05/31/2012 10:11 AM ET
Lyon: Bullpen enjoys camaraderie
Astros reliever says close-knit group hangs out off the field
I think our club's bullpen has been one of our strengths so far this season. I think we have been doing pretty well, going out in situations and working on our strengths. It has paid off. Our job is to keep our club in the game, get the ball to our closer, and that is what we are trying to do right now. Whenever the phone rings, we are ready to do our job at that moment.
One of the keys to our bullpen right now is Brett Myers. He is really throwing the ball great. To have the back end of the bullpen throw the ball so well really sets the tone for everybody else. You know that when you get the ball to him, the game is over. He joined our bullpen this year, and he has fit in very well. He is a pitcher who has had a lot of success in his career. He has a lot of focus, and you can just see it when he is out there. He has a lot of confidence that he can get the job done.
When it comes to that job, one of the things that I don't think a lot of people understand is just how hard the game of baseball is. The game can be so frustrating with all of the failures. To be able to have a bad outing, a bad at-bat, a bad game and then come back that next time and not let it affect you is impressive.
Brett is capable of doing a lot, and he has a short memory. He does not worry about what he did so far this year -- which has been really good, of course -- and he knows that tomorrow is a new day. He doesn't rely on what he accomplished in his last outing. He goes out and attacks that new day, that new game.
Our bullpen group also has a lot of camaraderie, on and off the field. We are our own family, and our bullpen hangs out more than other bullpens I have been a part of during my career. We all get along really well, and nobody has an ego. We are comfortable with one another, and we know what each of our roles are. We get excited for one another in each and every situation.
Being a pretty young club on the whole, some people might look to a strong bullpen as being very important to the mindset of our club. But I tend to look at it a little differently. If you look at our team the last few seasons, we have lost a lot of games in which we did not pitch that well. In baseball right now, I think you look at any team that wins, and they seem to get those two or three games early in the year that ultimately might help get you into the playoffs, but the bullpen didn't hold those leads.
The clubs that hope to make the playoffs have good bullpens and that is part of our goal. We are set on keeping our team in the game and holding leads, allowing our team to score those late runs.
As for my return to the club after surgery (to repair a detached right bicep tendon and labrum tear), I am feeling really good. I feel as strong as I have felt in quite some time. It seems that I come to the park and I feel a little bit better each day. Right now, I am excited to do my job -- to do what they ask of me -- and I will continue to work as hard as I can to stay healthy.
Veteran right-hander Brandon Lyon is back from serious injury and thriving in 2012. In 20 games, the Astros reliever has a 1.40 ERA and has struck out 19 over 19 1/3 innings.