Thursday, July 10, 2008

O's bullpen blows game

After Jim Johnson gave up two runs in the eighth and George Sherrill blew the save tonight against the Blue Jays, I took a look at some of their stats. They've both been pretty good, especially Johnson, but I found one potential bad sign. I posted the following on Roch Kubatko's "Roch Around the Clock" blog a little while earlier:

Jim Johnson and George Sherrill, for the most part, have been pretty good for the first half of the season. But they may not pitch nearly as well in the second half -- just take a look at both of their BABIPs (batting average on balls in play).

The average BABIP in MLB for pitchers is around .300; Johnson's is .111 and Sherrill's is .167 -- both are well below that mark.

Just look at tonight as an example, primarily for Sherrill. Sherrill didn't necessarily make a bad pitch to Rolen, but Rolen's blooper found a spot where no one could catch it. Was it luck? Sure -- but Sherrill's been pretty lucky so far this season (although not lately).

One more thing: I don't really agree with the get-me-over curveball that Sherrill threw to Lind. The batter before Lind, Overbay, who tied the game with the sacrifice fly, was sitting on the pitch. Lind was obviously paying attention and did the same.

I hope the numbers are wrong in this case, but if both Johnson and Sherrill are destined to come down to earth after the All-Star Break, the O's bullpen could be in serious trouble.

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