W’sup with Backend of Pirates Bullpen ?


Ok, now that the lovefest is over, let me start biting my nails again.  You didn’t think that we were just going to whistle past the Miller LITE/Bud Light chugging, champagne spraying at Oakley and cheap science fair goggles did you?

Clint Hurdle said “They better be letting it rip in Pittsburgh.”

Ok.  We did.  Now we woke up and realized, shit.  The Shark Tank isn’t so shutdown anymore.  The Bucs bullpen that was so, damn, lockdown for so many months now looks like just another bullpen.

We went to the google machine to track down some numbers.

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The OBC, Jason Grilli has continued to put up the strikeouts in fact has eight strikeouts in his last 20 outs.  The number that scares me a bit is the ten hits he has allowed since he returned on September 4.

The ending in last nights game was triumph.  But looking closer has Grilli got it all back?  The velocity is down, but outside of that, the results have been solid.

Last night, he issued a walk on a call that he was obviously squeezed on.  The walk put the tying run on base, the bloop hit that followed was shitty enough until Marlon Byrd booted the ball off the end of his glove which waved the runner toward home.

Andrew McCutchen picked it up and Justin Morneau made one hell of a play to throw the relay to Russell Martin who was mowed down at the plate, but got the tag and never released the ball from his hand.

So, the past few Grilli outings haven’t been clean, he has given up at least one hit in seven of his eight appearances since returning from the DL.

The other key to the backend of the Bucs bullpen has been not-so-lock-down lately either.  Mark Melancon spoiled us this season.  The right-hander has been riding an unbelievable season.

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With Melancon the hits have spiked.  Four in one outing against the Rangers are somewhat understandable I guess.  It happens.  But the results against the Padres, Reds and Cubs again last night bother me.  Blowing leads isn’t something we have seen from Mark the Shark.  Well, without the help of Starling Marte anyway.

So, yeh sure, Melancon’s numbers included some bloops and bleeders, errors and lackluster defensive play behind him.  We agree with that sentiment.

So with all that considered, we have to wonder if Dan Fox might adjust the positioning of the Buccos right fielder in the eighth inning based on recent production against Melancon?  The opponents have changed their approach at the plate against the Pirates righty, it might be time for the Bucs to do the same.

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