Throughout the season, I like to look at trends that may explain team's success and failure.
Clearly, teams need effective bullpens to win, certainly they need them to be competitive. But as good a bullpen might be, you don't want them in the game. The longer a team can go with their starter, the better that team will do throughout the season.
Here's what I mean
When you mouse over the team icons, you can see how porous the Astros bullpen has been and how much they are used. They have allowed 62 runs already this season.
Compare their numbers to the magnificent Braves 'pen that has only allowed 17 runs this season.
Tampa relievers have been used less than any other group only tossing 2.28 IP per game.
The fact that the Cardinals bullpen have surrendered 45 runs, the same as the Marlins is a number that stands out.
The 3.72 IP/G tossed by the Pirates bullpen is something to be noted as well as only the Astros at 4.03 have been stretched further.
2012 - Frame of reference
The Rockies certainly have to be pleased with their start compared to last season, but the Reds certainly are not as lights out as last season