Going into the season, the strengths of this team – the strengths we were going to rely on the most, like Tiny Tim on that little wooden crutch – were “Pitching & Defense”. Now, if you would’ve broken that down, you would’ve absolutely put the Bullpen ahead of the starters. Remember, there was Felix and 4 Days of Nobodies for the first month. Thing is, 2 of those Nobodies have been pretty damn good, and then Cliff Lee came back April 30th. Meanwhile, it’s the Bullpen that’s been oddly scuffling. I say oddly because at times, they’re downright dominant. But, it seems to me that when we need a win the MOST – like in that White Sox series, or earlier on the road against Texas, or ESPECIALLY yesterday at Baltimore with an absurd 5-1 lead – the Bullpen finds a way to either ruin momentum, or more likely, continue the bad momentum that’s already been generated by our poor offense. Aardsma is already 0-2 (although the most recent loss was Wak’s fault for bringing him out for what was supposed to be a 2nd inning – he can’t go more than 1 inning!) with 2 blown saves (including one in that fucked White Sox series). Brandon League is 1-3 in his last 10 appearances and HE has 3 blown saves on the year (including a solo homer and a Grand Slam yesterday in Baltimore). Sean White – arguably the worst of the bunch in that he’s practically incapable of getting strikeouts in spite of having a Plus Fastball – only has the 1 blown save, but I’ve seen him come in with runners on base and totally suck balls for the pitcher who left before him. Finally, we have our 8th Inning Set-Up man Mark Lowe, who’s currently on the DL for God Knows What. I guess it’s a back injury. Anyway, he has 0 blown saves, but he is 1-3 including blowing a different game in Chicago (that one wasn’t our best series). With our offense as dreadful as it is, we need to take all of these squeakers that we can; our Bullpen can’t be a source of angst on this team. We have enough angst as it is! P.S. stay tuned for my rant against the “defense” on this team. Christ, can we get someone behind the plate who DOESN’T have 99 passed balls in 30 games? Where’s John Marzano when you need him?