What a way to be introduced to the Major Leagues. Evan MacLane, called up to replace the injured Adam Ottavino, arrives at the ballpark in the fifth inning. He has just enough time to get dressed, introduce himself to LaRussa and Duncan, make his way to the bullpen (handshakes all around I’ll bet), then he’s warming up to come into a suddenly tie game in the ninth.
One batter faced. Six pitches. One Home Run allowed. One loss. I do not think that went according to Evan MacLane’s script.
“Not a good debut,” Tony LaRussa is reported as saying after the game. Well gee whiz Tony, who’s to blame for that? The kid, or the manager forced to throw him into a tie game, at Colorado, in the bottom of the ninth, after typically overmanaging the late innings for the second night running?
Bernie Miklasz says we shouldn’t diss the bullpen because of the last two games. Aside from the responsibility they bear for not making pitches in Colorado, I agree. If we need to diss anyone it should be the manager. Whoever heard of burning through 5 relievers while leading by six runs? That management set up today’s bullpen availabilities and necessitated using MacLane in a high leverage situation. One wonders if LaRussa will bury the kid in his bullpen for the next 2 weeks as punishment for last night. I hope not, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
So the Cardinals have lost two very winnable games, and face Ubaldo Jimenez this afternoon. I expect Chris Carpenter will pitch better than he did on Saturday, but Jimenez is the best pitcher in the NL so far in 2010. It will tough to not get swept out of Denver.