Posts Tagged ‘Phil Coke’

Who Were The Winners For This Year’s Winter Meetings

December 11, 2009

Now that Baseball’s Winter Meetings are officially over and we have all had a chance to catch our breath, lets take a look at the five teams who really improved themselves over the last four days.

5. Baltimore Orioles. I really liked the addition of Kevin Millwood for this ball club in 2010. Millwood is exactly what this team needed.

Millwood improves the O's

The Orioles only had one pitcher in 2009 (Jeremy Guthrie) throw more than 124 innings. Millwood should come in and eat some much-needed innings for the Orioles and provide some leadership for the Orioles’ young starters.

All the Orioles had to give up for Millwood was Chris Ray. Ray and his 7.27 ERA won’t be missed from the Orioles’ bullpen.

4. Detroit Tigers. I know when a team gives up the type of person and player Curtis Granderson is, they usually aren’t considered winners. But the Tigers did really well in their three-way trade with the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Tigers got three top prospects in Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, and Daniel Schlereth and got another left-handed pitcher for their bullpen in Phil Coke.

Jackson will replace the departed Granderson in center field and Scherzer will replace Edwin Jackson, who was shipped to the Diamondbacks in the Tigers rotation.

3. Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays finally acquired a closer they so desperately needed. The Rays acquired Rafael Soriano from the Atlanta Braves for Jesse Chavez.

Soriano now gives them stability in the back of the pen. Over the last four years, Soriano has a 2.76 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and has averaged 10.3 K’s/9 in 221.2 IP.

2. Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers went into the winter meetings wanting to improve on two areas–the starting rotation and the bullpen. In a span of about three hours, they accomplished both.

On Wednesday, the Brewers inked LHP Randy Wolf to a three-year, $29.75 million contract to improve the starting rotation and then signed RHP LaTroy Hawkins to a two-year, $7.5 million contract to improve the bullpen.

Did the Brewers perhaps overpay a little for Wolf and Hawkins? Maybe, but Milwaukee isn’t Miami, L.A. or even Chicago. The Brewers sometimes have to overpay to get people to come to Milwaukee.

In a span of three hours, the Brewers made themselves contenders again in the weak NL Central.

1. New York Yankees. The rich get richer huh? The Yankees wanted to get more athletic this offseason and accomplished that goal when they traded for Granderson.

Granderson is a perfect fit in NY

With his personality and his ability to drive the ball to right field, Granderson is a perfect fit in New York. The Yankees can now either re-sign Johnny Damon to play left or they can let Damon walk if he is asking for too much money and let Melky Cabrera play left field.

Either way, the Yankees’ outfield defense will be improved in 2010.

The Yankees were also able to re-sign LHP Andy Pettitte to a reasonable ($11.5 million) one-year deal. As I have said before, outside Mariano Rivera, Pettitte has been the second most important Yankee over the last 14 years.

There is no more reliable postseason pitcher in today’s game than Pettitte.

If you notice, I don’t have the losers of the winter meetings because I don’t necessarily feel a team has to do something during the four days. Waiting and picking your spots doesn’t make you a loser.

However, if there was one loser based on the moves they did make during the four days it would be the Diamondbacks. They gave up way too much to acquire E. Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

They better be right with their thinking that Scherzer doesn’t translate into a starting pitcher.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Granderson To The Yankees A Done Deal, What Are The Diamondbacks Thinking?

December 8, 2009

The first blockbuster move of the offseason has taken place.

According to Jon Heyman, via Twitter, the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a three-way trade. The deal will be officially announced once medical records check out.

Here is the breakdown of the trade:

Yankees get: Curtis Granderson

Tigers get: Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, and Daniel Schlereth

Diamondbacks get: Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

My initial take on this is–great for the Tigers, very good for the Yankees, awful for the Diamondbacks.

When I wrote my “Curtis Granderson: What’s His Trade Market” piece a couple of weeks ago, I had the Yankees as a likely destination for the Tigers’ center fielder. As a matter of fact, I also had the Diamondbacks on that list as well.

Granderson is headed to the Yankees

Granderson should do extremely well in New York, both on and off the field. He is very smart, well spoken and could see his life outside the game grow.

Despite his OPS declining three straight years (.913 t0 .858 to .780), Granderson should thrive in the Yankees’ lineup. Plus, with his new power approach at the plate, Granderson should find the right field at the new Yankee Stadium more appealing than Comerica Park.

