Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Don't blame Melvin for last nights loss

After a loss like last nights 7-6 heartbreak to the Twinkies, it's easy to start casting blame. And certainly it's not hard to find plenty of easy targets.

But I think it's wrong to blame Melvin for his use of the bullpen last night.

At some point, you have to hold the players accountable, and Shiggy is simply one of the worst relievers in baseball right now. After Joel pitched a great game, and with the M's ahead 6-2 going into the 8th, it was time for Hasegawa to earn his $9 million.

And he failed.

And Myers failed.

And Villone kept walking the leadoff hitter.

And the M's offense failed to score a run when they needed it (big surprise).

Can you make a case for Melvin bringing in Eddy at some point in the game? Absolutely, but you will argue with almost every manager in baseball if you do. Simply, almost every manager in baseball, right or wrong, saves their closer for when they have the lead. I actually agreed with how Melvin used his bullpen last night. Once the M's blew the lead, he left in his long-reliever (Villone), hoping the M's offense gave him a reason to insert his closer. The fact the M's offense never allowed him to do so is not Melvin's fault.

Blame management for fielding a team with so little power they collect 18 hits and still lose. Blame the players for underperforming. But don't blame Melvin for last night.