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Max Offense, Max Deflation

I'm not suggesting they sign Randy St. Claire to a non-guaranteed minor league deal or pull Rob Dibble out of the broadcast booth, but the Nationals need to somehow fix their bullpen. This might be the time for a trade, because the casting-call bullpen is only leading to the worst kind of losses. Tonight, Washington dropped a game against the Phillies 13-11... despite hitting five home runs... and despite taking a four-run lead into the bottom of the eighth.

To be fair, this game had an adventurous, bungee-jumper's feel to it even before Garrett Mock or Joel Hanrahan appeared. Balls were absolutely flying out of the yard; Ryan Zimmerman's second of the night, in fact, traveled 451 feet. The starters (Joe Blanton and Shairon Martis) combined for 9-1/3 IP and 13 ER. Ryan Howard had already hit a grand slam to erase one four-run Nats' lead, and now the Nats had another four-run lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Mock and Hanrahan, together, allowed six runs and four hits. With the bases loaded and two outs, Washington up 11-9, Hanrahan faced Raul Ibanez. Already, the (erstwhile?) closer had been shaky, walking two and throwing a wild pitch. There, facing Ibanez, Hanrahan started thinking about bad possibilities.

"Once you start getting that in you're mind you're gonna get beat, you're gonna make mistakes," Hanrahan admitted later. "And I don't know why -- this is the first time I've thought about, 'If I give up a home run here, Oh crap.'"

Oh crap, that's what happened. Another grand slam. A 13-11 Phillies lead. A very big concern about Washington's closer.

Asked after the game if Hanrahan would retain his job, Manny Acta said, "You know, we're going to have to sit back and think this through, because we're not going to make a decision out of a reaction of tonight, because it's not like we do have Rollie Fingers and Mariano Rivera in our bullpen. So we're just going to sit back, think it through, and we'll come back with a decision."

Man oh man.

I'll post more on this game when I wake up tomorrow, but here are a few other notes...

* The Nats tied their club record for home runs, with five. And none of those were Citizens Bank cheapos. Each one was crushed. Elijah Dukes, Nick Johnson, and Adam Dunn all went deep once. Ryan Zimmerman hit two.

* Zimmerman, who picks his spots very carefully when speaking his mind, had this to say about his team's bullpen: "It's been the story of our season. We play a good game and we can't close it out. It seems like the last three or four innings have been that way for us all year. Obviously it's something we need to get better at. You hate to put blame or anything like that on your teammates, and I'm not here to do that, but we know what we need to get better at. Hopefully we will."

* The Nats are now 4-14. And Acta has used the word "deflating" more than he did all of last year.

"Well I hope I don't wear out this word, but again it was just deflating," the manager said. "Our offense just battled the whole game and scored enough runs. If 11 is not enough, a four-run lead in the eighth inning -- just very deflating. It's the toughest thing in the whole game. We played so hard for eight innings and scored enough runs and lose the game in one inning. It's just tough for the whole team."

By Chico Harlan  |  April 28, 2009; 12:01 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Off The DL, Arriving At A New Position
Next: More About The Finish (Or, Rather, The Failure To Finish)


That's interesting. Because when Hanrahan came in I looked at him and said 'He's thinking too much about what he's doing and not just going out there and doing it'. Man these late inning losses just wear on ya don't they?

But, their our Nats. Now if we only had the bullpen from 2005 we'd be in awesome shape.

Posted by: dand187 | April 28, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

The Nats need to hire a sports psychologist.

Posted by: NoVaNatRat | April 28, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Fourteen down... Eighty-six to go...

100 losses -- here we come faster than a good old Randy Johnson fastball...

Doesn't matter how you slice it or dissect it, the results just keep on being the same...

Posted by: randy_boyd | April 28, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Chico, tremendous line this:

"To be fair, this game had an adventurous, bungee-jumper's feel to it"

Time for Manny to take that long walk off a short pier...

Randy, I got Sept. 22 in the pool. I may be WAYYYYYYYY late...

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 28, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse


I have September 13 and I was thinking the same thing... We may have to open up a few more "milestones" for losses 25, 50 and 75... otherwise this could be over before we ever really get started....

Posted by: randy_boyd | April 28, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

As Yogi used to say, "It gets late early."

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 28, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

That's it. I think Han-run-han is now officially toast. If he is standing on the bump thinking about giving up a home run instead of thinking about how he is going to bury that guy standing in the batters box he lost before he even throws a pitch. At this point ANYONE could take over the closer's role and perform better. Han-run-han is simply not a closer and will never be one. Bring up Zinicola from Harrisburg and throw him out there or let Tavarez close (I believe he closed for a while somewhere else). But what ever happens - never ever put Han-run-han out there with a lead in the ninth. I don't know what "it" is but he does not have it.