The trade for Granderson also gives the Yankees a lot of options moving forward. They can put Granderson in center and re-sign Johnny Damon or if Damon leaves, they can put Melky Cabrera in center and put Granderson in left.

This move really hurts Damon’s negotiating power with the Yankees. Now if he wants more money and more years from the Yankees, the Yankees can just walk away.

The Tigers I feel did very, very well in this deal. They were able to shed Granderson’s and Jackson’s salary and get a lot of quality back in return.

To get top prospects Austin Jackson, Scherzer, and Schlereth in return is very impressive. The acquisition of Scherzer to me was a steal by the Tigers.

Why the Diamondbacks traded him is beyond me. Scherzer was the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft and last year in 170.1 innings, Scherzer struck out 174 batters and only gave up 166 hits.

This kid is a stud and can easily replace the production given by E. Jackson. With Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Rick Porcello in the Tigers’ rotation, the Tigers will have three flame throwers at the top of the rotation.

Schlereth, who was the Diamondbacks’ third best prospect going into 2009 according to Baseball America and Coke give the Tigers two lefties to put in their bullpen.

With Austin Jackson, the Tigers get the Yankees best prospect going into 2009 according to Baseball America and a replacement for Granderson in center. A lot people will say Jesus Montero has passed Jackson, but Jackson is a top prospect non the less.

In 2009 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Jackson hit .300/.354/.405 with four home runs and 24 stolen bases in 132 games.

As for the Diamondbacks, this trade is a disaster for them. I have no idea what they are trying to do.

To give up two of your best prospects for two middle of the road pitchers is puzzling at best.

I have never been a fan of E. Jackson. It seems like for the last two years, he has gotten off to great starts then wilts in the second half when his teams need him the most.

I don’t want to hear about Kennedy.

Kennedy seems to me another product of the Yankee prospect hype machine–a guy who is an average pitcher that just because he is a “Yankee” people assume he will be great.

The Diamondbacks are in rebuilding mode and yet, they got older and acquired a more expensive player in E. Jackson. It makes no sense.

You can follow the Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Phillies Hold Off Yankees, Force Game Six

November 3, 2009

Like George Costanza, the Philadelphia Phillies did the opposite last night.

Instead of having tuna on toast, with coleslaw, and a cup of coffee and trying to wait out AJ Burnett, the Phillies had chicken salad, on rye, untoasted, and a cup of tea and jumped all over Burnett.

The Phillies were aggressive and ambushed Burnett in the first inning thanks to a Chase Utley three-run homerun and eventually held on for an 8-6 victory to force a Game Six back in the Bronx.

The Yankees now lead the best-of-seven World Series 3-2.

What ever respect Burnett earned in his gutsy performance in Game Five of the ALCS and his brilliant performance in Game Two of the World Series, he lost last night.

Yankees Orioles Baseball

Burnett gave the Yankees nothing last night

To go out in a World Series game and give your team absolutely nothing, is pathetic. At least battle like you did against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Here is all you need to know about where Burnett’s head was last night.

In the bottom of the third, Burnett was facing Jayson Werth with two on and nobody out. Burnett gets to 0-2 on Werth on two fastballs. The second fastball he blew by Werth.

Now one of the first things you learn when you become a pitcher is if a guy can’t catch up to your fastball, don’t throw anything offspead.

So what does Burnett do? He throws a tumbling curveball right over the middle of the plate. Werth was all over it and ripped the ball right back up the middle.

You can’t throw that pitch, if a guy just couldn’t catch up to your fastball on the pitch before. Let him prove that he can hit your fastball.

Burnett was then taken out of the game.

Just a terrible performance.

Here are some other observations from last night.

When Shane Victorino got hit on the finger squaring to bunt in the first inning, it reminded me of David Cone breaking his finger in 1987 on a bunt attempt.

In a potential clinching game in the World Series, the Yankees had Nick Swisher batting fifth.

Lee was good last night, but wasn’t great. He walked three guys last night and had only walked three guys in his previous four starts.

Lee only threw first-pitch strikes to 18 out of the 31 batters he faced. Very uncharacteristic for him.

I was very surprised to see Lee come out for the eighth inning. I thought Charlie Manuel should have gone to Chan Ho Park to start the inning and preserve Lee for a relief appearance in a potential Game Seven.

Great job by David Roberston and Alfredo Aceves to keep the Yankees in the game. Four innings, two hits, and three strike outs.

