Oh my we have repeat offenders this week! Not one but two. In addition we also have the usual new guys. You know what they say Birds of a Feather poop together. Or something like that.
June 13th, Ross Olhendorf of the Cincinnati Reds. Just two weeks ago Ross graced this weekly column with an ungraceful performance. It was the long ball that did him in that time and it was the long ball that punished him this time too. Once again, Ross was asked to hold a one run margin. Once he again, he failed. Once again he threw a 95 MPH fast ball in a completely inappropriate location.
At least this time it was against someone with more power than Danny Espinosa’s OPS+ of 69. It was Adonis Garcia, proud owner of an OPS+ of 76.
It almost seems criminal to show the home run.
HA-HA, who are we kidding? Let’s watch:
Line drive home run. This time there were no heroics from Duvall. What saved Ross from another ugly L was opposing closer extraordinaire Aroldys Vizcaino walking the bases loaded for the go ahead run. Once upon a time, Atlanta had a reliable back of the bullpen, it feels like eons ago.
June 14th, Hector Rondon of the Chicago Cubs. Rondon is the Cub’s closer. If there’s a flaw in that team it may well be the bullpen but not Rondon. The Venezuelan native has risen through the Cubs ranks as an effective stopper and the official Closer for the past three
Doesn’t mean he can’t vulture.
Travis Wood started the 8th inning for the Cubs. He immediately got into trouble walking Bryce Harper (it was probably one of those unintentional-intentional walks Bryce seems to get all the time). Daniel Murphy lined out and with one out and one on Joe Madden decides to go for the 5 out save and brings in Rondon to face Ryan Zimmerman.
It didn’t work as he singled and Bryce moved to third on the play. Anthony Rendon flied out but it was long enough to score Harper and tie the game. Danny Espinosa struck out to end the frame. Ross Olhendorf was seen scribbling furiously on his notebook.
In the 9th the Cubs rallied for the go ahead run with the walk, sacrifice bunt, base hit combo Managers fondly use in the late innings. Rondon pitched a clean 1-2-3 ninth inning, but we all know he stole that W. Maybe it should be downgraded to a save? Can one save-oneself?
June 17th, Cody Allen of the Cleveland Indians. Another closer who is normally a reliable shutdown artist but let one slip by that day. Protecting a one run lead in the 9th per the norm Cody wasn’t quite able to get the job done. Alex Avila grounded out to start the frame but then Cody surrendered back to back doubles to Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia. Oops. Just like that the one run lead vanished.
I guess we can give Cody some credit for striking out the next two hitters to end the threat. Then again who exactly are J.B. Shuck and Tim Anderson? Aside from ChiSox fans and their mamas not sure who knows of them.
The Indians would walk off with a win in the bottom of the 9th thanks to a Carlos Santana home run. The fun part is that it was Nate Jones on the mound, 0-2 count, with an 88 MPH slider.
Dude, three straight 88 MPH sliders? I know Santana is not the beast he once was but he’s still a fantastic hitter? It’s poor pitch selection like that that got Nate his own Vulture a while back. And now he helped Cody get his first. Kind of like paying it forward.
BTW I love the expression on Jone’s face. The home run was a no doubter. You can see him turn around and say “Aw, Fuck!”. We can use profanity on this blog right?
June 17th, Ryan Madson of the Oakland Athletics. I have written about Madson before so no need to introduce him. He’s another Vulture Man who has ascended to Carrion Eater status (having two vultures on the season).
This vulture was similar to Cody Allen’s. Same game situation, same inning. Protecting a one run lead (2-1) Madson was able to get Pujols out but then allowed a single to Jefry Marte. I assume that name is supposed to be Jeffrey? I’ll just call him G-Fry until he gets his name fixed. Nothing worse than parents who think they are clever naming their kids. No, I’m sorry THAT is an orthographic error, the fact the WordPress is underlining the word just confirms it. It’s not a neat take on a old name. If your parents screw up your name please fix and change it when you’re 18. No excuses. Someone has to defend name decency and common sense. Besides, he was taken out for a properly named pinch runner: Todd Cunningham.
Where was I? Right, Madson, top of the 9th, One on, one out. The next batter hit what was seemingly a line out and great catch by Jake Smolinski but was overturned on replay as a trap play. So instead of man on first and two outs it’s man on first and third one out. Next batter up was Johnny Giavotella who flied out deep enough to let Todd score. No fantasy points for you G-Fry. The inning ended on a C.J. Cron line out.
While Madson was surely muttering dark thoughts about replay Fernando Salas came to his rescue by pitching himself into a jam in the bottom of the 9th and unable to preserve the tie game. He even had two outs but a walk and two singles later and it was game over, walk off win for Oakland.
Madson got the W which he should probably split like a pretzel and share it with Salas.