These losses are killing my heart and wallet. I can't bear to check the scores anyone and the team that Stan "the man with the plan" Kasten put together is so dysfunctional that I can't even sell the few games in my season ticket package just rows from 1st base that have not been allocated. This keeps up and Stan will have two more seats to sell to someone else next year.

I love this team - but I hate what they are doing to me.

Posted by: mastroj | April 28, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Mastro, try this: Massive amounts of bourbon in the first inning. Repeat every pitching change. Double the amount when Ha-ha-ha-rah-han comes on. Repeat every time Manny sez it's not his fault.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | April 28, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

I know everyone is thrilled by Zimmermann and the new power in the Nats lineup, but it's worth noting that after 18 games last year, a truly worthless Nats team was 5-13. The new improved 2009 Nats, by contrast, are 4-14.
Now that's progress!!!
Lerner, Kasten and Rizzo must be busting their buttons in pride.

Posted by: dubious | April 28, 2009 3:35 AM | Report abuse

At least there weren't any errors! Sad that I've got to look at that for a silver lining.

Dump Manny. Fix the bullpen (again). The rest is good enough to salvage some respect for this season.

Bummed about Martis' perfomance but let's hope that's just adjustment to the bigs.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | April 28, 2009 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn again on the bench in the 9th with the game on the line for a AAA outfielder. How does Manny Acta keep his job?

Posted by: raymitten | April 28, 2009 5:09 AM | Report abuse

hanrahan SUCKS! a 4 run lead and he blows it AGAIN! he's now accountable for 3 losses himself. he sucks, when we score 11 runs we should win the freakin game. get a new closer please.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 28, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

I've got no problem with Dunn on the bench in the 9th, out for defensive purposes when you have a four run lead. Firing Manny isn't the answer. Giving him some quality pitchers with a mindset to throw strikes is. I'm as sick as everyone is with this bullpen. I'll for sure be glad when Beimel returns. I think I'd make him the closer when that happens. It's hard to make a trade out of need when you are desperate. Hire Dr. Phil.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 28, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn again on the bench in the 9th with the game on the line for a AAA outfielder. How does Manny Acta keep his job?

Posted by: raymitten | April 28, 2009 5:09 AM

Yeah and if he left Dunn in and a fly ball to left field fence wasn't caught allowing the tieing and go ahead run to score in the eight you would have been screaming for his head because he didn't put in a defensive player with a lead and the game on the line.

Bull pen at this point is under performing and the decision Rizzo and staff have to make is can it every preform?

The fact that the Nats have been in almost every game this year, despite the crushing losses tells you the manager has done an outstanding job!! Anybody can manage when things are going good.

You have no freaking idea what it takes to be a good manager.

Posted by: kgwcoach | April 28, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

the last thread of comments was hilarious!!

I'm scrolling through rant after rant, then 506 pops in trying to be rational. Again, rant, rant, rant, 506 with rational rebuttal. Rant, rant, rant, 506 tries again. Rant, rant, rant, and finally 506: "Bah, you all just want to rage, forget it."


Posted by: NatsNut | April 28, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

If Hanrahan had even been close to the strike zone it would have been different. Hanrahan has good seventh inning stuff, but the psyche does not work in pressure situations.

Keeping Hanrahan as a closer while sending down three players to the minors shows the inconsistency of their "guys have to produce" campaign. When you set the standard for production and then overlook the most glaring example of non-production at a position you are making a mockery out of management. Rizzo and Acta may still have the confidence of the team, but they have lost my confidence. Hanrahan is very much the elephant in the room. His presence as closer speaks volumes.

Posted by: driley | April 28, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

The bullpen has been bad, so when you finally get a guy in there that blows through the 3 hitters he faces (Kip Wells in the 7th inning), why do you take him out for a pinch hitter leading by 4 runs? You wouldn't do it earlier in the game, why now? It's like Manny goes back to the bullpen to try and find someone who can't get them out.

Posted by: rgibson25 | April 28, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

no it does not tell you the manager has done an outstanding job. It tells you that we have a much better offense than last year.

Posted by: MrMadison | April 28, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

"If Hanrahan had even been close to the strike zone it would have been different. Hanrahan has good seventh inning stuff, but the psyche does not work in pressure situations."

This is what worries me about the opinion that anyone can be a closer. Hanrhan doesn't just have good seventh inning stuff, he has nasty seventh inning stuff. He eats hitters alive in the seventh inning. That's why he is in the closer position.

