3 crazy non-Tigers bullpen meltdowns in the past 7 days

We as Tigers fans have been forced to participate in some fairly traumatic #BullpenIssues (heh-heh-heh ... bullpenIssues) in the last week, so, being a person who is unapologetically twisted to the core, I went on a little scavenger hunt through the other 29 teams' game logs of the last seven days in search of sweet, sticky schadenfreude.

Oh baby, did I find some.

This isn't to make us feel like the Tigers are ok. They're not. This is purely about wanting to watch the world burn, especially if it's someone else's world.

Here are three instances in the last seven days when otherwise-reliable relievers puked all over themselves and blew a save, thus causing agony and stress for three other fanbases that aren't yours. Don't feel guilty. You're a Tigers fan -- you've earned this.

Ken Giles

This is one nasty reliever. Here are his strikeouts-per-inning averages for the past four years: 1.4, 1.24, 1.6 (um, holy sh*t), and this year he's having an "slow start" at only 1.21.

Let that sink in: this guy averages more than one strikeout per inning. He's tough as nails.

Dallas Keuchel had been pitching a gem through eight full innings, but in the top of the ninth, with the Astros leading the Angels 6-2, he gave up three straight singles to load the bases.

You know who you want in this situation, with the tying run at the plate, the bases juiced, and nobody out? A guy who strikes out more than a batter per inning, that's who.

Mike Trout smacked a single on the very first pitch Giles threw. No problem, still got a three-run lead, and one Trademark Ken Giles Strikeout later, it's a three-run lead with one out.

Luis Valbuena grounded out, scoring another run, but hey! Two run lead, two outs, Whiffmaster General on the mound? It's all good.

Two singles later, it was a 6-6 tie, and Giles had blown the save.

Brad Brach

With Zach Britton hopping on-and-off-and-back-on the disabled list, setup man Brad Brach has had to wear the closer's hat quite a bit in 2017. And why not? He posted a 2.05 ERA last year while striking out 10.5 batters per nine innings. 

"Oh, but that was last year." 

#WellActually, he also ran up a 12 consecutive scoreless innings streak just last month.

Leading the Nationals 6-4 in the ninth inning, Brach got into an 11-pitch battle with Jayson Werth that ended with a baseball in the stands and Werth disgracing Brach's entire family.

6-5, Orioles.

Bryce Harper doubled (he does that), Ryan Zimmerman grounded out, and Daniel Murphy was intentionally walked to set up the game-ending double play.

Except, then Anthony Rendon singled to load the bases, and Matt Wieters just ruined the night of every Orioles fan with a walkoff, two-RBI single.

The absolute best part of this? Fan reactions. Prior to this game, Brach had only allowed runs in three -- count 'em, one, two, three -- of his eighteen outings. That's 18 2/3 IP, an ERA of 2.41, and a flaccid opponent slashline of .161/.246/.258.

You'd kill defenseless animals to have Brad Brach in the Tigers' bullpen right now, so please enjoy the moonbat rantings of the vox populi:

I'm laughing so hard I just drooled in my own lap.

Aroldis Chapman

I don't need to tell you about this guy. He's the unnatural lovechild of a cyborg who got drunk and banged a pitching machine one night in the late 1980's. He throws over 100 MPH. His season K/9 has never dropped below 12.8 (keep reading that until you've gasped away your last breath). He's just the very living definition of a lights-out closer.

And he blew a three-run lead on Sunday night. 




Oh, that's not even the most surprising part. The real kicker is that, after facing Addison Russell to lead off, Chapman was going up against the 6-7-8 hitters in the order.

Three runs.

Russell walked, Jon Jay singled, and finally Wilson Contreras struck out (there it is), but then Albert Almora and Javier Baez both hit RBI singles, and suddenly it was a 4-3 game with runners at the corners and only one out.

Chapman struck out Kyle Schwarber (there it is again), and then everything got weird. Baez stole second, leaving first base open, so the Yankees decided to intentionally walk Kris Bryant and play lefty-lefty matchups with Anthony Rizzo.

Solid play, probably.

But then Chapman hit him. Hit him with a fastball. Gameday says it was 99 MPH, the welt on Rizzo's forearm says the radar gun might be a bit conservative.

The baseball gods were so disgusted with the idea of Chapman blowing a save on a hit-by-pitch that they decreed the game would start over, and so it did. The Yankees and Cubs literally played another nine innings of baseball that night, finally ending in the 18th inning with a 5-4 Yankees win.

And that, folks, is just the three games I selected to share with you. There were more. Like I said, it doesn't mean the Tigers are ok or that their bullpen situation is going to be fine, because noooooope, not without some face-lifting surgery -- but at least you got to laugh at some other teams' late-inning foibles for a while.

Savor that feeling. I'm sure it's not at all bad for your soul.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment