CHICAGO — For all the bullpen malaise, and there has been plenty, the emergence of Antonio Bastardo has happened quite quietly.
Bastardo pitched the eighth inning of a one-run game Wednesday and struck out two of the three batters he faced. He's run his scoreless streak to 8 2/3 innings over nine outings. In that span, he has fanned nine and walked three. All told, Bastardo has a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings.
In short, he's been the dominant presence like he was for much of 2011.
He has also assumed the setup role to little fanfare. That was Chad Qualls' job at the start of the season. His ghastly May (29 batters faced, 15 reached base) put an end to that.