Last night gets called the Zuckerman Game after the oodles of bad karma our intrepid semi-independent blogger kicked up by imploring all of Natstown to reflect on this horrid loss of the Frank Robinson 2005 season. Last night's EPIC FAIL requires an exorcism of sorts and some kind of soul searching for our squad. We have currently evaded Pythagoras dreaded axe, winning more games than we've lost despite getting outscored. Others will say these types of games are due once in a while and you just turn the page and move on. Certainly that seemed to be the tone of some of the interviews with players yesterday.
There are a lot of candidates for a game that was a team loss: Nyjer Morgan's dropped ball, Ian Desmond's error, leaving men on base, and Clippard's meltdown all contributed. But we watched and when we saw Bruney enter the game, even with a 4 run lead we knew there was a problem.
Basically, I see 4 paths to address the Bruney problem at this point.
1) Turn the page and let's say that it's one game and continue to see what we've got. Dave at Nats News Network was pointing out how at least Bruney threw strikes last night. We've got Slaten who might be able to contribute now. Maybe we have more blowouts in either direction and that allows us to use Batista for his proper role, eating low leverage innings by the bucketfull.
2) Add a reliever from Syracuse and drop an offensive player for more flexibility. We don't have anyone we can trust to get Bruney out of jams right now. Clippard struggles with men on base either due to makeup or pitching out of the stretch so far. Let's DFA Willy Taveras and lose his miniscule offense and gain his defense. We'll miss having a pinch runner and defensive replacement, but we gain by seeing whether Joel Peralta can help us out before they bring Storen.
3) Cut Bruney and bring up Peralta.
4) Go all in and bring up Storen before seeing him pitch that much at Syracuse while risking his clock. Storen's line so far at Syracuse, 5.1IP, 1.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 6H, 3K, 0BB, 1HR allowed, 1R allowed.
Personally, my pick is option 2. Bruney is costing us games right now and the goal is winning game. Taveras doesn't seem to be winning us games at this point. 1 says that we're in this for 2011 and we vote with our feet and our concession dollars and watch from home. 3 seems poor from an asset management standpoint because we will likely lose Bruney and I don't think he is beyond all hope of contributing something to the organization. 4 is extremely risking because I don't think that performance on the big league club should affect how you promote your prospects if you're serious about developing them the right way. Just watch what the guys in the other dugout are doing with Jenry Mejiia for Exhibit A on what not to do.
So, what do you think? I'm interested to see your thoughts on what to do with the Bruney problem now that you've had an opportunity to sleep on it. Try to mix some balance in with the painful emotions because we're trying to build an organization with a solid foundation, not merely an attractive appearance.