The Yankees have to be encouraged by Phil Hughes’ performance last night. 1.1 innings and looked sharp.

I guess we now know why Damaso Marte is ahead of Phil Coke on the depth chart.

With five homeruns, Chase Utley has tied Reggie Jackson for most homeruns in a World Series.

Why does Swisher look up at the scoreboard before every pitch? If this was the 1960’s, he would be accused of stealing signs.

Can someone please teach Brett Gardner how to bunt? This guy is one of the fastest players in baseball and he is hitting the ball in the air every AB.

I had no problem with Manuel going with Ryan Madson in the ninth. Lidge threw 30 pitches the night before and Madson was solid in Game Four.

Whatever praying the Phillies’ dugout did before the Derek Jeter AB–it worked. Jeter hitting into a 6-4-3 double play is more than anyone could have expected.

Say what you want about Johnny Damon–when the game and season is on the line, he shows up to play.

You can make all the great defensive plays you want, but Mark Teixeira’s postseason honeymoon is over. He has been awful in this World Series and for the most part, the entire postseason.

Hideki Matsui leads the Yankees in total bases this World Series (11) and has only started two games.

Citizens Bank Park has an X-Ray machine in the stadium. How far have we come in terms of technology? It really is amazing and we all, including myself take it for granted.

Hypothetical here: Let’s say Teixeira tied the game with a two-run HR in the ninth and Brett Gardner wins the game for the Yankees in the 15th inning. Does Utley still win the MVP award?

Ryan Howard has struck out 12 times this postseason tying Willie Wilson’s World Series record. I am confident that he will break that record in Game Six.

Another hypothetical here: Game Six, the Phillies are up 4-3, and heading into the ninth inning–who close’s for the Phillies?

If there ever was a “good loss” last night was it for the Yankees. They took the Phillies best punch last night and managed to get back up and make a fight out of it.

The Yankee teams from 2001-2008 would have taken that punch and not gotten back up.

Hero for Game Five – Chase Utley

Goat for Game Five – AJ Burnett

Series MVP – Chase Utley

Game Six is Wednesday at 7:57 ET.

Cliff Lee, Chase Utley Help Phillies Take Game One

October 29, 2009

There’s an old saying in baseball that has held true from 1909 to 2009–good pitching, always beats good hitting.

That saying held true again last night in Game One of the 2009 World Series.

On a rainy, misty night in the Bronx, Cliff Lee dominated a powerful New York Yankee lineup and Chase Utley hit two homeruns as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Yankees 6-1 to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven World Series.

58765118

Lee was performance last night was historic

Lee’s pitching performance last night was very similar to Josh Beckett’s performance in Game Six of the 2003 World Series. Beckett steamrolled the Yankees that night and Lee steamrolled the Yankees last night.

Lee made pitching look ridiculously easy last night. Like Beckett, Lee was in control the entire game. He set the pace, he pounded the strike zone, and he did what he wanted to do.

Lee became the first pitcher in World Series history to pitch a game where he struck out 10, walked none, and didn’t allow an earned run.

Here are some of my other observations from last night:

CC Sabathia didn’t have his best stuff last night and he still held the Phillies to two runs and just four hits in seven innings. Pretty impressive.

Sabathia missed his spot twice last night to Utley and Utley made him pay big time.

How great were Utley AB’s last night? He saw 30 pitches in four AB’s. His walk in the first inning might have been more impressive than his two HR’s.

Alex Rodriguez was very good defensively last night. Offensively? Not so much.

I really can’t believe Yankee fans are calling the radio stations this morning and complaining. What are you complaining about? You lost to a great pitcher, who pitched great last night. It happens.

Lee is on a roll right now like Bret Saberhagen in 1985, Orel Hershiser in 1988, and Josh Beckett in 2007.

The Yankees have a serious Phil Hughes problem. What ever he did in the regular season, he is doing the complete opposite in the postseason.

Hughes has faced 27 batters this postseason and has only retired 14 of them. Ouch!

You can have Mariano Rivera in the pen, but if you have nobody to get him the ball, then it won’t matter.

Here is what I wrote about Damaso Marte in my preview yesterday:

“Marte is going to be asked at some point during this series to get Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, or Raul Ibanez out.

Does any Yankee fan feel confident with first and second and one out in the seventh and Girardi calls on Marte to pitch to Utley and Howard?”

