What a nightmare of a game. You know, for a win.
Homer Bailey had a pretty great start. 4 runs isn’t awesome, but only 2 earned is. One error by Bailey, and one by Bruce were a little problematic, but Bailey did a decent job of keeping things away from the defense by striking out 8 batters over his 6 2/3 innings. And the offense had a nice night – both Heisey and Stubbs popped homers. And Bailey himself got himself an RBI double.
Homer and I also have the bullpen to rage at. Given two outs, and men on 1st and 2nd, Arredondo came in to immediately give up a single and a run. Then, Marshall had a tricky 8th, giving up a run, to narrow the lead to a single run. Thankfully for him, Ondrusek came in and managed to grab one final out.
The top of the 9th was really an exercise in management hilarity. Dusty isn’t at all to blame for the bullpen melting down. Afterall, Arredondo and Marshall are usually in the half of the bullpen that can get a few outs without giving up most of a three run lead. Pinch-hitting Miguel Cairo is really bizarre though. Cairo used to be our reliable go-to guy to hit for the relief pitchers, but his .152 average this year isn’t cutting it.
And then Cozart tried to bunt his way onto first base. It didn’t work.
All of this is, of course, the perfect set up for the bottom of the 9th. We’ve got a one run lead. Our bullpen has nearly blown the lead twice already. And in walks Aroldis Chapman. Still one of the best closers in baseball, but coming off a month that certainly was not as good as his first month in the closer’s seat.
And Aroldis delivers. Triple digit heat. Pounding the zone. Amarista: strikeout. Headley: strikeout. Quentin: strikeout.