Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ahhhh, That One Was Frustrating

Despite the fact that I said I expect Brad Bergensen to dominate the Sox, I'm still unhappy about how this one went down. All three times now Contreras has failed. Sox have lost all 3 games in which he has pitched by a combined score of 31-8. That's not good. But that's not the only thing that bothers me.

The first thing, and probably most important thing, is that the Sox allowed Nick Markakis to take over the game. Pitching to him with a base open is stupid. I understand Huff had hit a homer earlier in the game, but he's a perfect double play candidate and Markakis already had 3 hits in the game. Stick your ego in your back pocket and go around the guy. If you are going to lose to the Orioles make it be someone other than Markakis. And I know Huff and Scott were good today, but they are not quite the talents that Markakis is, so why push the envelope with him?

Next is the "B" bullpen as opposed to the "A" bullpen. In each and every game Contreras has pitched he has done well for a few innings only to lose his control and lose the lead in the process. But that's not the biggest problem. The problem is that we let these games slip to a point of no return. When Contreras goes out in comes the band of struggling relievers. From Richard to Carrasco to MacDougal to Egbert the offense never gets another chance. I don't have a problem using thos pitchers, you have to at some point. But in key situations, use Linebrink or Dotel, or even Thornton to give the offense a chance to get back at it. Today as well as the other 2 losses in which Contreras pitched the game went from close to blow-out awfully quickly. The Sox can hit, they can dig out of holes, you just have to give them a chance.

Finally, it's time for Podsednik, or Beckham, or someone else. Anderson and Owens are just awful at the plate. Anderson had one productive out today which drove in a run, but he also wailed at three pitches right down the middle in a key spot later in the game. Owens' pinch hit was almost as hard to watch as Contreras trying to pitch past the 5th inning. I know Podsednik is probably not ready yet, and Beckham is not really a center fielder, but my god do we need a fix out there.

The good news is that this game is over and Contreras doesn't have to pitch for another 5 days (and as the matchups look to shape up it will be against Halladay, so we may as well forfeit that one now). Tomorrow Johnny Danks is back on the bump and hopefully the hitting can get back on track against Guthrie. However from the looks of the weather we may be fighting it again tomorrow, which would be another time Danks has to wait to pitch.

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