No part of me accepted the fact that he would go the entire season without blowing a single save situation. In a way, it’s almost incredible that he’s gone this long before it actually happened, considering how often he’s been used, the quality of batters he’s been brought in to face, and the scenarios of inherited base runners he’s been entrusted with. But I really, really hoped that he would have at least made it through the entire “month” of March/April without blowing a save, but I guess I got a little ahead of myself there, and for that reason alone, I have apparently angered the mythical baseball gods, and they brought down, the other shoe.
Jonny Venters blew a save today, when he allowed two inherited Brandon Beachy base runners to plate, in what would ultimately be a come-from-behind defeat to the hands of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. After dispatching of two pinch hitters in Nick Punto and Lance Berkman, he apparently fell asleep on the unsuspecting David Freese, who doubled with two outs to allow the tying runs to come home. They weren’t his base runners, so his ERA doesn’t take a hit, but the blown save is still credited, and that’s life as a relief pitcher.
The bigger underlying issue is that the team touted for its bulletproof tandem in the bullpen of Venters and Craig Kimbrel have blown consecutive saves in as many days. To rub salt into the wound, after Venters had blown the save, Kimbrel eventually got tagged for yet another game-losing triple, and was credited for the loss. I hate to even give it any thought, but a part of me is curious to know just how much any of this has to do with the administrative leave of controversial pitching coach, Roger McDowell, or if this is just the kind of coincidence that pretty much every team goes through at some point every season, where the bullpen just goes through a funk?