Death by Bullpen

Down on the Farm
No Unit separation anxiety here


I have nightmares about these guys now only to wake up to find they really did blow yet another game.

In The Shield last season, Walton Goggins’ character Shane told the rest of the show’s main characters a joke with the intent to distract Forest Whitaker. The tale Shane told was the infamous Death by Chichi story. Well, after tonight’s game, the Yankees are going through not Death by Chichi but rather Death by Bullpen.

The Yankees have not won since coming off a strong three-game sweep of the Indians five games ago. Since Friday night, the Yanks, who lead the Majors in runs scored, have plated 29 runs. 29 runs! Five games! That should be, well, five wins really. But they’ve also surrendered 35 runs. So, oops.

While the Yankees starting pitcher has been terrible, the team has also been victimized by its bullpen, and after tonight, I am once again left wondering why Brian Bruney is brought in after Luis Vizcaino and Mike Myers to clean up their messes instead of before to pitch out the jam. But I digress.

Tonight, the Yanks’ bullpen threw 1.2 innings which including a sighting of the endangered species known as Kyle Farnsworth. They gave up 2 earned runs and did an excellent job allowing all of the inherited runners to score. Wang got the loss, but who would you blame for this game? I finger Vizcaino and Myers. Final bullpen tally: 1.2 innings, 1 hit, 2 earned runs.

Last night, Kei Igawa was bad and the bullpen matched him. The bullpen started up with the score 6-4 in favor of the Devil Rays. Colter Bean allowed yet another inherited runner to cross the plate, and the bullpen managed 3.2 innings, 7 hits, 3 walks and 3 earned runs. That 10 baserunners in just over 3 innings led to only three runs is luck.

In Boston, the story was the same. On Sunday, the bullpen had to throw 5 innings. They gave up 6 hits, 6 walks and only 3 earned runs. On Saturday, the bullpen did its job. Hallelujah! 3.2 innings, 4 hits and no runs. Only the wacky centerfield dimensions prevented Bobby Abreu from hitting a game-tying home run. C’est la vie.

And Friday was the start of this debacle. The bullpen went 1.2 innings giving up 5 hits and 5 runs.

So for those of you keeping score at home, the Yankees’ bullpen over their five-game losing streak has gone 15.2 innings. They’re 0-2 and have given up 25 hits and 13 runs for an ERA of 7.46. They’ve managed to strike out just 8 while walking 14.

This is what death by bullpen looks like. And after another loss in another game that the Yanks should won, I’ll take death by chichi instead of this nightly torture.

Down on the Farm
No Unit separation anxiety here
  • yankz

    I don’t know how much you can blame Viz for last night. Torre ordered the IBB and Viz got the next guy out. He shouldn’t have even been in there in the first place, though.

    The pen started off very good. Hopefully, Pettitte, Wang, and Moose can sandwich some shitty performances from Igawa and Co., and the pen will be back to normal soon.

  • Ben

    I’m not blaming Vizcaino for blowing the game; I’m blaming the entire pen for blowing the game. And I’m wondering, as are you, why he was even in there in the first place.

  • Ed

    I blame Meyers myself… I feel like a lefty specialist is a waste of a roster spot. But to make it worse, a bunch of the big lefties in the AL East seem to own him, how many times have we seen him go up against Ortiz and have him still get a hit. Worse than that, I have to listen to the announcers say that the hit was actually a blessing because it stayed in the park.

    Grinds my gears…

    On a side note, where the heck is Britton? At least when Wright pitched he had a decent ERA for the 5 innings.

  • KAnst

    I cant blame the pen, they are all pitching on fumes other than Farnsworth and Mo. Everyone out there is on pace to beat their career high innings totals. Vizcaino has pitching in something like 13 of our 19 games. We desperately need to string back to back solid starts so these guys can get a rest.

    At the start of this year the bullpen got me real excited there is enough talent that we should be able to shut teams down in the 7th-9th and still not tire everyone, but these 4 inning starts are killer. Hopefully Pettite can give us 7 strong today and Hughes can give us 6 tomorrow. If we start getting good starting pitching performances I guarantee the bullpen numbers will get better.

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  • Deric

    The problem is not the bullpen really. If you want to complain about the bullpen, you need to complain about our starters first. The Yankees have one of the best bullpens in the major league, but they are clearly overworked. Joe Torre’s bullpen-burning theory is another big factor here. The only reason why you are complaining about our bullpen because you forgot how well our starters are performing.