So we move Tavarez there, is it going to be any different? Rivera's worst night was when he was acting as closer. Mock has always been bad when things are tough. I don't think there's anyone with the closer mindset.

On Kip Wells... He was pulled for a pinch hitter because he had been sitting for over half an hour. Dibble and Carpenter discussed this.

On sending everyone who gives up a lead to the minors: I bet you see WORSE bullpen performance, not better, when that starts happening. The last thing we need is people on the rubber thinking about their job. I say Hanrahan needs to go on vacation, head off on a fact-finding mission to Syracuse, or have a phony 15-day DL trip, then come back as a middle reliever.

Posted by: Section506 | April 28, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I agree generally with 506's analysis. (Tavarez's is 22/35 in save situations during his career--just slightly better than Hanrahan's 11/18 career percentage.) The bottom line seems to be that we're at least one person short in the bullpen, even after Beimel comes back. Question is where and how do we find someone else who can perform in late-game pressure situations? No one in Syracuse right now seems particularly well-suited for the job (Clippard? Estrada? Balester?). If we can trade Willingham or Kearns for a quality reliever, I think I'd do it. But at present, it seems to me that trading Johnson creates as many problems as it solves.

Doesn't this line of thinking logically point to signing someone from outside the organization, and isn't the best person available Pedro (assuming he's interested, would be OK with the closer role, etc.)?

Posted by: jcj5y | April 28, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

For the team or for us?
The Nats need to hire a sports psychologist.

Posted by: NoVaNatRat | April 28, 2009 12:16 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | April 28, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

SaberMetrics + Manny Acta =Bad baseball

The Plan + Stan Kasten =Bad baseball

48M in Profits + The Lerners =Bad baseball

12K STH + 9000 MASN Viewers =Priceless

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 28, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

$5M on Pedro to get a couple of pointless saves for a 55 win team when you average 15K in (paid)attendance is an absurd misuse of money. Save it to sign Strasburg and bring him in to close September games. Maybe some people will watch then.

Can we start an Acta Axe pool? Me first! May 14th.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 28, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I would not favor paying anything to Pedro if it meant not signing Strasburg. I don't think it would.

Considering the bullpen has cost us at least 4 or 5 wins this year already (3 vs. Florida at home, 9th inning walks last week, and of course, last night), it seems to me that adding a quality arm out there might mean more than a couple of pointless saves.

Not sure why I've become such a Pedro advocate, except that the price isn't really that high, and I don't see many other options.

Posted by: jcj5y | April 28, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Okay, looking at Syarcuse stats, Tyler Clippard looks to have promising stats to help the pen. How soon can he and Hanrahan trade places?

Posted by: twinbrook | April 28, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Wait, I forgot the loss in the home opener. That makes 5 or 6 games the bullpen has cost us so far.

Posted by: jcj5y | April 28, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

It still all comes back to Manny. Sure the bullpen is bad and yes that's largely because the freak who shall remain nameless gutted it. If Manny was a good manager he'd be making more out of this disaster than 4-14. I don't think Manny is the worst manager ever but I think he's slightly under average at best. There's lots of good players on this team and lots of them are making stupid mistakes. Mistakes they wouldn't make if someone was kickin' their butts a bit more and commanded some respect.

The good managers don't blame anyone but themselves even if it isn't their fault. Manny just isn't in control. We could find all sorts of ways to make the bullpen better but without the right manager it's only going to be incremental improvement where we need vast improvement. We honestly just don't know how good or bad some of these guys really are because their being managed so bad.

Rizzo? Lerners? Stan? Maybe we've got problems there but at the end of the day it's Manny's job to get the best out of these guys and lead them. He can't do it. Either he doesn't have it in him or he hasn't found it yet.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | April 28, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Hanrahan needs to be a 7th inning guy for a while. When you're a "closer" with a 95-mph fastball, but unwilling to throw that fastball inside to Ryan Howard, you need a break. His entire demeanor from the minute he got on the mound last night was "I don't want to be here," and it showed in pitch selection.

Same for Martis against Howard in the 6th. Martis' best pitch is his change, which needs to work off his fastball. So on the five pitches of Howard's AB, what did he throw? Four sliders - the only pitch in the strike zone was the slider that hung up and got smashed for the Slam.

That's not Manny, that's not St. Clair, that's our pitchers not believing that they're good enough to be in MLB. If Hanrahan's going to get beat, let him get beat on a 95-mph heater, not hanging breaking pitches. Not to mention, when you're over-jacked and nervous, as Hanrahan CLEARLY was, you tend to overthrow - overthrown breaking pitches tend to hang.

The problem with the young bullpen isn't their stuff, it's them not believing that they deserve to be in those spots. And if they don't believe they deserve to be there, how can we?

