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Bullpen hasn't been a strong point for Reds

Bullpen hasn't been a strong point for Reds

PHILADELPHIA -- The Reds' bullpen has been one of the team's big strengths in the past couple of seasons. This season has been another story altogether. Cincinnati's relievers had a National League-worst 5.13 ERA entering Sunday's game.

A few reliever ERAs are particularly poor with Sean Marshall at 12.15 in eight appearances after giving up seven earned runs over his last three innings. J.J. Hoover has an 8.56 ERA through 15 appearances, while Logan Ondrusek has a 5.56 ERA in 12 games.

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"There is somewhat of a snowball effect," manager Bryan Price said. "We started the season with phenomenal starting pitching, and so these guys weren't getting regular work. Then a couple of guys get off to a slow start, their numbers go through the roof and you're trying to pitch yourself from behind that eight-ball from a statistical standpoint.

"Guys are better than they've pitched. We've got to turn that corner and perform better. We have the ability for our bullpen to continue to be a strength for the club. We have to get better performance from all of our guys."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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