78 Wins and Counting…
Sweeping a double header is definitely an encouraging sign. Especially when your team outscores the other team 21-4. And Eric Gagne performing well is also encouraging. That is three straight scoreless appearences for Gagne. Over the three outings he has thrown a total of three innings, allowing four base runners and striking out four. And the first two innings of the three were meaningful, showing that maybe, just maybe, he can work out as we had hoped.
I wish I could have seen that Yankees/Tigers game last night. But I was not going to stay up that late, so I would not have finished it, and I cannot watch the game anyway, because my connection might be the equivalent of dial-up. Maybe not that slow, but it is closer to that than it is to me enjoying streaming video.
I found this out on Neyer’s blog the other day, but did you know that a save was earned in that 30-3 losided victory of the Orioles the other day? Yes, Wes Littleton earned a save for that. Inexcusable rule! They must change that. I mean, yes he kept them from scoring what ended up being 27 runs over his three innings of work. But Eric Gagne two weeks ago could have accomplished that, even some freak clone mixed with Todd Jones and Byung Yung Kim’s DNA could have finished this game out.
Speaking of Todd Jones, is there any team out there that feels as if the game is over when he trots out of the bullpen? I can hear the opposing players saying, "Oh no, its Todd Jones! We might as well pack it up boys, Todd Jones is coming in." It isn’t as if he has been terrible over his career. He has actually been decent. But they should just start the inning with a man on first, and the batter with a 3-0 count. Then his 1.5 base runners per inning can assume what was inevitable anyway. I don’t know how he had such a good season with the Marlins in 05.’ Maybe I am bitter because I saw the worst of Jones, as he was absolutely terrible in his stint with the Red Sox in 2003.
Sticking with the bullpen theme, that Angels pen is really struggling. They are 10th in ERA in the AL . This is a pen that a lot of people, myself included, thought was the best in baseball. But Rodriguez seems to put himself in precarious positions quite often (even though he generally gets out of them). And on July 14th Scot Shields’ ERA was 1.66, it now sits at 3.59. He was arguably the best setup man in baseball recently. And not to say he cannot re-establish this title, but simply that he is not currently holding it as we speak. This is coming the night after their three best arms out there threw three scoreless innings, to complete a shutout of the Blue Jays.