Thursday, April 19, 2007

Always One Step Ahead of Houston, Narron Allows Reds to Lose Late Again 8-6

The author can't claim to understand all of the intracacies of Jerry Narron's incredibly gifted mind, but tonight was one of those rare examples of clarity. Up 6-2, once again utilizing the power of Brandon Phillips (2 run shot in the first) and Josh Hamilton (3 run bomb in the 5th), Arroyo turned his gem over to the bullpen. No Big Frucking Nasty tonight, he's established that he'd much rather hit people with the ball than get anyone out. Who wouldn't, especially Orlando Palmeiro. That guy gets under my skin. So we start with Saarloos, who pretends to have no idea where the strikezone is. Everything is going according to the plan. He takes a seat and here comes Stanton, who's been lights out. He turns Berkman around but still gives up a run scoring single to left. While Stanton's laughing it up in the clubhouse, his replacement Weathers, induces a ground ball from Carlos Lee but Gonzalez wants nothing to do with it. Genius. Luke Scott then clears the bases and scores on Ensberg's sac fly after advancing to third on an error attributed to Phillips. Okay, mission accomplished. Reds bullpen has its second major meltdown in as many nights, or so it would seem. As alluded to earlier, Narron and his superior brain have run the numbers. The less effective the bullpen is early, the more motivation there is for the starters to pitch well every time out. Pulled in the 8th with an 8-1 lead, give me a break. One run allowed and you think you deserve a win? Not in Cincinnati. While some "experts" may say that this sort of pressure is not a good thing, forcing the starters to try and be perfect every start, Narron doesn't buy it. As soon as "worse bullpen in the league" hits the papers, Narron's won. Not only does he have his starters' attention but that of all the opposing teams throughout the league. Because that's what we want in August and September, just that instant when Luke Scott thinks, 'these guys are brutal, Luke Scott owns them' when he should be thinking 'sinker low and in.' Because by then Weathers' pitch is past him and the eighth inning is finally over.

That has to be it, because losses this discouraging don't usually start until closer to the end of summer. Narron, I'm on to you.

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