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5.08.2009

Morning Update: Bullpen, Bullpen, Bullpen all around

Nino Colla | Friday, May 08, 2009 | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
So we are back at square one.

Aaron Laffey's move didn't even help the bullpen, and it just hurt the rotation?

Is this how it's going to be?

Remember me though, I'm not one to jump to a quick decision that something is bad after just one or two games though.

It only makes sense that Masa Kobayashi had a clunker. Now he can rightfully be a piece of this bullpen. He was pitching too good.

He needed to prove to Eric Wedge he couldn't be trusted.

Now that Wedge has that out of the way, we can move on.

As for Jeremy Sowers... Look give him more than one start, he was nails for five innings, he ran into a brick wall in the sixth.
"You got to have people come up from the bullpen and get people out," said manager Eric Wedge. "We come into that inning with a one-run lead. If Jeremy doesn't have it or is not the same guy, we need to have somebody come from the bullpen and pick him up, and we just weren't able to do that."
Ever hear the thing how it's harder to get hitters out the third time through the lineup? Yeah well yeah.. That's what Sowers was dealing with if you ask me. It's not uncommon. Jeremy's game plan worked for the first two times, but then they locked in. That's all on him and Victor adjusting as they go along, especially if they are hitting fly balls like they were and getting the swings they did. They looked like they were ready to blow up.

"I just think my tempo was very good -- I was pounding the strike zone," Sowers said of his early success. "They were awfully aggressive and getting a couple of flyouts and a couple of groundouts -- just keeping the game moving. I guess hitting your pitch, in the sense that I was throwing strikes, and they were perhaps being a little overly aggressive.

"Then in the sixth inning, they settled down a little more and they forced me to throw better pitches and work ahead in the counts, and the counts became more predictable -- 2-0, 2-1, stuff like that."

I don't think anyone thought they'd blow up like they did though... That was just ridiculous.. You never want to be a part of that, which is why I just by-passed it last night. But it was way cooler than the 14 run inning against the Yankees in a sense they plated 12 runners in a row before recording an out.. That's not easy.
"There's a lot of momentum involved in this game, and unfortunately for 12 straight hitters -- was it? -- we just couldn't seem to get them to falter," Sowers said. "It's a pretty rare feat in baseball when you send 12 guys to the plate and score 12 runs. Take that inning out of the picture and we pitched a fairly decent ballgame. Unfortunately, that little blip was enough to really do us in."
What's sad is, he's right. The other seven innings they pitched they allowed just one run.

What's Wedge to do though? He just has to repeat himself I guess.
"It just can't keep happening," Wedge said of the bullpen's ineffectiveness. "We've tried everybody. Obviously, the kid Laffey did a great job [Wednesday] night. We need more people like that to step up. Getting people out when you're up by a bunch or down by a bunch is one thing. But when you're up on the ballgame or you're close in the ballgame, we need people to step up in those situations, and we just haven't had that happen, with the exception of maybe a few guys."
I mean what else can he say? State the obvious?

"When you've got a lead in the ballgame from the sixth inning on, you've got to take care of business," said Wedge. "That's where we've been having our issues. We could have had one helluva road trip here if we had taken care of business late in the ballgame.

"The flip side is we've had emotional losses, very disappointing losses. We've going to keep making adjustments, keep making changes until we find something that works back there."

Yep... They could have swept the four game series, not to mention go back to last week, at least give ONE of those Boston losses to us, perhaps the Saturday loss to Detroit and that is a four game swing and this team is above .500 and things don't look gloomy.

But no.. the bullpen has literally cost us four wins in the past week and a half. Even if you don't give us last night's game, 14-15 is a whole lot better feeling, not just because it's three more wins and closer to the mark you want to be above, but you don't have those disappointing losses that Wedge is talking about.

And look. Shapiro put it very clearly.. It isn't rocket science.

"We don't want guys to reinvent themselves," said Shapiro. "We're walking too many guys and giving up too many homers across the board as a staff. Walks and homers are bad categories to lead when you're a pitching staff."

But of course, you know how that goes when you ask someone politely not to do something that isn't that hard. Especially since, ya know, we thought they were one of the best bullpens to be assembled in Cleveland in a long time.

There is more bullpen chatter, but I'm getting tired, so I'm going to leave it at this. Wedge still believes Rafael Perez is a big key, and who knows, when he gets himself right and comes back, maybe he can settle things down.
"Perez is going to be a big part of this thing. For him to go down and get himself going, that's big. We've got other guys. [Rafael] Betancourt's been doing a very good job for us. We need him to keep doing his thing."
Minor notes...

Grady Sizemore did get the day off because of the knuckle ball and his struggles. It seemed like a good time for him to get a break. Well played Wedge.

As mentioned in the minor league issues, Jamey Carroll is ready for his rehab assignment and he'll join Columbus today. He'll be right into action, playing second base tonight, but he'll only go seven. He will DH tomorrow and then be back on the field after a day off.

Also mentioned, Tony Graffanino cleared waivers and has gone to Columbus.

The appeal for the three run double by Asdrubal Cabrera was denied by MLB. It will stay an error.

You can obviously see a nice layout on Manny things in that last link and Indians.com has one of their own. But I simply don't want to talk about it. This isn't the venue..

I'm sure many players were asked, and just because Manny played for Cleveland this news is I guess related to the Indians. It's baseball relevant, just as it was with A-Rod, but it isn't any more important to us because it's Manny.

Players had things to say, only Danny Williams, a bullpen catcher, was even with the team when Manny was last here. Shapiro too, but what does he care? Why should we care?

I mean I care, because I'm a baseball fan, but really, as far as the Indians go. NOM NOM NOM eat that lunch baby, it's nothing.

As promised, here is my big article on the Indians bullpen that I wrote yesterday. Quite personally, I think it's the best title that I've ever had. The "bullpen" tag is getting a lot of use lately by the by.

Final Note... Thank god AC is back covering the team, or at least I hope is.. The coverage is so second rate when he isn't around. What the hell is going on? This Maureen Mullen can't even get Vinnie Chulk's name right. What a bunch of garbage.

oh and a PS Final note.. If you've never taken the time to read the stylings of Paul Cousineau over at The Diatribe, now would be a good time. My favorite part..
Shapiro – OK, so Perez down, Herges up…but, COME ON people, Matt Herges isn’t going to save this bullpen. How about some out-of-the-box thinking here?

Sheldon Ocker (poking his head in from the hallway) – What about seeing if Choo can pitch, wasn’t he a pitcher back in South Korea?
Anyone who's read this freaking blog for a good while, first off what is wrong with you, but second, you know my great disdain for Sheldon Ocker. I've not posted a link of his since he suggested Paul Byrd be put into the bullpen. What a loon.

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