Wednesday, June 24, 2009

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say...

Then don't say anything at all... at least that is what my mom used to tell me.

Of course, this has to be in reference to the Nats bullpen, which was up to its old tricks last night. The problem appears to be that these guys do not have an "out" pitch. Hell, MacDougal has just taken to throwing his fastball every time. And it's working for him. Most power relievers rely on either a plus slider or changeup to offset their fastball. The problem with guys like Wells, Hanrahan, Villone, and the scores of pitchers sent away, is that they are struggling to get strikes with their secondary pitches. This is why they are getting swatted. Villone was good for several weeks before he lost the touch on his slider.

Sadly, Julian Tavarez has emerged as a useful cog because he has secondary junk. He just isn't good enough to be relied upon for an extended period of time. The bullpen is improving as guys like Beimel and MacDougal have a defined role and can execute. But until they can get back down to eleven reliable pitchers (six bullpen guys), sending these one pitch guys out there for three or more innings will always have opposing batters salivating over the next fastball.

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