Friday, July 15, 2005

Expirement Gone Wrong

It’s never a good sign when:

A) your team scores four in the first inning, but you know the opponent will eventually make it a game
B) your starter is pulled with a one run lead, but yet there’s a pretty good shot you won’t win the game
C) the opposing team ties it at six in the eighth inning, and you know your team is going to lose

Who gives me these shocks of insecurity and woefulness? Who makes me look up to the sky, throw out a few expletives and go read a chapter from Faithful? When that bullpen door opens, the fans, the crowd, the drunk retired garbage men sitting at home- they all let out a collective “yelp.” Not the kind of yelp you hear when someone blows a horn in your earlobe, it’s the kind of yelp that you hear a six year old scream in those horror movies. I swear, they can’t make a scary movie anymore without a little girl screaming.

To make it even worse, it doesn’t help when the manager has absolutely no clue how to use the bullpen. In the top of the seventh inning, Embree came in and gave up a screaming line drive out to Sheffield, then a sharp deep groundball out to Giambi under the shift. Fine. Bring in Timlin to START the inning, where he’s been nearly perfect this year, and whatever you do, DO NOT LET ALAN EMBREE THROW ANOTHER PITCH! Whadyaknow, Embree comes on to start the eighth and surrenders a double to Posada, then Tito wakes up from his nap and brings in Timlin, who would eventually let pinch runner The Artist Formerly Known As Tony Womack score.

Move to the start of the ninth inning, where Timlin has only thrown eight pitches and has, by far, been your most reliable pitcher out of the bullpen this season. You’ve got two righties coming up in Sheffield and A-Rod. Timlin has to be the guy, right. Nope, he goes with a pitcher who hasn’t thrown a major league pitch since April. Bingo! Great move Tito! Bring in a guy who’s used to throwing to guys named Jimmy Knevel and Marko Blatcher and let him go after Sheff and A-Rod. In the ninth inning. In a tie game. You all know what happened next.

I’m not blaming the loss on Tito. I’m just saying that he could have prevented the game from getting worse, but it was the players performance that blew the game. Arroyo letting the lead back on ten hits. As mentioned before, Timlin letting that runner in and Embree not doing the job. The offense calming down late in the game, besides an Ortiz homerun. Props to Damon for extending his hitting streak, though.

Tim Redding vs. David Wells tonight. Go Sox.


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