Upon being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in December 2011, lefty reliever and Yale graduate Craig Breslow didn't need his molecular biophysics degree to recognize the chemistry his new teammates had developed during the previous season.

"In 2011, they had so many come-from-behind wins that, in 2012, down one or down two late, you just figured, 'OK, the bullpen's going to keep it where it is, and you're going to find a way to win,'?" Breslow said. "It kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Indeed, the 2011 Diamondbacks authored the majors' third-best reversal of fortune since 1998, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, going 94-68 after finishing 65-97 in 2010.

And they did it by leaning on a bullpen that reduced its overall ERA to 3.71 from 5.74 in 2010.

The Baltimore Orioles followed the same blueprint last season, flipping a 69-93 mark from 2011 into a 93-69 record and a wild card berth. Their most valuable players: five relievers who posted a sub-3.00 ERA in at least 50 appearances and helped solidify a 29-9 record in one-run games and a 16-2 mark in extra innings.

So, as the Red Sox attempt to rebound after a 93-loss season, it's no coincidence that they have added veteran set-up man Koji Uehara and closer Joel Hanrahan to a bullpen that already features two-time All-Star Andrew Bailey, up-and-coming Junichi Tazawa, power-armed Daniel Bard, versatile Alfredo Aceves and Franklin Morales, emerging lefty Andrew Miller and the remarkably consistent Breslow.