Conor has his post up here now, if you’d like to see some more scout-y and less this-is-how-I-spent-my-summer-vacation notes on our day with the AquaSox.
I went to yesterday’s game sick as a dog. It was Felix Day, though, and I had cough drops, so I tried to garlic fry myself to death and deal (you know, the holistic approach). I don’t know if it worked – I don’t feel great this morning, but I certainly don’t feel worse, either.
One home run from Russell Branyan was all it took to elevate my spirits. A few pitches from Brandon League was all it took to bring them right back down to the dirt where they belong. I thought maybe on Felix Day – and against the Kansas City Royals – we might want to pull out another win. But no. Felix wasn’t as sharp as he normally is, but the game was a won game when he left the hill in exchange for League. And then Garrett Olson. Brandon League is supposed to have some of the nastiest stuff in the majors, and Garrett Olson was sent in to bail him out. The fans were not feeling very charitable last night, either. League got booed when he gave up the tying runs, and then again as he walked to the dugout; literally, the boos let up for a few moments while the coaching visit to the mound was in progress, Olson ran out onto the hill, and the minute League started walking to the dugout, they started up again. People don’t have a lot of mercy on Felix Day. Brian Sweeney replaced Olson after the latter threw only a few pitches, David Aardsma replaced Sweeney in the top of the 9th, and Chad Cordero came in to give up the final two runs that would seal our fate.
In general, I am a huge fan of the bullpen as an entity. But this year they have just been killing me. The lack of Mark Lowe is noticeable, it seems we have some guys who have some effective pitches and refuse to use them (outside of League, I understand Aardsma has a cutter that never seems to manifest itself), and this doesn’t seem to be the same pen it was last year, despite the fact that it’s made up of a lot of the same guys. And we should do better against a team with Yuniesky Betancourt on it. We just should. If it hadn’t been for Russell Branyan, last night could have been a lot more embarrassing.
Posts from here until the end of the season may or may not be sporadic. I need to work out my school schedule and see how busy I wind up being; but I should be around, and I’ve got 8 more glorious games to go to, so there’s that. The All-Star Break will actually be a nice little respite.
Ryan Rowland-Smith faces Zack Greinke today. It doesn’t appear that Greinke is quite as spot-on as his 2009, just glancing at his numbers, but I’m still far more terrified for us than I am for Kansas City. Happy Tuesday, everyone.