I was off by an inning. Marte came in the eighth with runners on first and second to face Utley and Howard and he did a really good job. He got Utley to strike out looking and got Howard to fly out to right.

Have you noticed that since Joe Girardi was hammered for overmanaging in Game Three of the ALCS, he has undermanaged since?

I was a little surprised he left David Robertson in the game to face Raul Ibanez in the eighth. I thought he might have gone to Phil Coke in that spot.

Was it a shock to anybody that Carlos Ruiz was in the middle of a rally in the ninth? This guy is so good in the postseason. I have become a huge fan.

Unlike the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Phillies expected to win last night and not hoped to win. The Phillies believe they are the better team and played like it.

Good job the umpires getting together to make sure they got the call right on that popup by Robinson Cano in the bottom of the fifth.

If a Yankee fan is going to complain about the check swing being called a strike in Cano’s AB that inning, then the Philly fan can complain about Lee striking out Hideki Matsui on an inside fastball and the pitch being called a ball. Matsui singled on the next pitch.

Lee coming out in the ninth inning pretty much ensured that Charlie Manuel will go with a fourth starter in Game Four instead of Lee on three days rest.

Tonight we are going to find out if AJ Burnett is worth his contract.

Now we are going to find out how tough the Yankees are. It’s one thing to take a punch in the face from the Angels in Game Five up three-games-t0-one.

It’s another thing to take a punch in the face in Game One of the World Series.

Game Two is tonight. First pitch is 7:57 ET.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

2009 World Series Preview And Prediction

October 28, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees

Schedule

Yankee Stadium

Game One: Wednesday, Oct. 28 7:57 ET. Cliff Lee vs. CC Sabathia

Game Two: Thursday, Oct. 29 7:57 ET. Pedro Martinez vs. AJ Burnett

Citizens Bank Park

Game Three: Saturday, Oct. 31 7:57 ET. Andy Pettitte vs. Cole Hamels

Game Four: Sunday, Nov. 1 8:20 ET. TBD vs. TBD

Game Five*: Monday, Nov. 2 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD

Yankee Stadium

Game Six*: Wednesday, Nov. 4 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD

Game Seven*: Thursday, Nov 5 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD

* If necessary

Umpires

Gerry Davis (crew chief), Joe West, Dana DeMuth, Brian Gorman, Mike Everitt, Jeff Nelson

Roster Changes

Phillies – In: Brett Myers. Out: Miguel Cairo

Yankees – In: Eric Hinske, Brian Bruney. Out: Freddy Guzman, Francisco Cervelli

Cliff Lee2

Lee will take the ball in Game One

Matchups

Yankee hitters vs. Lee, Martinez, and Hamels – .269/.327/.444

Philly hitters vs. Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte – .249/.281/.417

Preview

At 7:57 ET tonight, the Phillies and the Yankees will officially begin the 2009 World Series or “The worst case scenario for New York Mets fans.”

Not only do the Mets suffer one of their worst seasons in franchise history, but now they have to watch their hated division rival and hated cross-town rival in the World Series. Talk about a punch to the gut.

Don’t worry Mets fans, you will get through it. As a New York Jets fan, I went through something similar a couple of years ago when the New England Patriots played the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

I rooted for the Giants in that game. I decided there was no way I could ever root for the Patriots under any circumstances. I am getting a sense that most Mets fans are feeling the same way towards the Phillies.

Now let’s talk about the two teams that matter–the Phillies and the Yankees. This will be the first time perhaps since 1999 that the two best teams in baseball are playing each other for the championship.

I have thought long and hard about this series and which direction I want to go. For me, this series comes down to a couple of things.

1. Will the Phillies look like a deer in headlights like the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim did? Let’s be realistic here–the Yankees beat both teams because both teams turned into the Kansas City Royals.

It’s not like the Yankees bludgeoned both teams.

The Yankees will always capitalize on errors and bad baserunning. Their lineup is too good not to.

If the Phillies make the same errors and baserunning mistakes the Twins and Angels did–they will lose this series.

2. Chad Durbin, Chan Ho Park Scott Eyre, and Ryan Madson vs. Phil Hughes, Domaso Marte, Joba Chamberlain, and David Robertson. This series will be determined mainly by the under-belly of the bullpen–not by the closers.

I laugh when people say the Yankees have the advantage in the pen because of Mariano Rivera. Isn’t that the case with every game of every series the Yankees play in?

