Let me qualify this post before going on that dark ominous road of the 'downer'. This was a great home stand (5-1 Record) against a tough A's team and a dismal Orioles squad. That being said... take a step into my frustration.
Besides Brian Wilson, I cannot trust anyone in this bullpen anymore. Believe me, my faith in B-Wheeze has been tenuous at best, even with his spectacular 5 out saves and 99 mph strikeout stuff, but the rest of the bullpen has me ripping out what's left of my hair every other night.
It seems as hitting has progressed nicely since the beginning of the season, the bullpen which started off nearly unhittable is starting to look mortal again. So my question is this... 7th inning, 1 run lead... who do you give the ball to?
If you ask Bochy that question his answer would be to take off his hat and begin to throw names into it. So lets look at the usual suspects:
Sergio Romo - This kid was something special when he came up with a wicked snap to his fastball that seemed to go 3o'clock to 9o'clock and an equally nice break to his slider. But he like the rest of this 'pen lacks control and frequently gives up the long ball. (remember Manny?)
Jeremey Affeldt - last year's setup man of the year seems to have lost his way, even the ever patient Bochy has put him on a short leash lately pulling him after a single and a walk today, and pulling him after walking in a run on 4 pitches for Tuesday's game. There may be lingering effects of his hamstring injury that he suffered May 23rd.
Guillermo Mota - Mota had a great start to this season with the lowest ERA of all relievers. Since then he's went from a 1.27 ERA to a 3.09 ERA in the past 4 games giving up 5 earned runs in 2 innings of work. He did come in and get 2 outs in yesterday's game to keep us within reach, but these blow up innings lately make the decision to go to him late in a game a tough choice.
Santiago Casilla - numbers wise, the kid looks prime and ready to go (.96 ERA 15 K's in 9.1 innings) But even today, Casilla struggled with control gave up 2 walks and an RBI single to put the O's within 1 run.
The answer? have the starters go into the 8th inning or bring back trustworthy setup men of the past like Felix Rodriguez or Tim Worrell. (Oh how I wish...)
Ideally I want Affeldt in this role, he's shown he can do it over the course of the season, and maybe he just needs to get his legs back since hamstring injuries just stay around and don't heal as fast as other injuries. 2nd Choice here would have to be Mota despite his 2 blowup games. He's shown he has good stuff and for his first 20 games or so had a sub 1.00 ERA. Neither Romo nor Casilla to me seem like they have the experience necessary to be reliable in the setup role. And don't even start about Runzler, he's about as erratic as a 2 year old inhaling pixi sticks.
I just hope one of this rag tag group decides to step it up and claim the job.
Til then... its more Giants Baseball: TORTURE
Laws of the Day
Aubrey Huff hit the 52nd Splash Hit of AT&T Park today and 2nd of 2010. This marks the 7th Splash Hit since Barry Bonds. Huff Hit #51 on May 2 against the Rockies. The others? Sandoval(2), Torres(1), Bowker(1), Lewis(1).
Giants continue their Orange dominance: 6-0
Boch doesn't know either...