80 Huge Innings
Sunday’s game was an epic tragedy. Not only was Marcum’s incredible, redemtive, performance left completely unsupported, but Jason Frasor (who by the way, left-handed hitters are hitting a ridiculous .318 off of, while righties are at a equally stunning .129) gives up a homer to end the no-hitter. Then, Tallet first forgets and then dawdles to cover first base in a critical situation, so Matt Stairs’ first home run as a Jay in the bottom of the 9th off a up-to-now unhittable Al Reyes means nothing.
I want to drag our bullpen out into the road and shoot it, but is it really that bad? Two runs in 4 innings of relief isn’t terrible- it just seems they do just enough to cough up the game and rack up zeroes the rest of the time. Well you know what? That’s not paranoid, it’s true. So far this season, our bullpen is a very respectable 5th in the league in ERA but we have a 3-8 record, which is worse than any team except Kansas City!
Compare this to last season, where we were the king of vulture wins. Although our team ERA was worse, the bullpen was second in the league in wins, and second in losses.
It’s no secret where the 8 losses have come from- two of them are from B.J. on his way to the DL, and then first Marcum and then Frasor started out great and absolutely crumbled as soon as we put them in a pressure role. But this is a great example of why the closer role isn’t as overrated as statheads will have you believe. Even if you allow a respectable number of runs in long run, if your team can’t leverage a superior pitcher in critical situations like other teams do, you hemmorage wins like the Jays are doing now.