Saturday, May 06, 2006

Blowing Leads, and the Bullpen

I wrote a detailed response to someone's point on the Sox e-mail list, so I thought I'd cross-post here:

From: Big Unit
To: Sox e-Mail Listserv

What bothers me is the Sox have blown enough games already to have opened up
a pretty good lead, despite Detroit's hot start.

From: Comic Book Guy
To: Sox e-Mail Listserv

Blown enough games?

Aren't they 20-9?

From: SuperNoVa
To: Sox e-Mail Listserv

Well, the odd thing is that they've blown big or late leads in a bunch of
their 9 losses:

Game 2 vs. Cleveland (up 1 in the 8th, Logan serves up tying dinger to
Game 3 vs. Royals (up 6-0 in the 5th inning, Garland blows big lead)
Game 4 vs. Royals (up 1 in the 8th, Politte serves up 2-run homer to
Game 10 vs. Blue Jays (up 5-2 in the 4th, Vazquez gets hammered)
Game 29 vs. Kansas City (up 1 in the 9th, Jenks blows save)

So of the 9 losses, the Sox blew big leads (3 or more runs) or late leads 5
of those 9 games. This team is 20-9, but it could easily be 25-4.

I take this as a good thing and a bad thing. The Sox are so good that they
have a chance to win almost every game they are in. If you are "in" 25 out
of 29 games, losing 5 of those 25 isn't bad at all. Seems about par to me.
Great teams are "in" almost every game.

It's a bad thing inasmuch as the bullpen looks like the Achilles' heel of this team. They need bullpen help relatively soon. Right now, only Jenks and Cotts look anything like reliable relievers. Shoot, I'd settle for someone like Luis Vizcaino right now.

The Sox have some assets in AAA - think Chuck Haeger (<0.70>

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