What is a Bullpen in Baseball? | Why Do Teams Use it?

Baseball fans might have witnessed that whenever the pitcher gets an injury or ran out of better playing during the last part of the innings. At this time manager would come from the bullpen and they would send a relief pitcher instead of the pitcher during the game. There are multiple pros and cons to using the Bullpen game.

Many teams get an advantage by making their best players play and then they are not worried about their tiredness during the innings. However, the disadvantage would be the pitcher would get worn out because of many pitches in the same innings.

Although there is no specific reason why it is called bullpen but the most common theory about it is how it resembles pen and rodeos.

How Does a Bullpen Game in Baseball Work?

There are several reasons to start the bullpen game and one must know once the bullpen game starts there is no way to go back from it. How does a Bullpen game in Baseball Work? The Bullpen game most commonly occurs due to an injury that happened to the starting pitcher.

Other than that, it can be due to the team’s plan, pivot, or maybe a plant by the team to defeat the rival team.

Once the bullpen has started the relief pitcher plays the rest of the innings but the point to be noted here is that the relief pitcher can only play till one or two innings. The team manager has to change the pitchers from time to time during the game.

What is the Benefit of a Bullpen Game?

Baseball fans think that teams use the bullpen game because they need to use it. However, in reality, the teams see several benefits to it for their team to win. What is the benefit of a Bullpen game? The most prominent benefit that the team gets is to relax the starting pitcher. Other than that, the main concern of every team is to win the game so, every team pens down their plan to line up a pitcher in the game to win.

What is the Downside of a Bullpen Game?

There are some risks that the teams who look forward to using the bullpen as a strategy to win the game must look at. What is the downside of a Bullpen game? One of the major downsides is that it can somehow go beyond your plans about it.

We can understand this through an example let’s suppose New York Yankees have a match with Boston Red Sox. Now the New York Yankees have decided that their starting pitcher will play till the first six innings of the game.

After that, they will start the bullpen game. All of this goes in vain in the game when the pitcher gets injured at the start of the game in the second innings. The major drawback here is that the relief pitcher will not get enough time to warm up.

Apart from this planning on paper is different than planning on the ground because there can be different scenarios on the field than planned. For example, we don’t know if the game will go into extra innings in the game.

What Relief Pitcher Gets a Win During a Bullpen Game?

It is quite complicated for the scorers to decide what relief pitcher gets a win during a bullpen game. However, it is decided by two factors. First, the win is granted to the pitcher who was pitching at the time when the team had the lead. But the critical point here is it can be a relief pitcher who has just pitched till one inning. The official scorer would give the win to the pitcher who is responsible for the lead in the game.

Is an Opener the Same as a Bullpen Game?

To some extent, one can say the point that they both make are same here. So, is an opener the same as a bullpen game? An opener is also a relief pitcher and he is expected to play till one inning. The main difference between both is that the opener doesn’t get the credits unless they have reached five innings of baseball.

Has There Been a Bullpen Game in the Postseason?

Some baseball fans think that the bullpen is designated for the regular season and not in the postseason. Has there been a bullpen game in the postseason? Yes, there have been such games in the postseason, and the most prominent team that practiced it, is Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros.

Has There Been a Bullpen Game in the World Series?

As mentioned earlier there have been bullpen games that happened in regular seasons as well as postseason games. Has there been a bullpen game in the World Series? Yes, it happened once in the World Series 2021 in the game between Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. The main reason for the bullpen game to happen was not planned but Atlanta Braves’ starting pitcher wasn’t ready at that time. Hence, they started a Bullpen game.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the point of the bullpen game?

The main reason to add a bullpen game to a team is to have a relief pitcher who takes them out through the game safely.

What is another name for the bullpen?

Another name for the bullpen is relief pitcher, stopper, long reliever, short reliever, and fireman.

Why do the giants have bullpen games?

The giants have been using bullpen games since the injury of their starting pitcher Alex Wood. Due to the injury, Alex Wood wasn’t able to play for a year and more.

The Bottom Line on Bullpen in Baseball

There have been numerous new plays, games, props, and terms introduced by baseball in history. There are some games within the baseball game that many baseball fans have witnessed as well as heard but they don’t get to know the actual reason behind them. Just like that bullpen is a game that has several reasons behind it happening during the game.

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