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | April 28, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Trade Willingham and Milledge for a reliever, if you can get anything of quality for those two guys.
With Harris now in the outfield again, we don't need Willingham nearly as much as we need a decent reliever.

Keep Johnson.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 28, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

If we can get away with it, the only people who should be pitching out of the 'pen for a while: Wells, Tavares, Bergmann.

No Hinckley, No Rivera, No Hanrahan. I'm very wishy-washy on Mock, too.

Man, it's brutal out there.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 28, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I'll concede the point, 506. I mean, where do I end up first thing the next morning? NJ.

They can always win today. It's the yesterdays that are getting hard to swallow.


Wrong, you have a big giant heart, full of baseball love, you just need to start taking a few more trips to Burger King during the games.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 28, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

"That's not Manny, that's not St. Clair, that's our pitchers not believing that they're good enough to be in MLB."

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | April 28, 2009 8:22 AM

Actually that's exactly Manny. Don't know what to say about St. Clair. The difference between making the adjustments to grow from an inexperienced pitcher to a successful player is doing all the right stuff day in and day out to help these guys make those adjustments. They aren't getting it. There's no clubhouse leader maybe there's no one that wants to be.

Clippard has tanked the few times he's been called up. Colome is there and he has had some success in the past. Wagner? Guess you could say the same about him. Rivera has never had a year as bad as this so something isn't right.

Some better management (if it's available) will get better results from the guys we've got and trading to get above average arms should make enough of a difference. Who to trade? Get rid of Willingham and Milledge. I agree with that. Problem is no one will want them and Jimbo isn't working for another team to sucker him into take them from us. I think you have to keep Johnson.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | April 28, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh.. and Hill back on the DL for the padres. Guess that one was a good call.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | April 28, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a big Manny supporter but I can't blame him for last night or the other bullpen blowups. The team's closer is not ready to be a closer yet. Send him to Syracuse to blow saves down there and bring him up if and when he's ready.

The team's future closer, Mock, is not ready. The team's back-up closer, Beimel, is on DL.

The team, Bowden, Rizzo, Acta or whoever, gambled by handing the closer role to a pitcher with tools and without the mental toughness.

The Nats best closer might be their 5th starter. Mental fortitude, 95mph, slider, change. Why not?

Posted by: pwilly | April 28, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Any chance Eckstein can coach pitching?

Posted by: NatsNut | April 28, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Any chance that we can bring back Big John?

Posted by: lowcountry | April 28, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

While we're second-guessing Acta, let me add one: why did he send Martis out in the 6th after the Nats had regained the lead? I know the bullpen is shaky but all things being equal I want the kid out of the game with a chance to win it - if we're showing confidence in him, then leave him in after he walks the 8th hitter ... if not, then let's protect HIS psyche since it's the one that will do us the most long-term good.

I'm not yet on the "Fire Manny" Chorus, but I feel like he's making small mistakes that put unnecessary pressure on players who need all the help they can get to perform adequately.

Posted by: diogenes_quixote | April 28, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Manny or Saint are going to be able to "motivate" these guys to throw strikes when the pressure is on. It's up to the player. Blame Bowden for stocking the roster with guys with tools who can't handle the stress. It'll take Rizzo another year to undo Bowden's mess.

Posted by: psubman | April 28, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth (nothing), I'll voice up my position in the Do Not Fire Manny camp. I am as good as the next guy at second-guessing him in hindsight (like, Why didn't he leave Wells in for another inning??), but I don't think he's doing a bad job.

The fact that our bullpen stinks isn't his fault, I don't think. Manny has put guys with good stuff in positions to use that stuff, and they've proven that they lack the mental make-up to get the job done.

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 28, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

As Charlie Slowes might say...yesterday is going, going, gone, goodbye. Another laughable L in the books. Time to move on. Fahget about it. The drive for W #5 continues. Nats can still get 2 out of 3 and make a 3 & 3 trip. Yes, that was a tough one to stomach last night, but turn the page, it's over. Stammen for closer.

Posted by: cokedispatch | April 28, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

blaming manny for this is dumb. he's running out every scrub the organization has and they all suck. they suck in any situation he puts them in.

love the offense.

glad to see zimmermann get paid AND produce AND start speaking up.

there's no quick fix here. just keep on hitting the ball and protect your young starters best you can.

Posted by: longterm | April 28, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to lay off Manny!! Someone please tell me the name of a manager that can win with this pitching staff, please. I am as frustrated as anyone and last night killed me. He isn't blowing the saves or giving up 2 grand slams that wipe out big leads. He has zero to work with from that career minor league pen. This all sits at the feet of the Lerners and Stan for letting Bowden continue as GM, that is the real crime! After 5 years of holding 4 premium season tickets I am about done. I can go to as many games as I want for half of what I am currently shelling out for no return.

