Monday, July 21, 2008

And the rich get whinier

It's amazing what a sweep will do to the psyche of the fragile Boston media.

"We were swept by the West leaders and a team with one of the best records in baseball. Two of the games were two-run affairs! The sky is falling! The Rays are going to win 110 games! The Yankees will catch up!"

And to complete the fear-mongering, trade demands!

Well, I'm convinced. The Red Sox aren't winning anything of consequence with this bullpen as currently constituted.

The Red Sox suck. Fuck the number: two team in MLB in OBP and slugging, eight in homers, three in runs, five in quality starts, 11 in WHIP and six in strikeouts. Those bums with a +87 run differential and the fourth best record in baseball.

I'm sure you're all too familiar with the flammable culprits in this 'pen-wide tribute to Heathcliff Slocumb. But I'm still fuming in the aftermath of tonight's loss, so what the heck, let's point some fingers:

Papelbon - 178 ERA+, 51K/7BB, 0.96 WHIP
Aarsdma - 158 ERA+, 41K/26BB, 1.40 WHIP
Okajima - 154 ERA+, 37K/16BB, 1.41 WHIP
Delcarmen - 93 ERA+, 40K/16BB, 1.30 WHIP
Lopez - 151 ERA+, 21K/16BB, 1.46 WHIP

The WHIPs kind of stink, but those ERA+s are pretty nasty (- Manny being Manny). And you have three guys with a better than 2:1 K/BB ratio and who have given you nearly 40 innings at the break.

Summary: shut the hell up.

You have one of the top three closers in baseball and some guys in the pen who are throwing decent to pretty good seasons together.

Then again, David Murphy for Eric Gagne turned out awesome.

Three seasons into his big-league career, Manny Delcarmen still gets the Schiraldi Eyes in big situations;


he simply cannot be trusted in a tight game, a damning indictment of a pitcher with his ability. But I'm sure he'd put up sick numbers as a Washington National.

Oh, those Schiraldi Eyes. The not-stepping-up-to-the-moment eyes.

Being a reliever sucks 99 percent of the time. You are asked to come into runners on situations and expected to succeed every, single time. When you don't, people like Chad Finn want to run you out of town.

Delcarmen also has 13 holds (remember those? They're like saves ((re: they are)) but not as sexy) and a nasty K/BB ratio. I am sure a host of MLB teams wouldn't mind having his Schiraldi Eyes in their pen.

Chances are the help will have to come from outside the organization, which brings me to this piece by CNN/SI's Jon Heyman and a compelling thought:

Maybe the Sox should pursue Oakland closer Huston Street.

Solution to "bullpen woes?" Get another closer! From Billy Beane, nonetheless. Who's notorious for pumping up a closer's value.

The Phillies also just got hornswoggled by Beane in the Joe Blanton deal. Beane is stockpiling a ludicrous amount of young talent and I wouldn't expect him to ask for anything less for Street.

Also, Gagne.

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