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There's been a lot of bad water under the bridge since Dave Trembley went to his bullpen in the sixth inning, and I'm still trying to figure out why he pulled Jason Berken after only 86 pitches with one out and a runner at second.

Maybe there's something I don't know. Maybe Berken let it be known before the inning that he was tiring and only had a few hitters left. Maybe Trembley or pitching coach Rick Kranitz saw something they didn't like. Maybe this is part of their commitment not to overwork their young pitchers.

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If so, fine, but from a strategic standpoint, it's hard to imagine that DT felt his best option at that point -- with the score 1-1 -- was to trot out another five or six relievers and hope that all of them would be on their game. This isn't just hindsight talking. I was scratching my head even after Mark Hendrickson and Kam Mickolio got out of the inning without allowing the go-ahead run.

So, basically, the same thing happened that happened last night when the Orioles were up 6-5. The bullpen parade started on Tuesday and two of the five O's relievers faltered -- most egregiously Chris Ray, who gave up back-to-back home runs. This time, it was Kam Mickolio who couldn't get anybody out in the seventh inning and Jim Johnson, who got shelled in the ninth.

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I don't know that it would have changed the outcome, but if Berken can throw 20 more pitches and get close to completing seven innings, the equation simplifies considerably, since you only need two or three relievers to pitch well instead of five or six. The O's ended up using seven, but who's still counting at that point?

In mathematical terms, it's called reducing the variables. Again, I don't know that it would have changed the outcome against C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees bullpen, but using that many pitchers is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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