Wednesday night in Texas, we watched five of the six Orioles relievers used out of the bullpen contribute to the loss. The blame could be spread across the board after Jeremy Guthrie pitched six innings of one-run ball, but walked away with a no decision.
As Dave Trembley signaled pitching change after pitching change, the thought occurred to me: Is there anyone in the O's bullpen who fans feel complete confidence in? Is there that guy who, when the bullpen doors swing open, we feel is lights out?
My opinion right now is that the only reliever I feel that way about is Will Ohman. He's the only player who consistently has put up zeros in crucial situations.
I have to give Jason Berken credit. He's been great in long relief, pitching to an ERA of just 1.40, but he's not used in "crucial" situations when the game is on the line. Wednesday night however, he did give up the game-winning sacrifice fly to Nelson Cruz.
For the record, the O's bullpen ranks eighth in the American League in ERA at 4.20.
Here's a recap of the miscues Wednesday:
Matt Albers was charged with an error on a misplayed bunt, which gave the Rangers and extra out to work with in the seventh. They took advantage with two, two-out RBIs to take the lead.
Koji Uehara didn't give up a run, but labored through two outs in the eighth, throwing 30 pitches. He left with two runners on base and Cla Meredith had to come in and bail him out.
Also, Koji was visibly tired and bothered by the humidity, wiping his face after every pitch. Do you remember him having the same problem last year? I was personally concerned because I sat outside that whole game in Texas and felt it was a beautiful night. There was a breeze, and the humidity was nothing compared to what he'll face in Baltimore in the summertime. If Koji can't adjust to the slightest bit of humidity, he's not going to be able to pitch in Baltimore.
Alberto Castillo had a crucial walk in the ninth after Meredith put two runners on base before him. It's safe to say we'll probably see Castillo sent down on Friday.
Side note: Alfredo Simon didn't pitch in Wednesday's game, but I ask the fans, do you feel the situation is under control when Simon comes in to close out games?