A’s Manager Bob Melvin can only play the cards he’s dealt which now includes having to rely on Evan “another-one-over-the fence” Scribner with his 3.91 ERA and 11 HRs over 48 innings and 2-4 Dan Otero and his 5,85 ERA. . Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Albert Einstein is credited with the infamous quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Thus is the insanity of Oakland Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin each time he makes that fateful trip to the mound to pull a pitcher when the A’s have the lead.
We saw it Thursday when the Athletics battled back to take a 3-run lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers only to see Drew Pomeranz and the rest of the bullpen give up a winning 5-run rally moments later to demonstrate why this season has been so dismal.
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This season, the Oakland A’s bullpen is a meager 19 of 34 in save attempts. For those not doing Common Core math, that’s only 55 percent in save opportunities. Add to that sports fans that the A’s are last in MLB with only 28 holds and you have why our beloved A’s are sitting at an AL worst 45-58 (.437) entering tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians. (This is not to mention the handful of close games where the bullpen allowed the opposition to score numerous runs while the A’s came back with a few of their own in the late innings.)
The average save rate around the league is sitting at 74 percent, which is to say if the bullpen was average, the Athletics would have seven more wins sitting at 52-51. Who knows where they’d be in the standings if some of those wins were versus the Los Angeles Angels or Houston Astros – If coulda, woulda, and shoulda happened, we’d all have a great Christmas. If anything, the A’s would certainly be on the buyers side of things at this trade deadline rather than the current fire sale.
I can’t say I shed any tears over the recent departures of the supposed closer 1-3 Tyler Clippard and his four blown saves or the 0-2, 10.38 ERA Ryan “killin’-the-kitties” Cook. Unfortunately, Melvin can only play the cards he’s dealt, which now includes having to rely on Evan “another-one-over-the fence” Scribner with his 3.91 ERA and 11 HRs over 48 innings pitched, and 2-4 Dan Otero and his 5.85 ERA. The Athletics say they are now relying on Edward Mujica, who himself sits with a blown save in his only opportunity.
This is so difficult to accept for a fan that watched the great Dennis Eckersley blow an average of 3-5 saves a season or recent closers like Grant Balfour who blew only 5 saves in his two years as the A’s closer.
What’s also insane is listening to the post game comments of Melvin as he “waits to turn things around” or how pitcher X didn’t have the right stuff or was hitting the right spots. Melvin goes to the podium and we expect him to call it like it is and we hear the same excuses and rationalizations – “…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I have to say that 2015 looks like it’s over and we can credit the bullpen. Here’s looking to 2016 and a change of faces of the guys sitting on the bench along the O.Co left field line.