The Nats' bullpen is losing games and breaking hearts.
What a mess. The Nationals bullpen is monstrosity, an irresistable vortex of horror that chews up bad pitchers and turns them into blown leads. The corps of relievers hasn't had a scoreless game since May 4th, when two of them – a demoted closer and a guy who has since been sent back to the minors – combined for three miraculous innings against Houston.
The Nats lead the league with 13 blown saves and a shocking 32% succcess rate. The pen's 6.65 ERA is the worst in the league by over 1.3. They removed the closer tag from Joel Hanrahan because he was terrible. He's now the closer again, and it's not because he got better – it's because everyone else is even worse. Joe Beimel has three loses, a 5.63 ERA (in this pen, that's solidly above average!), and a $2 million contract. Julian Tavarez is at 6.11. Kip Wells sports an even 6.00 and more walks than strikeouts. They can blow big leads, they can blow little leads. They blow expertly.
And now the Nats have done the Monkey's Paw thing to me – they granted my wish but in a terrifying way. My last venture in this space was dedicated to the eradication of Daniel Cabrera, one of the worst and probably the most annoying pitcher in the sport of base ball. And behold! he's out of the rotation . . . and into the bullpen. This might have made sense a few years ago, when he still had a fastball. Now all he's going to do is ruin other people's starts instead of his own.
There are faint glimmers of hope, but even they are tainted. Ross Detwiler made his first major league start, pitched in an extremely un-Cabrera-like fasion (six Ks, no walks, no moping), and had his win blown. John Lannan has proven himself a good, reliable pitcher with eyebrows like a Scottish terrier, and he's stuck at two wins because of the squad of human torches sitting out there.
I'm too mad to come up with a zippy ending. Bullpen?! More like suckpen! See how mad I am? That was terrible.
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Written by Ryan Moore