that stretch he has a 1.59 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP, and a 5:2 K:BB while holding opponents to a .217/.280/.217 batting line. It doesn't quite match the outstanding run he had prior to his first DL stint this year, but it's close.
It's been an interesting year for Bruney. While he does appear to have matured, he also was dishonest about his injury situation - costing him a second DL stint, needlessly started a media-driven feud with K-Rod during the Subway Series, and got snippy with reporters after a couple of his poorer outings.
Still, after being buried as the mop-up man of late, Bruney appears to be earning Joe Girardi's trust again. With Mo, the Phils, and Alf all being somewhere between reliable and automatic, and David Robertson quietly putting together a solid campaign that's seeing him used in more high leverage situations of late, Bruney returning to his April and 2008 form could be the last step towards having a top-to-bottom dynamite bullpen. Who would have thought that possible back in April?
Pinch hitting: Dennis Cole
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