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Bearish bullpens? Contenders who need relief

Few things are more unsettling for a contending club than a balky bullpen.

Every other aspect of a team’s performance — hitting, fielding, baserunning, starting pitching — can be clicking on all cylinders. But a bad relief outing can undo all of that in a flash.

The most jarring recent example? Ken Giles‘ implosion in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday. The Houston Astros’ closer surrendered three runs on three hits — without recording even one o…
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