Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bullpen continues to be downfall of the Rays

There is one common theme throughout this season and that is the Rays are scoring runs, but they are not getting the pitching they need from the bullpen. The Rays have scored the 5th most runs in the Major League so far (92), but have also given up the most runs in the Majors (114). The Rays are sporting a hefty 6.02 ERA, which is good for dead last in the Majors. Outside of Al Reyes no one on this team has below a 4.5 ERA. To be fair to the starters some of their ERA's are inflated due to the bullpen not being able to get an out when the starter has been removed, or becuase they are throwing too many pitches. The Starters are having to go 8 innings so that they can get to Reyes and not have to use the bullpen. Sunday, Jamie Shields did just that, but because Reyes had pitched 2 days in a row, Maddon called on Brian Stokes. Stokes proceeded to go out and give up 4 earned runs while only getting one out and destroyed the gem that Jamie pitched.
The Rays are sitting at 7-11 right now, but if they could have gotten anything from this bullpen they could easily be sitting at 13-5 and leading the AL East. There have been at least 5 games that were lost directly because of this bullpen. The Rays need to dump Stokes, Camp, and Lugo from this team. We have seen them pitch for a while now and it is evident that they are not MLB pitchers. The Rays have options in Durham and should call up Corcoran, Orvella, and Ridgway. The Rays have been rumored to be looking at Brad Lidge or Jose Capellan; both of those guys would be welcome additions to the pen and cold easily solidify the pen. If the Rays could get 2 solid guys in the pen to add to Reyes, they could make a nice run and get people excited about this team. Right now the bullpen is blowing game after game and destroying the effort everyone else on the Rays has put forth. The Rays need to step up and fix the pen before the season is lost already.

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