Posted by: sec218 | April 28, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Well said cokedispatch.
Well said longterm
Well said sec218.

Go Nats!!

Posted by: usmc53 | April 28, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Definition of Insanity: To keep repeating the same things while expecting different results! Manny should have known better,and with a 6-2 lead why throw Howard a pitch he can drive listen Martis for all intent and purpose is still a rookie this is where the Saint,Manny, and Flores come in yeah i know its a learning process but this was agame they should have won. Hanrahan i would not want to be him today and this goes back to the heading of my blog you keep giving him chances and "Hanny" keeps breaking your heart. One upbeat observation this team can hit and when Guzman comes back......... Interesting matchup tonite Lannan will need to go at least seven innings, Hamels has not been effective so far, Dibble is breath of fresh air in the booth, brutal as far as telling it like it is.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 28, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Zincola from Harrisburg and Wagner in Syracuse are potential cannon fodder from the minors. Cabrera is too wild to close. Wells and Bergmann could be asked to give it a try. Beimel's still at least a week away. Clippard might work. But, Mock may still has the most potential. I understand John Rauch is available as are Huston Street and Manny Corpas.

I like Hanrahan. I like that he is open and willing to talk. He was easily the most personable and approachable player on the Winter caravan that I spoke too. But he needs to use a better filter before letting words spill out and he needs to apply that same control on his pitches. Until that happens, they need to move him into non-closer situations for a few weeks. Go to committee if they have to. If he regains his control maybe he could regain the closer role later if no one esle steps up.

Posted by: natbiscuits | April 28, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Just trying to look on the bright side here this sunny morning. Ryan Zimmerman is off to a very nice start even though he is (as everyone has noted repeatedly) a slow starter. This strikes me, at least, as a good sign that he's going to have the kind of breakout season that will make his 5 year/$45 million deal look very good indeed. Further, despite a couple of recent (hopefully isolated) Milledge-esque fielding adventures, Dukes, too, looks to be beginning a breakout season.

Posted by: Section220 | April 28, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

>Same for Martis against Howard in the 6th. Martis' best pitch is his change, which needs to work off his fastball. So on the five pitches of Howard's AB, what did he throw? Four sliders - the only pitch in the strike zone was the slider that hung up and got smashed for the Slam.

That's not Manny,

Uh, who do you think calls the pitches? It ain't the pitchers. I thought everybody knew that. You know where the catcher looks over to the dugout before every pitch? Guess what he's doing? He's getting the sign for the next pitch. Ho ho ho Manny Acta he got to go pronto

Posted by: Brue | April 28, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"Four sliders - the only pitch in the strike zone was the slider that hung up and got smashed for the Slam.

That's not Manny,

Uh, who do you think calls the pitches? It ain't the pitchers."

Manny may have called that slider, but he didn't hang it.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 28, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Last night was a punch in the gut game. Hanrahan is obviously struggling and I wouldn't be surprised to see Tavares get a shot at closing for a while until Hanrahan can get some mojo back.

Folks, these were the world champs we lost to on a night when the ball was really flying out, even for that park, in front of a packed house with a struggling bullpen. Even though we were on the short end of the stick that was a great game.

I really don't know what people expect Manny to do with that poopy arse bullpen.
You don't think he looks at who's available in the Pen during the late innings and throws up in his mouth with the thought of putting some of these slugs out there.

When we went up 11-7, I said to myself they still have 6 outs, it may not be enough, with our Bullpen, in this park, against this team.

$10 bucks says Manny was thinking the same thing.

Somebody nudge the NJ because the "Fire Manny" record is skipping again. Please make it stop.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 28, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

This team may be the best team since the franchise moved here in 2005, yet it may end up with one of the worst records.

I have no idea what to do about the bullpen in the short-term. There doesn't seem to be an answer in the FA market or on the farm. Even if I were to agree that Manny is an idiot, I don't see that firing him would make any difference until a reliable closer is found and Beimel returns from the DL either as closer or setup man.

It's beyond frustrating to know that we're one piece away from genuine contention and we have no idea where that piece is coming from.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 28, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"It's beyond frustrating to know that we're one piece away from genuine contention and we have no idea where that piece is coming from."

Which "one piece" is that? The two or three non-mediocre starters piece? The bullpen that can get guys out piece? The closer who can throw strikes piece? The adequate defense piece? Seems like a lot of missing pieces there to me.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 28, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

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