In sports, when things are going great everyone gets praised for every decision they make when they are not the first thing we all say is he should be fired what the heck is he doing things like that I am guilty of it myself just because I want us to win every game possible!
The 2015 Atlanta Braves are in that same situation we now with the dismal bullpen and Freddie Gonzalez is taking a lot of flack for his decisions or non-decisions that he is made the season and some of it is warranted, but the reality is he is trying to put his relievers in the best situation possible to succeed and they are just not executing and making quality pitches when needed. Also Bobby Cox always used to say you can’t defend walks and boy have we given up a lot of those this season nothing that Fredi can control when he gives that ball to the reliever it’s out of his hands.
Let me give you a few examples just yesterday Julio Tehran was pitching a gem and he had 95 pitches through seven innings and Fredi decided to let him go out for the eighth inning, he had the 8 9 and 1 hitters due up that inning and that was the perfect situation, but that didn’t work out he gave up a single a Judy single and a walk in your saying here we go again. Although I think he should have taken him out after the second hit our bullpen has been so terrible he doesn’t have anyone that he can trust to go in there and just throw strikes so who could blame him for trying to get another hanging out of his starter who was cruising coming into that inning.
Then our bullpen came in, walked a runner in our catcher had a passed ball and the tying run came in on catches interference of all things. None of that Fredi could control I know we all feel we have to blame somebody, but he can’t go out there and throw and catch the pitches for them it’s just not possible in baseball is a crazy game you get breaks and things go against you although it seems a lot of things have gone against our bullpen this season I think it’s really unfair but are pitchers must execute better and give Fredi the confidence that he can go to them at the end of games. It’s like flipping a quaint right now whether to keep your starter in or go to your bullpen.
Another example was against the Pittsburgh Pirates we were up 3-1 we brought in the Luis Avilan to face Gregory Polanco who had a .150 batting average against left-handers coming into that at that he just flared a base into left, then the next batter came up and hit a two-run homer there goes your lead. Lefty versus lefty is supposed to be advantage picture and with the average you would think it would be but that just and not happen and we lost our lead again. It comes down to execution of pitches in every situation and our relievers are just not doing that right now Fredi Gonzalez cannot control what they do he’s just a scapegoat right now.
I’ve watched every single game since I could remember this year is one of the most fun and most frustrating seasons at the same time because you realize where we could be with a half decent bullpen, but I believe we’re going in the right direction adding veterans that have been around the block to stabilize our bullpen. We are still in the thick of things, despite these issues and I feel John Hart and the rest of the front office will continue to look for bullpen help as long as we stay with the program and just keep grinding every day. I know we all like to be mad at somebody when things don’t work out, but Fredi Gonzalez has also made very good moves during the season that have propelled us to this point.
Ultimately it’s on the player’s shoulders to execute and do their job and we all understand that it’s just the way baseball goes, but there is also a saying that things will even out. if some way we can get some stability at the back end of the game I feel very good about our chances and as someone said if this is us rebuilding I’m very excited to see how this season plays out in the fact that we have such a bright future makes me even more excited Go Braves!!!