Saying the Yankees have an advantage because of Rivera, is like saying the Bulls had an advantage at shooting guard with Michael Jordan. It’s a given.

It’s going to be how the pitchers before Rivera fair that will determine the outcome of the game. In particular, Marte.

Girardi was going to Marte over Phil Coke in the ALCS in late inning situations vs. a left-handed batter. With the way Girardi overmanages, Marte is going to be asked at some point during this series to get Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, or Raul Ibanez out.

Does any Yankee fan feel confident with first and second and one out in the seventh and Girardi calls on Marte to pitch to Utley and Howard?

Pedro Phillies

Pedro will go in Game Two

3. Can Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels step up? If the Phillies are going to win this series, then one of these guys is going to have to step up. Martinez pitched better than anyone expected in Game Two of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now Martinez is expected to win against the Yankees in Game Two of the World Series. I have my doubts about this move.

Why open up a hornet’s nest by starting Martinez in the Bronx with all his prior history with the Yankees? Martinez is a National League pitcher at this point in his career. Let him start in Game Three or Four against a National League lineup with the pitcher hitting.

If Martinez doesn’t pitch well in Game Two, then the Phillies are going to need Hamels to wake up in Game Three. There is no evidence to suggest that he can.

His fastball is flat, his curveball has no break to it, and his body language on the mound stinks. That’s a recipe for disaster against the Yankees.

4. Will the layoff hurt the Phillies? We saw a long layoff hurt the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and the Colorado Rockies in 2007. The Phillies haven’t played since the 21st.

I think for the Phillies, the layoff won’t matter. Remember, they had a long layoff last year going into the World Series and that didn’t affect them at all.

5. Will Girardi Girardi overmange the Yankees out of a World Series title? If Girardi was overmanaging in an American League game, what is going to happen in those three games in Philadelphia? It might get ugly.

Girardi has been bailed out by Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees’ overall talent. What happens when the Yankees don’t bail him out?

Prediction

I have picked against the Phillies all postseason. I have picked the Yankees all postseason. Everything in me is leaning towards picking the Yankees.

They have the better pitching and they will catch a break someone. The inevitable bad call that favors the Yankees will happen somewhere during the series

I’ll keep my trend going.

Yankees in Six

MVP – Mark Teixeira

Also, for those of you in the New York/Long Island area, I will be on AM 1240 WGBB this Sunday night on Sports Talk Live with Frankie The Sports Guy at 10:30 PM ET.

We’ll be talking about the World Series and some other things that are going on in baseball.

Phil Hughes: The New York Yankees MVP…

August 15, 2009

One of the things on my “to do” list when I woke up this morning was go to the grocery store. I needed your basic stuff like bread, cereal, and pasta sauce. As I was shopping, I thought I should buy some beer. Everyone needs beer in their apartment, right?

As I was looking at the stores many beer selections (oddly enough, The Associated on 22nd and Park in New York has a tremendous beer selection), I saw they had Corona. If I was going to buy some Corona, I was going to need a lime. After all, you can’t have a Corona without a lime.

Then it got me thinking. The Yankees’ bullpen at the beginning of the season was like a Corona without the lime. Sure it was okay, but if they had a lime, then it would go from okay to great. Enter Phil Hughes – the New York Yankees’ lime in their Bullpen Corona.

I know what you are thinking and A. I think about baseball more often than I should and B. I had to dig deep for this analogy.

I got to watch Hughes start a game against the Boston Red Sox in early May. As a starter, I saw a guy with zero confidence on the mound. He threw what seemed like 200 pitches in four innings (94 actually), he nibbled, shook off Jose Molina like 50 times, and gave up a homerun to Mike Lowell I don’t think has landed yet.

I don’t care what kind of stuff you have – if you don’t have confidence in your ability to get batters out, then you have no chance at the major-league level.

Then, Hughes was moved to the bullpen in June and the Yankees’ bullpen and the Yankees in general, went from good to great. Hughes has stabilized the bullpen and has given the Yankees a late inning force they haven’t had since the Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson days.

Hughes has been a force this year

Hughes has been a force this year

As a reliever, Hughes has been almost unhittable. He has a 1.25 ERA, only has given up 20 hits, and has struck out 44 batters in 33.1 innings pitched. Hughes went from having no confidence as a starter, to looking like the next coming of Goose Gossage.

What Hughes’ emergence has done is allowed guys like Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves to move into more suited roles in the bullpen. The Yankees’ bullpen, which was a weakness in April and May is now a force.

While Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter will get MVP votes at the end of the season, the real MVP of the Yankees this year has been Phil Hughes. He has made the bullpen better, which in turn has made the starting rotation better, and has made the Yankees as a team better.

Hughes is not only the line in the Yankees’ Corona, but their MVP as well.

Bullpens Off To Rough Start In 09….

April 9, 2009

With a couple of exceptions like the Mets offseason blueprint working to perfection on Opening Day, the pitching out of the bullpen has been terrible so far in 2009. Blown leads, blown saves and overall just poor performances have managers reluctant to go to the pen late in the game. Let’s take a look at some of the bullpen disasters that have occurred in just 4 days of games….

Monday

Yankees vs Orioles

With the Orioles up 6-3, Chris Ray comes in and gives up a HR, a single, 1 walk and 2 runs in just 8 pitches. Score becomes 6-5 Orioles.

After the Yankees came all the back from a 6-1 deficit and made it 6-5, Phil Coke and Brian Bruney destroy any momentum they had by giving up 3 hits, 3 walks and 4 runs in just 2 innings.

Pirates vs Cardinals

With the Cardinals up 2-1 heading into the 9th, Jason Motte implodes in his 1st save opportunity. 1 inning, 4 hits, 4 runs and 1 blown save later, the Cardinals lose 4-2

Royals vs White Sox

It was all set up for the Royals. Gil Meche hurled 7 strong, give the ball to Farnsworth for the 8thand then close it out with Soria in the 9th. Things didn’t work out that way for the Royals. Farnsworth was terrible in the 8th inning. 4 hits and 1 giant Jim Thome 3 run HR gave the White Sox a 4-2 win.

Ryan blows a save

Ryan blows a save

Tuesday

Tigers vs Blue Jays

My lord is Brandon Lyon terrible. Lyon comes in trying to protect a 3-1 lead and the first batter he faces, Aaron Hill tags him for a 3 run HR. 4-3 Blue Jays.

After Aaron Hill gave the Blue Jays a 4-3 lead, Cito Gaston called on BJ Ryan to close out the game. Ryan, who looked like he was throwing the ball 50 mph gave up a massive HR to Brandon Inge. Game tied 4-4

Blue Jay fans didn’t need to worry because for some odd reason Lyon is still in the game. The Blue Jays go on to beat Lyon and win the game, 5-4.

Rays vs Red Sox

Josh Beckett looked like a man possessed for 7 innings on Tuesday. Francona then went to Okajima and Okajima promptly hits the first batter he sees and walks the next. 2 batters later it is 5-3 Red Sox.

Mariners vs Twins

I have no idea what happened to Brandon Morrow. With the Mariners up 5-3 in the 9th inning, Morrow retired the 1st 2 batters with ease. Then all of a sudden he lost it. Morrow walked 3 straight batters to walk the bases loaded. Miguel Batista came in, gave up 2 singles and the game was over. 6-5 Twins.

Yesterday

Braves vs Phillies

This was the mother of all bullpen disasters. The Braves were up 10-3 in the 7th inning!!!! In a spectacular performance Eric O’Flaherty, Peter Moylan and Blaine Boyer gave up 3 hits, 4 walks and 8 runs in just 1/3 of an inning. What a clown show by those 3.

A’s vs Angels

The usually reliable Angels bullpen imploded yesterday. After Nick Adenhart pitched 6 marvelous innings in which he didn’t allow a run, the Angels bullpen allowed 6 runs in the final 3 innings. New Angels closer, Brian Fuentes allowed 4 hits, 1 walk and 3 earned runs in the 9th to take the loss. Here is what I wrote about Fuentes in my “Key Players On Each MLB Team” post…”I always viewed Fuentes as a nice lefty set-up guy rather than a Closer for a team trying to win a World Series. For those who argue Fuentes was on the Rockies team that made it to the World Series in 07. Remember, he lost the Closer’s job to Manny Corpas during that season and he wasn’t even the Closer when the season began last year. Fuentes will have a lot of pressure on him to replace the departed Francisco Rodriguez. If he can’t handle the pressure, the Angels will have to scramble to find a Closer.” Let’s see how Fuentes handles the pressure now that he has blown a save just 3 games into the season.

As you can see this has been a rough week for the bullpens so far. There is nothing more demoralizing to a team than a blown lead late in the game. Let’s see how how these teams and bullpens bounce back in the weeks to come.