Sunday, April 18, 2010
Can't stop the bleeding
The Orioles found a way to lose yesterday, with Jim Johnson blowing a save in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Oakland A's. The Orioles had entered the bottom of the inning with a 3-2 lead, but Johnson had terrible control, including 2 wild pitches, that ultimately lead to another Orioles loss.
To make matters worse, Miguel Tejada, one of the only Orioles hitters doing well at the moment (.713 OPS is considered "well" at this point) left the game yesterday with a strained groin. He is listed as day-to-day. His absence weakens an already incredibly weakened offense.
Another sad fact: Jeremy Guthrie turned in an excellent performance yesterday. His line was 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. And Will Ohman, Matt Albers, Mark Hendrickson and Cla Meredith all held the lead until Johnson, the fill-in closer, was brought into the game.
Johnson did blow the game but Dave Trembley deserves some of the blame. He left Johnson in the entire inning, even when it was apparent that Johnson was having trouble with control. He uncorked 2 wild pitches and almost a third. Matt Wieters was like a soccer goalie behind the plate, diving to stop the ball from getting away from him.
It's come to the point where Johnson is the new Chris Ray. His confidence is blown and his control is breaking down. He can no longer be the closer. As a matter of fact, the Orioles don't need a closer right now. Trembley just needs to stick with the pitcher who is pitching well at the moment, and let him close out the game. Trying to crowbar Mike Gonzalez and Johnson into save situations has been disastrous.
The sad thing is is that the Orioles' losses on the field aren't the only turmoil the team is dealing with. The whole Ripken /Angelos story is very troubling, even if it's not as bad as Ken Rosenthal made it sound in his original report.
But what this story proves is that Angelos is still very involved in the decision making process -- something he has said he wasn't involved in since Andy MacPhail took over as GM -- and it looks like he has no desire to sell the team any time soon.
On and off the field, the Orioles have reached trainwreck status, and it's getting hard to look away. At least the Orioles have made the losing interesting so far.
I wonder what they'll do next to keep it going.