This series clearly did not go the way I anticipated, but the failure was also not for the reasons I expected.
Let’s take a look at Chris Hatcher’s line from game 1 of this series:
.1 IP, 3Hits, 3ER, 2HR…
Now, let’s look at his line for the season:
13.50 ERA, 4.2 IP, 13 Hits. Not exactly the swing and miss stuff you want out of a set up man.
That’s the guy that we brought in to a game up one, with runners on base and two outs already in the inning. A smart person might respond with, “well, that’s just a small sample size and isn’t indicative of him as a pitcher.” That may be true, but Hatcher hasn’t posted an ERA under 4.28 over the past three years, with most of his outings occurring in low intensity, long relief situations in which the team just needed a body on the mound to eat up outs. Ask any Dodgers fan about Hatcher and they will laugh at the thought of him being “the guy” in high leverage situations.
The reason I’m so upset about Melvin’s misuse of the bullpen, is that I actually generally trust him. He’s gotten the most out of a low talent roster the past few years and I would like to believe that with all the other flaws that our team possess, the coach wasn’t one of them. That being said, there are 3 or 4 other people, most of them well rested to that point, that i would look to in the late innings to get key outs before Hatcher.
Just look at the way Melvin managed game 3. He brought in Buchter for lefty matchups and used Treinen to pick up a four out save. I’m not going to harp on this too long, but I don’t remember a time I yelled at the TV more than this last series in Seattle, so for the sake of my mental health, let’s look forward to our next home stand.
The White Sox are coming into town and unfortunately, I think the A’s are going to go 1-2. Thus far, our lineup hasn’t been able to capitalize against sub par pitching, and because Manea won’t feature, I don’t trust any of the starters coming up to get deep into the game. This will be a big test for Mengden, who still hasn’t recorded a home win in Oakland to this point in his career.