It’s ‘pen-demonium down there

I’m on board a train right now heading from Toronto to the Detroit area and thought I’d check in. I’ve never taken a train on a long trip before. No sign of Robert Redford or The Whammer on my car. Anyone seen “The Natural?” If so, you got that last reference. …

In today’s stories, I failed to mention that Brad Ziegler threw another shutout inning last night, running his record scoreless streak to start his career to 35. That leaves him two short of Oakland’s overall record for consecutive scoreless innings. Mike Torres had 37 straight in 1976. Ziegler is an amazing story. But it gets me to thinking about the A’s bullpen as a whole. It’s a little strange that when the ninth inning  rolls around, we have no idea who might be coming out to save a game. Bob Geren mentioned Ziegler and Jerry Blevins as possible options to close. You can probably throw Joey Devine in there too. And let’s remember, Huston Street is still an option. I have no  idea what to make of his situation right now. 

Something tells me most A’s fans would probably prefer to see Ziegler pitching the ninth right now. I can see why. But because a guy has success in the earlier innings doesn’t mean that will automatically translate to the ninth. Ziegler still has very few big league innings under his belt. And Blevins’ meltdown last night is a reminder that the A’s are relying on some very inexperienced guys down there.  Looking ahead to next season, who knows what the A’s might do with the closer spot? Should they give Street some more shots this season and determine whether  he gets first crack in ’09? Will one of his ‘pen mates be ready for the role? Do they look toward free agency? How would you like to see the A’s set things up for next season?




Joe Stiglich

  • Stallion

    Beane should let us come to the games for free for having to watch this crap. He says he’s building for the future, but when the young guys we have now make it, he’ll just trade them away again. He has a responsibility as a GM to try to win, I wonder if he ever will.

  • greenmachine

    I would keep Ziegler as the setup man. A consistent setup guy is almost as important as a closer, so no need to move Ziegler out of a spot where he is dominating. We should give Devine some consistent looks as closer. Let’s see what he can do with no outs, nobody on in the 9th.

  • Bee

    I’m with both Stallion and Greenmachine. Ziegler is great as a setup guy and he may not take to the closer role. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and Ziegler is one of the few things on the team that is not broke at the moment, so, tempting though it might be to try him at closer, I’d leave him right where he is. Joey Devine should get a look-see at closer, and Huston should get his shots too. Huston will figure out what is wrong and fix it. Maybe he’s tipping his pitches in addition to elevating his pitches and floating them over the heart of the plate.

    The team is in a collective funk right now. All it will take is to win a couple of games in a row and they can put it all together again. I thought last night was going to be the first game, but it was not to be. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and send good vibes out into the universe for the A’s. They need all the help they can get.

  • The A’s are playing like they know thier are going to lose. I not saying they are quiting buy pretty close to it. Way to go Billy.

  • sadA’sfaninOKC

    ive been a life long A’s fan but with all the trades for the future that billy is making its really stressing me out. Whats wrong with keeping our young stars and contending now?

  • Steve Toomajian

    Whether Huston Street remains the closer or not, the A’s have plenty of options in Joey Devine, Brad Ziegler, and Jerry Blevins. Because the team is not contending this year, the real question is who among these relievers will seize the moment for 2009. We also have Santiago Casilla and Andrew Brown for setup roles. Of all the deficient areas of this team, the bullpen really is not one of them.