Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kevin Gregg = LVP of the Week

The Marlins were swept by the Dodgers today, their fragile grip on the NL East lead slipping. It was another close game, in which Badenhop pitched surprisingly well, but the bullpen (yes, that bullpen Buster Olney praised today) coughed up the second game of the series.

Actually, it would be unfair to lay the blame on the entire bullpen when there was one culprit: Kevin Gregg. For the second time in three games, Fredi Gonzalez chose Gregg for the top of the 9th in a tie game. He lost both attempts.

The control problems that have plagued him all season finally came back to bite him. He opened the inning by walking Rafael Furcal, a move the Dodgers announcers jubilantly described as the cardinal sin (especially for a player of Furcal's speed). A Juan Pierre sac bunt and Matt Kemp bloop single later, and it was 4-3 Dodgers. Misplays in the field made it 5-3, but Gregg had already done his damage.

Is it time to consider replacing Gregg? Renyel Pinto has probably been the most dependable, but his wildness is also disconcerting. Perhaps Matt Lindstrom or Justin Miller?

When I watched Saito hurl some filthy stuff by the Fish hitters to close the game, I knew the definition of a real closer. A real closer doesn't walk the leadoff hitter, that's for sure.

1 comment:

Paul said...

You make a great point; I think it might be time for a switch in the 9th. Not to be to hard on Gregg, but even in the games he's saved/won, he hasn't exactly dominated the opposing hitters. In fact, every time he took the mound early this year it caused me a great deal of stress; it'd be ince to have someone who you could depend on to overpower the hitters. I think Lindstrom has the arm to do it, I wouldn't mind seeing him get a shot.

Maybe the Marlins lost these three games because these were the first three I haven't been able to watch (I've been in the process of moving and just got my comcast and my extra innings package back tonight). Outside this week, I've watched every game this year; luckily I'm ready to go for tomorrow:)