Thursday, August 2, 2012

Another Day, Another Bullpen Meltdown, 'Sharks Lose 10-3

Ryan Harvey was having a bad night.

The 'Stormers designated hitter had struck out swinging in each of his first three at bats. With his team leading 4-3 in the seventh inning, Harvey was at the dish again, with two men on, staring at an 0-2 count from 'Sharks reliever Spencer Steedley.

If you've followed the misadventures of the Camden Riversharks bullpen at all this season, you already know how this story ends.

Harvey drilled Steedley's next pitch to the base of the centerfield wall, scoring Blake Gailen and Tommy Everidge, and putting the 'Stormers up 6-3. Lancaster went on to score three more times in the inning, on RBI singles from Francisco Hernandez and Bridger Hunt, to take a 9-3 lead into the eighth. They went on to win 10-3.

Let's back up a minute. The 'Sharks, suddenly finding themselves with a hole in their starting rotation due to Sean Jarrett's DL stint, and with their tired bullpen in shambles, need pitching help in the worst way possible.

The worst way possible, for those unaware, is the nightmare trifeca of Spencer Steedley, Josh Walter, and Zach Hammes, who combined have been scored on more times than Sasha Grey in estrous.

So it was with some relief that I learned Eddy Camacho, late of the "Venezuelan Visa Problems" episode, was stepping in to a starting role. Camacho indeed had problems earlier in the season finding the strike zone, but as of late had pitched well when needed. He went five innings tonight, giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out four. Not dominant, but he battled, and he wasn't the main problem.

Neither was the 'Sharks offense, with their fourteen hits, thought they had major trouble driving in runs tonight. And while Jake Eigsti's 0 for 4, grounding into two inning ending double plays performance was frustrating, you've gotta find solace in Chris Walker's 3 for 5 night, or Pedro Feliz' solo shot in the fourth that tied the game.

No, the main problem, as it has been for the entire second half so far, is the bullpen. More specifically, Steedley, Walter and Hammes. Steedley and Walter's ERA's are the team's worst, at 6.29 and 6.30. As long as these three clowns are our only 'pen options, the 'Sharks might as well pack it in and hope for a better 2013. Compare that to Leo Rosales, who at 1.13 has the team's BEST ERA. Or Lujan, and his 20 saves. Heck, even Blake King is pitching better. Change is needed, but sadly, it seems the options are few.

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