Jays bullpen has lost six games so far, most in the AL
The bullpen has lost 6 of the 12 games this season, more than any other team in the AL. However, its bullpen is 7th in the AL in ERA at a very respectable 3.24.
The pen is also very hard worked with 72.1 innings pitched over 20 games. Let's look at each bullpen loss and see who is to blame.
April 3: Sergio Santos loses 3-2 in 11 innings.A disappointing loss as Jose Bautista hits the game tying home run in the bottom of the 9th, in a game where the Jays manage only 5 hits. Sergio then gives up a home run in the top of the 11th to Mark Reynolds. When you score only two runs in a game, it's difficult to win.
Fault: lack of offence.
April 5: Esmil Rogers loses the game in the 8th. Boston wins 6-4.This is the bullpen and Izturis' fault. Esmil game on with one out in the 8th, walked, gave up a double, and Napoli got the RBI for Boston to get the 5-4 lead on a play where Izturis couldn't field the ball and throw home. Gibbons then put on Jeffries in the 9th who gave up the insurance run via the home run. This was also the famous game where Bonifacio commits three errors.
Fault: the infielders and Esmil.
April 14: Darren Oliver loses the game in the 9th as KC beats Toronto 3-2.This was Oliver's fault, but the Jays were unable to score more than 1 earned run against Santana. Bonifacio's throw to the plate could have been in time, but you can't fault Bonifacio early in the season for making an off-line throw when he never plays RF.
Fault: the lack of offense.
April 16: Steve Delabar loses the game in the top of the 9th. Chicago beats the Jays 4-2.This may have been poor defense on Bonifacio's part as he couldn't catch up to a double that perhaps Colby or Rajai does. He took a terrible line to the ball. However, Delabar gave up two walks to open the frame, and you've get to expect at least one of those runs to score. Blame Delabar on this one, but once again, blame the Jays offense for failing to score more than 2 runs.
Fault: Delabar and lack of offense
April 20: Aaron Loup loses the game on his throwing error in the 11th as the Yankees win 5-3.Aaron Loup makes a bad throw to third on an Ichiro bunt which costs him the game. And he gave up two lead off singles. Bad things happen. Blame Aaron on this one.
Fault: Aaron. But he took a shot at third to keep a double play in order.
April 22: Aaron Loup loses the game 2-1 to the Orioles in the bottom of the 9th due to Kawasaki error.With runners on 1st and 2nd with two out, a standard double play ball eats up Kawasaki and he inexplicitly throws it to first but too late. Markasis then walks off via a nicely hit bloop single to left field. But once again, this is due to a lack of offense.
Fault: Kawasaki, lack of offense.
So whose fault is it?When the bullpen is on average playing 3.6 innings per game and giving up an average of about 1.3 runs per game, that's pretty fantastic, really. When your defense is not making great plays (Bonifacio, Kawasaki, Izturis) behind you, you stand to lose. When the offense is not scoring any runs against pitchers that other teams manage to score on, you have to look at the anemic offense.
In all of these cases, the Jays are tied which puts the bullpen under pressure. The Jays have yet to blow a save, and this is incredible.
So spread the blame folks. This isn't the bullpen's fault at all. It's the lack of offense and poor defense behind them that puts pressure on them.
And the bullpen was not supposed to be the stars of this team. It was supposed to be the offense and the starting pitching.