Friday, May 01, 2009
Brian Fuentes, Anti-Closer: Yankees 10, Angels 9
Unfortunately, the bullpen continued its erratic behavior, and after Rafael Rodriguez left the game with men on first and second and nobody out, Jose Arredondo couldn't get that double play ball he needed, and next thing you know the Yanks are back only by a single run.
That of course meant that Brian Fuentes would enter the game with no margin for error. By the time I got in the car with a very doped-up Romeo, the bases were already loaded with nobody out, and that, really, was the game right there. Of course, you can blame that on Rafael Rodriguez and his 4.91 ERA, but then Arredondo left the game with a 6.75 ERA, and which one of them has been in the majors longer? Fuentes should have been able to get three outs for the win, but he's an above-average pitcher who is gonna lose plenty of games for you before the season's over. It's his second loss so far this year, and it's only May 1.
I still say WTH? Sciosc needs a shorter leash, and again, keep bringing up the top kids like Reckling and Walden and giving them a try. Ortega's worked out. Fuentes shouldn't bee seen in the ninth anymore for awhile.
It takes a tremendous amount of managerial forbearance to let a pitcher place 19 men on base in 8 innings. At some point you have to wonder if between forbearance and indifference we're just splitting hairs. At some point this season Mike's gonna need to prove he's something more than a legacy contract. There's no reason to assume an "above-average" closer in the NL knows anything about closing in the AL.
That being said, I'm pretty sure the Angels run of dominating the AL West is about over. The Halos need to figure out a way to build a bullpen for the upcoming years, instead of some patchwork temporary fix.
We need to stop losing games where we have late 5-run leads. The key to that is avoiding our decidedly crappy relievers (Rafeael Rodriguzez? come on!) when the game is still, technically, in question. A Shields 7th, Arredondo 8th, and Fruntes 9th would've protected a 5-run lead.