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Lou blows it

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Never mind that Piniella bears at least partial responsibility for the current tattered state of Seth McClung's career because of his obsession with "pitchers with a bulldog mentality" instead of "pitchers who can get hitters out consistently." I would like an explanation of why the guy who has shown himself to be the least reliable pitcher on the staff was brought in to the 9th inning of a tie game. Baez had only thrown 14 pitches the inning before. 14! Why couldn't he pitch the ninth? Why would any reasonable person think that McClung was a better option. Colome should have been available too, he pitched two innings yesterday but even a little tired he's a better option that McClung.

McClung has to go. Either somebody like Lee Gardner needs to be brought up or some veteran guy has to be signed. This has to be done, not only because he's ineffective but also because Piniella can't wrap his mind around the simple idea that he's completely unreliable and has repeatedly proven that over the season. He wasn't all that bad today but it wasn't an isolated incident, it was the same crap all over again that we've seen before.

Speaking of this, what makes it most pathetic is how Jon Switzer is treated. First he comes up and his first outing does very well. Then he can't get into a game for a week. When he does get in he has a pretty lousy outing and struggles badly with his control, something that should be considered a fluke for now since his performance history doesn't suggest that being anything close to normal for him. However, he is now toast in Piniella's eyes and probably won't get into a game unless there's a big gap in the score or there isn't anyone else. Hey, who wants Lou to have to be smart about this though when he can make decisions based on personal likes and dislikes that have little relevance to winning baseball?

The pen is really a mess right now. Baez is walking too many (though his ERA isn't showing it...yet), Miller is walking too many and allowing a lot of inherited runners in, Carter has been better lately but I worry about his peripherals, Harper had a great start that went mostly unnoticed because of some bad luck and poor support from his bullpen mates but now he has recently issued three unintentional walks and isn't striking hitters out. Colome is just now getting back to form and is inconsistent still, McClung is a disaster, and we can't get any sort of read on how well Switzer will do, assuming he actually gets to pitch once in a while. Throw in the fact that either Waechter or Nomo is a risk to force the Rays to make a change in the rotation in the near future and things are still pretty bad despite a decently reliable starting three of Kazmir, Fossum, and Hendrickson.

On the positive side of things, Hollins and Green continue to defy reasonable expectations. I don't know what will happen with them by the end of the season but I'm greatly enjoying it for now.