Lately the Oakland Athletics had been doing so well. They were on a hot streak, but the Tampa Bay Rays have taken a fire hose and put that fire out.
The offense was horrible, but you can read more about that here.
The pitching was superb; at least for the first 27 innings of this 3 game series it was. Pomeranz went 5 scoreless innings and the bullpen went 4 scoreless innings after that.
Milone went 5.2 innings, and could have gone 6 but the matchup led Bob Melvin to go to the bullpen. Milone allowed 2 runs in his start, the bullpen took the rest of the game and all turned in zeros.
In the final game Sonny Gray was outstanding, going 8 innings with only 1 run scored. Surely he got the win right? Well not with zero run support he didn’t.
Fernando Abad took the 9th inning, and also put up a zero. The game went into extra innings.
Dan Otero started off great, but in the 11th inning, he blew the save. The score was 2-2.
Here comes Luke Gregerson. I knew the game was lost when that happened.
Luke Gregerson is the worst pitcher in the majors to bring in to a game with runners on the bases. Statistically anyways. He has allowed 7 out of 11 inherited runners to score. He is the reason Abad has an ERA over 0.00. In 7 save opportunities, he blew 4 of them. He gave up a home run to end the game today against the Rays, a game the Athletics were 1 strike away from winning.
I believe in the end, there is only 1 stat that matters. The amount of wins and losses.
I received some criticism in my last bullpen article, “Grant Balfour Back to Oakland Athletics?”, in which I stated that when Eric O’Flaherty recovers and is ready to get back to the big leagues, he should take Luke Gregerson’s place. I still believe that 100%.
People may argue that his ERA isn’t that bad, or that all of his other stats are decent. But the thing that matters most is winning. And Luke Gregerson has too many blown saves. He is the reason the Athletics had 6 game winning streak instead of an 11 game win streak. It actually could have been 12 today, if Gregerson hadn’t given up that home run to Jose Abreu last week and hadn’t given the home run today. Otero is partially to blame for allowing the game to become a tie yet again, but Gregerson gave up the home run that turned a tie into a loss.
Dan Otero has shown how great he is. Luke Gregerson has shown how he can lose games for the Athletics. If it wasn’t for Gregerson, the Athletics could potentially have been 34-13. Instead they are now 30-17, which is still great, but when you see how much better the record could be with out those losses from Gregerson, you begin to think he should be replaced.
So now, I admit I was wrong. Eric O’Flaherty shouldn’t take Luke Gregerson’s spot. Ryan Cook should when he returns.
Ryan Cook will be returning sooner than O’Flaherty, and should replace Gregerson. The rest of the bullpen with the exception of Jim Johnson, has been decent or better than decent.
Luke Gregerson may not have the worst numbers, but he does cause too many losses. That makes him a weak link, and I for one believe if you have someone better than him, he should be replaced. Why have Dan Straily when you have Drew Pomeranz? The same principle applies here. Why have Gregerson when you can have someone better?
Today’s heart-breaking loss only further shows the need to send Gregerson to Triple-A in order to fix whatever his problem is. It may seem extreme, but in the end, the only stat that matters is how many wins you have, because that is what determines who gets to play in October and who gets to watch from their couch.