Friday, May 19, 2017

Bullpen Cannot Keep Surrendering Leads

Every San Francisco Giant fan knows the perils of this 2017 season. Beginning the season at 12-wins and 24-losses and then showing signs of hope by winning 5 in-a-row only to lose to Clayton Kershaw to make their record 17-25.

But things were looking good. The bats began to come alive and the pitching was stopping their opponent from big innings which is the characteristic necessary to keeping a team in the game. And this is why they were winning.

Then after an off day they fly to St. Louis and after coming from behind 2-0 they take the lead only to have a rain delay. Once play resumes the long delay was cause for the starter (Matt Moore) to be replaced by Steven Okert. 

First batter up is walked.  Next batter hits a bloop. Would you like to guess what happened next?  Dexter Fowler, a player who sought some batting tips from Barry Bonds, blasted one over the wall for a 3-run homer.

You cannot come back from being eight (8) games below .500 when the bullpen cannot get outs. An inability to throw strikes and then when the pitcher does throw a strike it is in a location that gets too much of the plate. Which then makes the pitch a meatball and that is something that makes most hitters salivate. Comfort and confidence at the plate spells disaster for the pitcher almost every time.

This year the bullpen has a couple of characters who have yet to find their niche coming into a game. Two of them would be Steven Okert and George Kontos. Both of these guys seemed to contribute to the demise of the Giants on May 19th in St. Louis.

But baseball is a beautiful game. There were still six (6) outs the Cardinals needed to get. And they would get those six outs but only after the Giants roared back with three runs. 

Bryan Morris pitched a perfect 8th inning and Mark Melancholy, uh, Melancon came on to close the game out in the 9th inning. Leadoff hitter raked a single. Of course, did anyone expect anything else? Next batter flew out. Then up came the Cardinals' star of the game Dexter Fowler. But he hit one back to Melancon hard enough for the Giants to turn a 1-6-3, game ending double-play.

Bryan Morris, the winner of the 17-inning marathon, got the win.

Kevin J. Marquez