Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Bullpen Falters Again

Game Date: July 17, 2009
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City
Rays 4, Royals 2 / Box Score
WP: Bradford (1-0), LP: Cruz (3-4), SV: Howell (8)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 37-53 / Record in July 4-10

If you had any hope left in your reserves for a second half push, last night might have zapped you of every last drop. Zack Greinke was Zack Greinke—he gave up just one earned run in seven innings, but the bullpen was the bullpen and they gave up three runs and the game. I’m having a hard time watching relief pitchers with ERAs near or above 5.00, but what’s Hillman to do? He’s got what’s he’s got and what he’s got isn’t much.

I really don’t think this season in Trey Hillman’s fault for that reason. He makes some crazy decisions sometimes in the way he uses players, but with the exception of Greinke and maybe a couple of others, his players are either under-achieving or injured. He hears the whispers of fans and the like calling for a change, but he should probably rest easy because Dayton Moore says Hillman isn’t going anywhere. Sam Mellinger reports that Moore told the Star that Hillman will be with the club through next season. Of course, such security is only valid if Moore keeps his job.

By now, you’ve heard that Gil Meche was placed on the DL with back spasms. That’s concerning enough, but to find out that these particular spasms are on his left side rather than his right side (the side he experienced spasms earlier this season) makes you wonder about his ability to be effective for the remainder of the season. I’d really like to see Moore and Hillman give Meche enough time to get completely healthy. We aren’t playing for anything this season; there’s no need to rush Meche back into the rotation until his body is ready for it. For now both Sidney Ponson and Bruce Chen are in the starting rotation.

This afternoon, Luke Hochevar (5-3, 5.34) will go up against Matt Garza (6-7, 3.73). Hochevar is 0-1 in his career against the Rays with a 9.00 ERA in 9.0 IP. Garza is 0-4 against the Royals with a 4.02 ERA in 31.1 IP.

By the way, in case you missed it, things didn't exactly go Omaha's way last night either. The Memphis Redbirds crushed them 12-0.

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