Dan Haren came to pitch. Seven innings, four hits, one run. This type of outstanding performance should surprise no one, he has done this all season though you wouldn’t know it from the four wins he has to his name. The offense came to hit. Six runs through nine innings, and again getting timely hitting. And the bullpen came to do what they do. Give up five runs in one inning and give up a game tying home run to a pinch hitter who has a career 33 home runs in 4286 at bats.
I will say this for the Diamondbacks relievers; they certainly learned how to take turns when they were younger. This time the honor of blowing a lead was given to Juan Gutierrez who had only surrendered 3 hits in his last 4.2 innings of work, and closer Chad Qualls, who has been fairly reliable for the most part this season. To add insult to Dan Haren’s injury, the incorrigible bullpen that was incapable of getting three outs without giving up five runs, then proceeded to get an additional 27 outs without giving up one run.
This game was without a doubt the hollowest victory of the season. Josh Byrnes needs to fix the bullpen right now. They need to either get a different bullpen coach, get new players, or move Max Scherzer to the bullpen once Brandon Webb comes back. There is absolutely no sense in playing the remainder of the season with the current group of relievers. As evidenced yesterday, you can have a starter who is completely dominant and an offense that provides you with enough runs to win any game but it all means nothing when you have a facet of the team that can undo eight innings of solid, quality baseball in the course of fifteen minutes.
The bullpen has proved themselves game after game that they cannot be counted on in any situation. Management has to make a move immediately, as these are the players that hold the fate of the game in their hand. Any slim hopes the team has of possibly getting the wild card are completely void if the bullpen is not corrected.