Bullpen Blows It
By Joe Barnes
After 11 innings of well-played baseball, with good starting pitching, timely hitting and solid play in the field, the score read Toronto:5 Baltimore: 4
So, George Sherrill & Co. have been underwhelming so far this season, and have continued their bad habits tonight. Brian Bass, a guy who started terrible, then pitched great, was a bit unlucky, I feel, and gave up the game-winning RBI single. I have no complaints about the guys right after Sherrill, Danys Baez and Jamie Walker (Walker is the best situational lefty in the MLB), as they pitched a very effective two innnings.
As for Sherrill, when you are expected to play at an all-star caliber, you can not let a one run lead evaporate in a game that NEEDS TO BE WON. Sherrill was supposed to be a huge strength for the Orioles this year, but you have to start to wonder that based on his performance in last year’s 2nd half and so far this season, that Sherrill isn’t actually that good.
Think about it, this guy never pitched in more than situational spots for the Mariners and played in the independent leagues for most of his career. Teams would never prepare to face him, as they would focus more on their setup men and closers. Sherrill was an unknown inside the league and started off quickly. During interleague play, you started to see him falter a bit, and his 2nd half was mediocre. His past success should keep him in the closer role for now, but if he continues to be ineffective, a switch to Danys Baez or Chris Ray could make a lot of sense for the team. I know that Sherrill is (kind of) popular with the fans, but it might be his time to descend in the bullpen ranks.