Man oh man, we've got a bad bullpen.
Elizardo Ramirez did a fine job yet again, pitching six innings, giving up two earned runs, and striking out seven (!) hitters. But his bullpen failed him, and it failed the offense as well, since they managed to score a couple of times in the bottom of the ninth, a feat that would have tied the game if not for the meltdown in the top of the ninth.
Check out the ERA's of the relievers that pitched after the Lizard:
Ugly, ugly, ugly, and ugly.
My optimism is wearing pretty thin with these guys. I even defended Rick White not that long ago, noting that his ERA had fallen all the way to the 4.00 range, and he's shown his appreciation by completely and utterly falling apart these past two days.
I'm convinced that we're watching a special team here, a team with one of the best offenses in baseball combined with the best starting pitching we've seen since 1999. Hopefully Wayne Krivksy agrees with me and has the ability and desire to fix this bullpen.
I don't know what that fix would entail, but something needs to be done. Rick White needs to go, and Jerry Narron needs to start thinking long and hard about how he's using his relievers. I know it's hard when you've only got one who's vaguely competent, but he keeps using White in situations that are wholly inappropriate. If the Reds run total is plus or minus five runs from the other team's run total then Rick White shouldn't be within 200 yards of the pitching mound. Pretty simple philosophy, but I bet it would be surprisingly effective.
The offense sucked tonight as well, but I'm going to give them a pass. It was Cole freakin' Hamels folks. The guy's so great that he makes suicide commit life. What can you do?