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Bullpen recovers, at least for today

Interesting game for the bullpen today. It wasn't a great overall performance but some things were encouraging.

Miller was the only pitcher that didn't get anything done. His only out came on a sacrifice bunt after the leadoff man (a lefty) singled and he walked the next batter.

Harper, like with his last outing, was both encouraging and a little shaky. He did fine in the first inning he worked although the two fly ball outs were pretty deep. The second inning his normally good control deserted him again with the walk and HBP then when he gave up the hit he loaded the bases. He did get the double play grounder next, which was good to see, though it resulted in a run. Mixing good with bad but at least he's looking better and may be getting back to what he was: A solid but not great middle reliever.

Carter was next and actually got a strikeout, though he did blow the save when Cota hit the home run with two outs in the ninth. His peripherals still scare me but he did fairly well today and has been good lately.

Nunez was the savior, getting the double play ball with the bases loaded (from Miller) in the 10th then pitching two more scoreless, hitless innings with a strikeout. He is pretty much in the same mold as Jesus Colome and Jorge Sosa, great arm with bad control. We can hope that he'll mirror Colome's 2004, getting his walks down enough to be valuable to the team with his excellent stuff, but to be realistic we should probably expect him to be more like Sosa, mixing in dominant outings with some where nothing goes right, resulting in a mediocre ERA but some memorable performances.

Tonight was the first time this season that Orvella pitched in back-to-back games, due to concerns that he didn't recover well enough. His velocity did appear to be down and his control wasn't sharp but he did throw 40 pitches the night before so that could be part of it too. Eventually if he wants to be a major league closer he'll have to be able to pitch two or three days in a row so they can't be shielding him from it all the time, even early in his career. He did pitch a little better than the results look though, that walk was obviously semi-intentional to bring up the weaker hitter (and it made the force possible at second).

Will this continue? No way to tell. Let's hope that this is the first step back to normality and these guys start pitching like they should because it has really sucked to watch them lately.