Around the Majors - June 23
This seems like as good a morning as any to go Shyster-style around a night in the Big Leagues. I had a chance to log a decent amount of Extra Innings time, watching parts of six or seven games and came away with a few impressions that I thought I would share.
Two counts of bullpen malpractice. Count I: against Danys Baez for allowing five runs on four hits in the seventh. Count II: against a quartet of Fish relievers that immediately turned around and blew that lead in the eighth and ninth. Jorge Cantu singled in the winning run in the twelfth, but that can be blamed on the pen too, as Brian Bass walked Emilio Bonafacio for some strange reason, then uncorked a wild pitch to allow him to get to second before Cantu did his thing. Pfun Pfact: by the year 2017, use of the term "uncorked" in the wild pitch context will exceed its use in the wine context for the first time in recorded history. If you don't believe me, you can look it up.
I would add to that a couple of counts of managerial malpractice by O's skipper Dave Trembley. First, as Craig notes above, Danys Baez pitched the seventh inning and did so rather poorly. The bigger issue in my mind is the mere fact that he found himself on the hill to start the 7th. Koji Uehara had thrown 76 pitches, 59 of them strikes, and allowed just one earned run on seven hits. He didn't walk anybody. Uehara now has a 4.05 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and perhaps most impressively, a 48/12 K/BB ratio. In other words, Uehara's good and not the type of guy you yank after he has tossed just 76 pitches.
The second count of managerial malpractice has to do with Trembley's bullpen mismanagement. This one is pretty simple, and it's something that a number of Managers can be accused of regularly; managing around the "Save". Since May 1st, George Sherrill has allowed two earned runs in 19 appearances, good for a 0.95 ERA. His OPS-allowed is somewhere around .480. He has been just about as lights-out as you could hope any reliever would be. In last night's 12-inning affair in Miami, Sherrill didn't pitch. He had thrown three consecutive games in Philadelphia over the weekend but Baltimore had an off-day Monday. He should have been available.